This Glasgow-registered Regis 12/6 is one of the nicest "holidaysnaps" of a Regis in daily service.
The photograph was taken many years ago by Douglas Kirby. Photo via Malcolm Asquith.
The History of the Crossley Regis. Peter Caunt. January 2011..
Car enthusiasts of many years standing have never seen a Crossley Regis and know nothing or little about them. Owners are proud of their cars but this is often difficult to convey to other enthusiasts who have never heard of Crossley, much less the model: Regis. An elderly chap looking at my Regis - albeit, in Australia - commented that he did not know that Crossley made anything as new as my Regis - he obviously knew of the older, large cars for which Crossley Motors is famous. The following account explains the facts of what a Regis actually is and gives the history of the car and how it was developed. Details of the Specification and other aspect of the Regis are covered to help Owners to keep their cars "on the road". Enthusiasts wishing to look at photogrpahs of these cars are directed to Gallery 1 on this site and also to the Crossley Register web site at www.crossley-motors.org.uk, maintained by the Register.
The Crossley Ten was produced in varying saloon and tourer forms until 1934 when Crossley produced a more “streamlined” car in Ten and Twelve horse power versions on a modified chassis. The new model was first described by the motoring press in August 1934 and showed a more modern style of car but with some rather “angular” features. It was labelled “Regis”. This model is now called the “Interim” version by Crossley enthusiasts to differentiate the car from what is considered to be “The Regis” The four cylinder versions were of 1122cc – 9.8hp whilst the sixes were 1476cc – 12.9hp (JM series engine numbers) or, later, 1640cc with JMC series of engine numbers, sometimes referred to as a “two-litre”, whilst in Australia, the 12.9hp cars were marketed as 13hp; or 13/65. Perhaps Australians were not likely to be as superstitious as the British!
Gordon C Mcandrew, the Edinburgh, Scotland, Agent for Crossley Motors appears to have purchased the first Crossley-built "Torquay" Ten saloon the design of which was based on the successful Coachwork Class-winning car entered by Mr Joyce (of Pass and Joyce, the London Dealers) in an RAC Rally and built by James Young Coachbuilders.In 1934 Gordon Macandrew again became involved in Crossley's car design and had a special body designed and fitted to a modified Crossley Ten chassis and the body, produced and designed by C F beauvaid of the New Avon Body Works of Warwick was a very flowing and smart car, registered FS 9998. Whilst brief descriptions and photogrpahs appeared in The Autocar of 18th May 1934, the Crossley Ten chassis on which it was built was described as ".....on the latest type of 10hpCrossley chassis which has a double dropped frame and a floor level 3" lower than the normal". Meanwhile, the 15th June 1934 edition of The Autocar carried a full road test for the still-current Crossley Ten Torquay saloon!
A lowered and modified type chassis had been built by Crossley's for a one-off body by Ranalagh Coachworks specially for the RAC Bournemouth Rally of March 1934, driven by Mr A J Blake, the recently-appointed Sales Manager for Crossley Motors recruited from Singer Motors Ltd. A photograph of this car appeared in The Autocar magazine of 23rd March 1934. The magazine incorrectly stated that the new body was to be the new standard body for the (new) Ten chassis. The body was a smarter, more modern design than the Ten although not quite as long as the subsequent Regis and possibly Gordon Macandrew saw this body and decided he could have a better one designed. FS 9998 was the result.
This car is the special bodied car built by Ranalagh for the March 1934 RAC Bournemouth Rally, illustrated in The Autocar of 23rd March 1934. The later Regis of C F Beauvais design was slightly longer to provide a larger boot and also accommodate the six-cylinder engine option of the Regis. (Photo: The Autocar UK.)
Despite this rather smart earlier design, the “interim” Regis version was fully described in August 1934 for the Motoring Press, showing the scuttle/tool box arrangement to be similar to the older Crossley Ten. However, by the time the Crossley Regis appeared at the 1934 Motor Show, it was basically the same as Mr McAndrew’s car, Crossley having engaged Mr Beauvais to tidy up their body to the New Avon design. This became the standard Crossley Regis available in Ten and Twelve horsepower versions until the end of car production in 1937. The “production” Regis was, however, marketed as the “Regis Sports Saloon” and Motor Show listings included “Regis saloon” and “Regis Sports Saloon” with differing options of transmission and trim.
These two views show the Crossley Regis in its "interim" form. Note the more angular coachwork when compared to the Beauvais-designed Regis Sports Saloon. These views are from Veteran and Vintage Magazine archives.
The chassis itself was modified from the Ten style basically in the shape of the main chassis side members. The older Crossley Tens had a parallel chassis to the rear engine mountings when the chassis angled sharply outwards to provide parallel side members from just behind the engine to the rear of the car. This allowed the older style of body, with a full-width scuttle, to be supported by the chassis. The Regis body, however, tapered from the “B” post of the body towards the radiator and was supported on timber main sills that tapered to a point level with the rear engine mounts. The chassis, therefore, was altered to accommodate this change and was tapered gradually from the rear engine mounting to an area near to the “B” post mounting bracket with the floor height lowered by 3 inches and with a larger, although narrower, more substantial scuttle/tool box design. The original Regis described in the August Motoring Press may well have been an interim arrangement until C F Beauvais had been officially recruited to update Crossley’s own design.
NOTE: The above drawing is not to the scale mentioned on the drawing!
Without this chassis modification, the original New Avon Bodywork car of May 1934 could not have been built on a normal Ten chassis and this suggests that Crossleys had produced this modified chassis specially for Mr McAndrew and that the subsequent Regis design may well have been at Mr McAndrew’s suggestion – or at least, having seen the smart car he produced, led Crossleys to update their new Regis line of cars under the baton of Mr C F Beauvais.
Mr McAndrew’s car was based on the Ten engine. The rather heavier Regis model probably prompted Crossleys to offer the larger 12hp version to regain – and surpass - the performance of the earlier Tens. This was again a Coventry Climax engine but of six cylinders and 1476cc (prefix “JM” )
The chassis numbers started at 100001. It would be interesting to know what number was allocated to Mr McAndrew’s car . It has now been found that the first of the Regis-type cars, including Mr McAndrew's car and also the one-off for the 1934 RAC Rally would have had a Ten chassis number - 10/16XX. It has been found that UD 6393 was chassis 10/1666 whilst another car has come to light as an Interim type with chassis number 10/1655. UD 6393 was registered on 6th Novemebr 1934 and the Regis Sport Saloons cars were already at 100051 by 3rd November 1934 so both types of Regis were usingdifferent chassis number series it would seem.. See Chassis List page for more details.
The first 100 chassis included Ten and Twelve horsepower cars. Mr J R I Crossley, one of the family members involved in the Crossley car empire, states, in correspondence to Motoring Historian, the late Michael Sedgwick, that “about six interim models” were built. (Veteran and Vintage September 1971 Page 8.) After the initial batch of one hundred cars, mixed between 10hp and 12hp models, chassis 100101 upwards were allocated to Ten horsepower cars and 100601 upwards were allocated to Twelve horsepower cars. In the records maintained by the Crossley Register, which includes some car details taken from the surviving records of Council Registration Records, the highest chassis number of cars shown within the four cylinder sequence is 100504. The highest number for four cylinder cars is not known so numbers built is not conclusive. Similarly, no numbers are on record within the six cylinder sequence 100901 to 100999, suggesting that none were made within this series. Six cylinder cars were, however, continued from 101001 upwards, the highest recorded being 101043, a registration record. Actual cars known to exist in this area are 101036 the 1936 Motor Show Twelve horsepower car (used by a Register Member until sold in 1968) and 101041 an existing car in preservation. Under the circumstances, the number of Regises built may vary between about 900 and 1050, depending on whether or not the gaps mentioned were actually “gaps” and not just a lack of information. In this context, Coventry Climax engines used in the Regis had the chassis numbers of the cars to which they were originally fitted stamped on the edge of their flywheels. A six cylinder engine has been found in Australia, JMC 155, showing a chassis number 100900. This does not, unfortunately, prove that other cars were built with numbers within the 900 series.
Several people have heard the story about a Regis being smuggled out of the Factory and being built in a garage workshop. This illegal act was discovered when the owner wanted spares and the chassis number quoted had not been issued by the Factory. The theft was then discovered. Perhaps this more than rumour was actually a car quoted in the 100901 - 100999 series before the Factory had actually reached those numbers!
From the chassis numbers listed in the "Chassis List" page of this website, Cars between 1 and 100 were built in both 10 and 12hp versions. Assuming that 20 10hp cars were built in this 100 vehicles, then 80 12 hp cars were built. Taking the 10 hp cars as 100101 to 100504 gives us 404 cars plus the 20 from the first 100 series and that gives us 424 cars. With the 12 hp cars, 100601 to 101043 gives us 443 cars but the possible absence of the 900 series not being used reduces this to 343 cars. Plus 80 from the first 100 series gives us 423 cars. This suggests, since the final number made may well be higher than 100504 - for 10 hp cars or 101043 for 12 hp cars. Let us estimate that 425 cars were built of both 10 hp and 12 hp cars - a total of 850 vehicles. A select band of quality cars.
A four cylinder – Ten horsepower – car exists as chassis number 100121. This car was apparently a Show car at the 1935 Motor Show. It was owned by an ex-Factory Foreman, Mr Jacques of Bury, Lancashire and had quarter lights operated by small wheels instead of the sliding locks normally fitted to the Regis - similar sliding locks were fitted to Jaguar XJ 6’s until recently. The “wheel” operation of quarter lights was used by the German firm Borgward in their “Isabella” models of the 1950’s and early 60’s. Chassis 100039 (The late Ron Wilsdon’s car, ABY 690 had the same quarter light treatment.) Such an item on the Regis may have been included as an added “attraction” to patrons at a Motor Show similar to the “cutaway” cars at modern Shows and the chromed chassis used by Crossley for some of its larger models at earlier Motor Shows. Rumour has it that these latter items ended up as fill for the bomb craters within the Works during World War 2. What a terrible shame!
Body styles: The basic models were the Saloon cars with the options of 4 or 6 cylinder engines. Also offered were two versions of a Tourer, one made by Crossley Motors Ltd., and the other by Tickford of Newport Pagnell. These latter cars were sponsored by a Crossley dealer in London, British and Colonial Motors Ltd., 138 Long Acre, London W C 2. They were also the sole concessionaires for Tickfords. The Tickford bodied cars were sold at £365 for four cylinder cars and £410 for six cylinder cars.
The Tickford body could be identified by the straight top edge to the doors, whereas the Crossley model had a dipped top edge.
The above photo shows the Criossley version of the tourer body with the dipped top edge of the door. Photo by P E Caunt.
A view of the Tickford Tourer body is at the bottom of this page.
In Australia, the Regis types were supplied without bodies since this reduced import duty for the imported chassis. Bodies were often supplied by Ruskin Motor Bodies of Melbourne but some of the Motor Show cars displayed at the Melbourne International Motor Show in June each year had bodies to the UK design and may have been fully imported vehicles. Ruskins at least, had a design of their own for the Regis body, similar bodies being also built on Triumph Gloria chassis. Ruskins are known - newspaper reports of the time - to have imported body panels from Crossley Motors of Manchester, UK, in order to build cars on Regis chassis to the UK outline without incurring the full import tax that a fully built-up body would attract. The, seemingly, only known Australian Regis on the road has the UK outline style of body.
In the Coach and Motor Body Builder of Australia and New Zealand, a Trade Journal, a design is illustrated in a 1935 edition for a six-light body on a Regis chassis, again quite different from the UK outline (a four light design) and advertised as a “streamline” version. Unfortunately, there is no indication as to whether or not the design was actually built. In Australia, the Twelve horse power version of the Regis was sold as a 13/65, being a 12.9hp –close enough to 13 – giving 65 bhp.
The drawing above is from the Coach and Motor Body Builder of Ausatralia and New Zealand of late 1935. This shows a suggested design of body for a Regis chassis with a six-light body. There is no evidence to show that the body was actually made. A two-tone livery was also suggested for this design.
The Regis was painted using the cellulose spray method, a modern system for the Crossley Factory. The Company was at the forefront of bright two-tone liveries on the Regis, having a second colour picking out the mudguards and running board and also the raised relief above the aluminium beading just below window level and continuing over the doors and windscreen. This produced a very smart looking colour style. To avoid overstating the colours, when two extremely contrasting colours were used, such as maroon (Tuscan Red) and fawn (Desert Sand) the secondary colour, fawn, was used only on the raised relief and not on the mudguards and running boards. In all cases, the raised concentric circle section of the wheel discs were also painted in the lighter colour. As far as can be found, the following liveries were offered, the list not being inclusive:
Maroon (Tuscan Red*) alone or with Fawn (Desert Sand*.) or Cream.
Black* (alone or as a secondary colour with dark green or blue.)
Bottle Green* alone or with black.
Two tone Green (Dark and Light Green with the dark colour as the secondary colour, the greens being complementary, not contrasting.)
There are several Regises in two tone green schemes at present that may not be original liveries but which look extremely smart and show the bodywork off to great advantage.
Nigger Brown* with Cream or Fawn as a secondary colour.
Brown (a medium shade) with Nigger Brown* as a secondary. (An example of this livery is shown in the Regis advert used to illustrated the appropriate section in Malcolm Asquith’s Crossley Web site.)
Dark Blue alone or with Black.
Dove Grey*. Dark and Light Grey, alone or as two-tone. One grey was a “normal” light grey as produced by mixing black and white pigments and the other had either a yellowish or green tint.
Crossley Blue* and Indigo Blue*.
White. Cars are to be found in Company adverts in this livery.
Note: * These are colour names known to have been used by Crossley for the Regis model. It would seem that Crossley Motors used the term "Black" rather than the more descriptive names such as "Embassy Black" or "Titanic Black" used by other firms!
This is not an official list and other colours will have been available.
On the spare wheel cover on the boot lid, a transfer was usually fitted showing the “Crossley” script with "Ten 4” or “Twelve 6” with the number intertwined through the centre of the lettering. Anecdotal evidence from different people indicates that Crossley Motors were well known as offering two tone “bright” colurs on their cars of the 1930’s and covers the Crossley Ten era as well as the later Regis. Mr Hubble, General Manager of the Company had AOL 313 a Regis 12/6 in Tuscan Red over Desert Sand – again, a livery shown in adverts of the time, usually with a red coachline along the edges of the wings. The layout of the spare wheel cover transfers are shown below:
In Australia, no information on colours is available but from black and white photographs of cars on Motor Show display, it seems as though the popular UK liveries were used. My own Regis, bodied by Ruskin Motor Bodies of Melbourne, Australia, was originally dark green (Bottle Green) overpainted white at a later date. The wheels, however, had been painted silver on their outer sides only and the interior faces were what appeared to be an original duck egg blue although in slightly different shades due to weathering. No sign of the light blue was found on any of the usual surfaces where the secondary colour was normally painted.
Top Left shows an unrestored car owned by Martin Sims of the Crossley Register in an original two tone Grey livery.
Top Right shows BLU 77 (now registered 856 UXL) in a two tone green livery now owned by H Bould of Stafford.
Bottom Left is JV 4931 in its original Maroon livery. Owner Michael White.
Bottom Right is COG 145 an unrestored car in original livery of green and black owned by Martin Sims.
Note: More examples of Regis liveries will be found in Gallery 1.
The Regis was marketed from its inception in August, 1934 to sometime during 1937. In August, 1934, the Industry magazines described the squarer “interim” design in great detail. This was car AVM 40, with another car featuring in some adverts. On the Motor Show stand for that year, Crossley exhibited both the “interim” and Beauvais-designed cars. The “interim” model appears to have been sold as a “Regis” with the
Beauvais desgn as the “Regis Sports saloon”. After about January 1935, no further mention of “Regis” appears and only the Beauvais
models were available – in 10 and 12hp form. The Tourer options appear to have been available only in 10/4 form and with the lighter body, may have been a way of increasing performance on the 10hp chassis.
During the early period of the Regis, what appears to have been a formal advertising campaign was used where a number of advertising pictures were used to market the car. In this campaign, BGW 6 was a Regis 10/4 where a lady was seen in the driving seat, alighting from the driving seat or alighting from the passenger side of the car or just standing alongside the car – all in what might be described as “up-market” styling - all telling the reader to “See the NEW Crossley Regis”. Later adverts appear to have been more general with comments such as “A precision built Crossley” or “A car with no nonsense”.. The Motor Show adverts for the 1935 Show used the theme of “Make a point of seeing the New Crossleys”, the illustration being a light-coloured Regis. Earlier, a “Cape to Rhodesia” advert was used for the Regis. (Be interesting to have the story of that one!) Other similar adverts featured cars ostensibly bought and operated in China (Hong Kong) and “Across France in 17 ¾ hours”. Industry adverts appeared at various times including Belco paints with a drawing of a Regis and Ace Wheel discs using a photograph of a 10/4 tourer – AHP 420 – to advertise the wheel discs. Cook and Palmer, the main Crossley distributors for London
used a drawing of a Regis with the slogan “To try it is to buy it”. Some of these adverts have been available on ebay using the “Art Deco” slogan by the dealers selling them.
Letters to customers from Crossley Motors suggest that cars were not available sometime between January 1937 and September 1937, this latter date stating that the cars were not available due to other commitments of the Factory. Registrations indicate a mid-way period of, perhaps, May or June for the final Regis. However, whilst not being confirmation of the end of production, it is interesting to note that The Motor magazine of 5th October 1937 carried an advert for Regis 4 and 6 cylinder cars as well as the 3 litre 20.9hp Sports Saloon. Purely as a matter of interest, it is amusing to note that an advert in The Motor magazine by Yorkshire Distributors Ltd of White Hart Garage, Royal Parade,
Harrogate advertised a second hand Regis (12/6 from the “new” price of 365 pounds) as “Crossley 1935 Regis Saloon in exceptionally nice condition throughout, preselector gearbox, traffic clutch. Cost 365, accept 215.” The advert was illustrated with a fine three quarter front offside view of the Beauvias Three litre saloon! So much for advertising standards!
Brochures were always available for the Regis and appeared for the four cylinder – red and gold and six cylinder cars – blue and white. Right to the end of production, however, the illustration of the chassis in these brochures showed the dash area to be that of the original “interim” model – rather similar to the old Crossley Ten. The support for the dashboard showed the holes to allow glove boxes to be fitted in the dashboard itself so that the “interim” model must have differed from the Regis Sports Saloon in this area as well. Even in the brochures for the 1936 cars where the 1640cc engine was mentioned, this “interim” style of chassis was shown. From the outside, the car illustrated was invariably a light coloured car with a four cylinder grill – even though the brochure was specifically for the six cylinder model. Rather like modern day car adverts, the brochures had the waiver “The illustrations in this leaflet are included as a general guide and must not be regarded as binding in detail”! These brochures also advertised the option of fitting the DWS jacking system for six guineas.
Distributors for Crossley were to be found in many cities and towns throughout UK. Many dealers sold Crossley cars only for short periods so that it is difficult to say how many dealers were in operation during the final years of car production at Gorton. Pass and Joyce were agents with showrooms in London and Manchester – having also been involved with competing with a Ten in the RAC Rally to Torquay – leading to one version of the Ten having this model name. Cook and Palmer in London advertised themselves for Regis sales and Gordon C McAndrew of Edinburgh who actually had the body design that lead to the Crossley Regis itself, was an agent until the Company stopped car production in mid 1937.
The Coronation Edition of The Autocar of May 1937 included a well-known Crossley advert showing a Regis, a Mancunian Streamline bus and a six-wheeled trolley bus in a coloured, glossy page establishing – rather than actually advertising – Crossley’s involvement in both car and commercial vehicle manufacture. Later in the year, in November, the Scottish Show edition of the same magazine had nothing about Crossley whatsoever, even an advertisement of local car agents showed the former Crossley agent, Gordon C McAndrew as agent for Citroen, Opel, Terraplane, Hudson, Austin and SS jaguar – not a mention of Crossley and the only agent dealing in Crossley cars was shown to be J B Neil of Ayr, Scotland.
Apart from the Crossley Motors Pty Ltd office in Sydney, mentioned earlier, there were various dealers in other locations in Australia.
Melbourne had the Crossley Distributors Pty Ltd at 884 Victoria Street, Melbourne C1, (Victoria, Australia.) This office produced a leaflet that was used to promote Crossley cars in various Australian magazines of the time and this included the successes that the Crossley Ten had gained in two years running for fuel economy and comfort with four people in the car. The artist’s illustration showed a hybrid version of the Regis – neither the “interim” nor Beauvais versions! The winning car referred to in the advert had been, however, a Crossley Ten of 1933 although this was not specified to the buying public. This advert was used in the UK Autocar magazine in the edition of 21stSeptember 1934 which suggests that the Australian office had plenty of warning, if not accurate photographs, of the Regis.
Pound Motors Pty Ltd of Melbourne were the main sales dealers for Crossley in Victoria where Les Pound was driver of the Ten mentioned above that won the fuel economy runs two years in succession..
It has been rumoured that Crossleys bought back their cars after they stopped building them. This has some truth in the context that they did buy some cars back that were offered for sale so that they could update the cars used by their staff. For example, BTD 272, the Maroon 1936 show car, chassis 101036, was registered on 1st November 1936 and purchased by Harwoods Ltd, the haulage and taxi firm in Darwen,
Lancashire for use as a taxi. They sold the car back to Crossleys in November 1940 and it was then used by Mr Whittaker, a bus salesman until about 1955. During ownership by Crossleys the car was painted black. It would be unlikely and uneconomic for the Company to have literally “bought back” all their production so this shows the practical aspect of this rumour. Whilst used by Mr Whittaker, the car was registered in his name but when he left the Company in 1955, it was Crossley Motors who sold the car to The Prince of Wales Motor Company of Moss Side, Manchester. This firm was operated by Mr Small, one time employee of Crossley Motors who had travelled with the Prince of Wales’ overseas tours to service his fleet of Crossley cars. The car went trhough various owners until purchased my me - in well worn condition! - on 14th July 1962 and started my interest in the Regis and Crossley cars in general.
Mr A Hubble, General Manager, used AOL 313 (Chassis 100067) a maroon and cream car (Tuscan Red and Desert Sand) which had also been re-purchased. The registration was a Birmingham issue which is where it had been originally registered. The car later ended up with a Mr Foster of Newton Heath, Manchester who raised the height of the rear shackles to tow a trailer with competition motor bikes that he used in Isle of Man TT Races. By this time it was painted black and regrettably ended its days requiring some body repairs when the roof of the garage where it was stored collapsed on it. I bought it for spares in 1962, the only Regis I bought specifically for spares! John Humphreys of the Register saw this car in use around the Manchester area in the 1950’s.
Bodies were produced at Crossley Motor’s Gorton Factory, Manchester and were constructed on wheeled “bucks” that allowed the body to be built and then moved to wherever it was next required. After the first twelve months or so, the Company was receiving more Military vehicle orders as well as commercial vehicle orders, mainly buses and space was at a premium at Gorton. Orders for the Regis were not high in number and it was decided by the Board of Directors to work on a three monthly basis of building these cars. Despite this, construction continued until well into 1937 after which it ceased completely. During early 1936, all finishing work on vehicles was carried out at the Company’s Hyde Factory although few Regis cars were taken there since production was by then running at a low level. The Company last exhibited at the 1936 Olympia Motor Show in London although, interestingly, the Australian branch and its agents took space at the Melbourne International Motor Show until 1938 when one Regis was on display.
Crossley Regis manufacturing information.
KG 6160 a 10/4 Regis seen outside Manchester Cathedral at night in October 1962.
The car “lived” at Partington, Cheshire
at this time, in full, everyday – and night – usage.
Photo: Peter Caunt.
Construction of the Regis car was undertaken at Gorton Lane Works when the model was introduced in 1934.
Chassis frames were assembled and built up with components such as engines that were supplied by Coventry Climax Ltd of Coventry. Engines were number MC1501 upwards for four cylinder 1122cc units and the six cylinder engines were numbered JM 1xx upwards denoting 1476cc units. Late in production, a larger six cylinder engine of 1640cc was introduced and these were numbers JMC 101 upwards. All the engines were of the inlet over exhaust configuration.
Bodies were built on wheeled bucks and only transferred to their chassis when the main frame and panelling was completed, mudguards and running boards then assembled during the finishing process. Flooring and trimming and wiring was done once the body and chassis were joined.
The body was usually built by a team of workers with coachbuilding skills to a high standard - as often stated in the Crossley Motors publicity and Trade Press descriptions. At some time during the Regis build period, the following staff made parts for the car:
Regis body construction as described by Mr Swallow of Anglesey (retired Crossley Motors employee) to the late Ron Wilsdon of Harlech. (See Crossley Register Newsletter 23, Page 30.)
Sammy Hills Door lower panels.
Arthur Rowley Fitted the aluminium tops to the doors.
Jack Lake Made wooden strips on the doors.(Frame or interior trim?)
Alf Cooke Made a lot of the side panels around the sunshine roof and Mr Swallow also made a few".
Fred Turner Did most of the bonnets.
? Morton Made radiator grills.
Joe Edge Made sunshine roof brass gutters.
Happy Aspin Hall Panelling around rear; Under rear window.
Mr Swallow Made scuttles.
All mudguards were bought in.
Seats and all body woodwork (trim?) made in house.
Mr Geoffrey Hilditch, during his career in the Transport Industry reports comments from colleagues who worked for Crossley Motors as saying that, towards the end of production of the Regis, when it seemed that no further cars would be built, a group of staff would commence the building of the appropriate number of chassis and bodies to complete the latest order.
A further comment seems to suggest that, as commercial and military vehicle production became the priority, all vehicles - trucks, buses and cars were sent to the Hyde Works of the Company for finishing in order to relieve the congestion at Gorton Lane. Few Regis cars appeared since this would have been towards the end of production in 1936/7.
From letters to customers in the USA, statements were made by Sales Staff about car production and the cease of production in letters dated January 1937 and August 1937 which would suggest that car production ceased between these dates. Registrations in the chassis list show a Regis registration in April 1937 which would fit into this time slot. However, lack of accurate registration and sales information does not reveal an actual date at this stage and such statements are made with this in mind. Michael Eyre, (Part Author of “Crossley”) points out that Sales Staff are not known for their definitive statements amd may well say whatever they need to say to make a sale or explain why a sale is not possible at a certain time. This point is taken but probably early 1937 – perhaps about May – was the date of the finale of the Regis – unfortunately!
The Irish Regis:
Photo by The Irish Times, 1935.
In 1935, the Irish Times published the above photograph of an “Irish-built Crossley motor car.” It was a more severe shape than even the “interim” Regis and was apparently a chassis assembled in Ireland by Ashenhurst and Williams and Co Ltd., Talbot Place, Dublin with a body designed and constructed “throughout” by Messrs Kellagher and Barrington, 89 The Coombe, Dublin. This car has been mentioned with its photograph in the Crossley Register’s Newsletter but no other information is available.
The late Michael Wylie, an automotive historian in Belfast has tried to find more information for me without success, before he passed away but, as he rightly said, Ireland has not a great liking for Crossley due to their use by the hated Black and Tans in the history of Ireland. So much so that the Crossley Tender features sinisterly in various songs and verse recording these events. (See “Wheels and Deals – People and Places in Irish Motoring” by John O’Donovan, Gill and Macmillan, Dublin 1983. (Starting at page 93.)
An interesting addition from Page 144 is: “Then in 1919 the first Leyland franchise was secured by a small Dublin firm, Ashenhurst and Williams & Co., then located in modest premises in Talbot Place, near Amiens Street. (Later it was to move to larger premises in the Bluebell Industrial estate.) Ashenhurst and Williams which sold Dublin Corporation its first Leyland fire engine and also provided the Leyland straight-eight tourer in which Michael Collins was travelling when killed in 1922, remaining in business until 1982 when it went into voluntary liquidation.
It is hoped that more information can be found on this Regis but we are no holding our breath on the matter! Thanks to the late Michael Wylie and acknowledgments to John O’Donovan for the above details.
1937 Monte Carlo Rally:
The following view shows Regis CNE 829 being checked by officials on arrival at Monte Carlo during the 1937 Rally. This car was owned by Crossley Motors and was Chassis Number 100019 which would date it as 1934 but the car was not registered until 1936, presumably for the Rally. This view is from The Autocar Magazine of 1937 to which acknowledgements are made for its publication.
Photo by The Autocar Magazine,
The photo below shows the Tickford Tourer body with thre straight edge to the top of the door. Photo: The Crossley Register.