1914 Crossley 20/25 Royal Flying Corps Staff CarSOLD

Extremely rare, powerful and imposing Edwardian tourer.

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Crossley Brothers Ltd of Gorton, Manchester started making cars in 1904, their first model being a 22hp. This was followed by 28hp and 48hp models. The 20hp car was introduced in 1909 and it became the 20/25 in 1912. In 1914 the 20/25 model was selected by the War Ministry's Colonel Seeley to be the standard vehicle for the recently formed Royal Flying Corps.
The number of 20hp and 20/25 models made before the war is not exactly known but is estimated to be about 2100. Before 1919 chassis numbers were not segregated by model type and run up to about chassis number 12000. This car is on chassis number 2401 which clearly puts it very near the start of the military production series. The chassis were bodied as staff cars, ambulances and tenders which were also capable of carrying a small aeroplane. Only the staff cars had electric lights, an electric starter, a dynamo and brass hub caps, the other variants had oil lamps, iron hub caps and had to be hand started with the crank handle! These small variations perhaps reflected the different status accorded to Officers! As they weren't always going to be operating on nicely surfaced roads the vehicles were fitted with twin rear wheels to give a better grip on muddy surfaces.
After the war the vehicles were sold on with many going back to the works for rebodying as commercial vehicles or charabancs and I believe this to be one of only two surviving original staff cars. This example resurfaced in Reigate in the 1940s when it was owned by a restaurateur called Albert Eades. It then went to the north of England where it was restored and owned by a succession of VCC members.
A deceased's executor sold it through Sothebys in the 1990's to Paul Noon and the present owner bought it in 2001. Since then he has rallied the car extensively in England and France doing the Dieppe Retro and the Paris-Deauville runs many times.
The car is powered by a very strong 4 cylinder 4.5 litre engine which is connected to a really good and easy to use 4 speed gearbox. It has positive steering and good springing which gives a very pleasant ride and good handling. It has its original spacious 4/5 seat tourer body which was clearly designed to be the sort of thing an Officer would be happy to be seen in. It even has lockable cabinets, one of which has a divider to support two bottles of whisky!
This is an extremely rare, high quality and very grand Edwardian touring car which is in very good confition throughout. It gives the distinct impression that it will just keep motoring on for ever!

Reference Number 40845

as of 3/20/2009

Car 1914 Crossley 20/25 Royal Flying Corps Staff Car
Configuration Right Hand Drive (RHD) 
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