Brand: Crossley


On the outbreak of war in August 1914 Crossley of Manchester, which had supplied 56 examples of its 4.5-litre 20/25-hp model to the infant Royal Flying Corps since 1913, turned almost entirely to producing vehicles for military service. By the end of hostilities four years later, there were over 6000 in use. The Crossley 20/25, or War Office Type J tourer, was one of the standard staff cars along with the D-Type Vauxhall and 16-hp Sunbeam, but most of the 10,000 or so chassis built during the war were fitted with ambulance, mobile workshop, light truck and RFC Light Tender bodies. The "RFC" model gave such excellent service that Crossley was chosen to supply vehicles to the Royal Flying Corps' successor, the Royal Air Force, for the next quarter-century.

Designed by former railway engineer Walter Iden, the 20/25-hp Crossley was the longest-lived of all Crossley's models, and was in production – uprated as the 25/30-hp in 1918 – between 1909 and 1925. The Auto – which thought the Crossley "difficult to equal and impossible to excel" – praised its robust five-bearing crank engine for its "cleanliness of design, simple hand-room, short hose-jointings and general 'owner-driverliness' of layout". Transmission was by a separate four-speed and reverse gearbox, three-point suspended in the frame, with a transmission brake on the output shaft.

Pioneering motorist S.F. Edge, the former commercial genius behind Napier, described the RFC Crossley as "a straightforward, upstanding, cut-and-come-again kind of chassis, full of capacity for hard work."

Crossleys served in every theatre of war, but when peace came, all government orders were cancelled. Though some 20/25s were rebuilt to the improved 25/30 specification and retained by the Royal Air Force, the rest were gradually sold off by the War Office. Many were bought back by Crossley and rebuilt in the newly-acquired Avro aircraft factory before being sold as Avro-RFCs, either as bare chassis or with van bodies, a venture that lasted until 1924.

Source: Conceptcarz, Hemmings, other

1918 Crossley 20/25HP RFC Van

1918 Crossley 20/25HP RFC Van

The 1918 Crossley 20/25HP RFC Van was a vehicle produced by Crossley Motors, a British manufacturer ..

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