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This is a very special, rare car and is a true pre-war collectors piece. The Crossley Regis was launched in 1934 and was one of the last models made by the Manchester based Company. The model was available as a sports saloon or a tourer with a choice of 1,122cc 4-cylinder or 1,476cc 6-cylinder Coventry Climax engines allied to a Wilson pre-selector gearbox. A tiny handful of cars were also made with a larger 1,650cc twin carb engine, not for general sale but for members of the Crossley family and friends. This particular car is one of those specials and is one of only two known to survive – indeed just 24 Regis cars are known to exist out of a production run of about 650. Capable of 75mph, it will cruise happily at 60mph, as a letter in the history file attests.
First registered to a Miss Baker of Orpington in December 1934, ABY 590 then had three further keepers until it was acquired by Ron Wilsdon (founder of the Transport Trust) in 1972. Between 1986 and 1992 the Crossley was treated the car to a total nut-and-bolt rebuild that was to employ the services of three restoration firms and ultimately cost some £47,000, as many bills, photographs and letters in the huge history file confirm.
The car was then kept in Harlech, Wales, and became well known on the circuit of shows and rallies, winning ‘Best in Show' at its first public appearance at a historic vehicle rally in 1992. The next owner was Handel Kardas, editor of the Railway World and Transport Trust magazines and after his death in 2000, the car passed into the ownership of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Trust where it was to see service as a VIP car, transporting honoured visitors such as Dame Vera Lynn, who is pictured with the car in the history file.
The Crossley was sold by the Trust in 2009 after it developed an engine fault due to careless use of the pre-selector gearbox. The 'new owner' had the engine stripped and rebuilt and the Crossley was later sold to one of our regular long term customers in Hull. The Crossley was part of a five car collection but covered very little mileage in its time in Hull. We later took the Crossley in part exchange in 2014 as part of a multi-car deal and sold the car on arrival to another long term customer based in Leeds. Similarly, the Crossley was part of a large collection of classic vehicles but this time it was to be driven on a regular basis. The Crossley has covered many miles across Yorkshire over the past couple of years and even attended Malton Show's first ever Classic Car Show, hosted by us July 2016. ABY 590 covered the 100 mile round trip with ease and has been a regular on the show scene over the past few years. The Crossley Regis has now covered in the region of 9000 miles since the major restoration was completed in 1992.
Aside from the aforementioned prodigious file of bills and photographs, the car also comes with copies of the original log book, a buff continuation log book from the 1960s, a large amount of technical literature and road tests relating to the model and a copy of an owner's manual. This rare and charming sports saloon is on the button and ready to go and is sure to prove a real talking point at any vintage event and would be a fine addition to any collection. This is somewhat of an unrepeatable opportunity and without doubt has to be one of the most desirable examples of the marque left to exist.