One-off 1934 Crossley - today's auction tempter

By: Unique Cars magazine

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1 crossley front One-off 1934 Crossley tourer 1 crossley front
2 crossley drive 2 crossley drive
3 crossley engine 3 crossley engine
4 crossley carbs 4 crossley carbs
5 jewels 5 jewels
6 crossley rear 6 crossley rear

Hand-built on ultra-rare chassis

This 1934 Crossley is coming up at the next Shannons auction and is something of a rarity, which we featured in the mag back in 2015. 

Bolted into a chassis originally intended for a 2.0lt engine, this variant has the much more substantial 3.2lt six and is thought to be one of just 10 ever made and possibly the only survivor.

It originally shipped to Australia as a powered chassis, which was normal practice at the time, and was then fitted with a giant saloon body by Sydney coachbuilders Martin & King.

As current owner Alf Wilson (who formerly ran the Tintaldra pub with partner Majia) put it, the body ordered by the Deniliquin grazier all those decades ago was practical but "hideous"!

When it came into Wilson’s care, a plot was hatched to fit a completely new body, built using 1930s materials, and more or less in the style of a Mercedes-Benz SS100.

Ron Warrener tackled the frame, using English Ash, while Ramsay & Hopkins did the ‘skin’. The body took close to eight years to complete.

Meanwhile the long-stroke six has been upgraded for reliability and is matched to a four-speed pre-select transmission. The car will cruise happily enough at current highway speeds. 

Wilson is all too familiar with the frustration experienced by anyone involved in a long-term and tricky build. He told us: "When you restore things like this you get tired of it because you’re working and you don’t see things happening," he says. "Then suddenly, things start to fall together, things start to look right, it starts to look like a motor car. Then you get excited and then get it finished quickly." 

The end result is pretty stunning and you can see why he’s hung onto, maintained and enjoyed the car for over three decades since the restoration was completed. 

English marque Crossley is hardly a household name these days, but there was a time when it was moderately famous. The firm built big solid automobiles – suprisingly popular with police and military services – along with buses and trucks. Car production ceased in 1938.

It’s sometimes confused with, and is very different to, the American Crosley (one ‘s’), which produced a range of microcars.

The Shannons auction begins on August 31. The Crossley is lot 100 and has an estimate of $50-70k. 

See our previous feature on this car;

And our video with the owner.


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