Manchester is known for many wonderful things and vehicle manufacturing is one of them. Crossley Motors was a Manchester-based car manufacturer that specialised in cars, buses and military goods. Founded in 1906, the company over 19,000 vehicles, 5000 buses and 21,000 military vehicles. Due to the company’s small size it was struggling to survive, which is why in 1958 it was taken over by AEC.
The first ever car by Crossley Motors was built in 1903. It was exhibited at the Society of Motor Manufacturers’ Exhibition in 1904.
When it first started, the company produced cars on a very small scale however as the company grew so did the demand for its vehicles.
During the war, the company supplied a great number of vehicles o the British Army.
Due to the market for hand-made cars slowly disappearing in the late 1920’s, Crossly Motors decided to shift its attention to the bus market. It launched its first model, the Eagle single decker, in 1928. It wasn’t until 1930 that the Condor was introduced, which was Crossley Motor’s first double decker. The Condor made history as it became the first ever British double decker to be powered by diesel. The Mancunian became the company’s most popular pre-war bus and was available both as a single and double decker.
Following the Second World War, wartime loses needed to be replaced, which resulted in a boom in the bust industry. It was at that time that the brand was the most successful, successfully securing a contract with the Dutch government giving Crossley the largest ever British export order for buses at the time.
In the late 1940’s however, the company came to a conclusion that it was too small to survive, which is why it was sold to AEC. Although the last chassis by Crossley was made in 1952, body production continued until 1958 at Erwood Park.
There’s no denying that Crossley Motors will forever remain a part of Manchester’s history.