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British Industrial History

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Crouch Motors

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August 1912.
December 1912.
January 1913. Carette.
September 1913.
November 1913.
November 1913.
March 1914.
November 1919.
November 1919.
November 1919. Specifications.
1920.
November 1922.
November 1922.
June 1923. Crouch 10 Four.
October 1923.
October 1923. Models, prices and specifications.
March 1924

Crouch Cars of Bishop Street and from 1914 Cook Street, Coventry.

Made cars from 1912 and made cars until 1928.

1912 Company was founded by John W. F. Crouch

The first model, the Carette was a 3 wheeled cyclecar with a side valve, water cooled Crouch V twin engine of 740 cc mounted behind the seats. It was of unconventional appearance with a low, wide radiator. The chassis frame was of ash with metal armouring and the drive was to the single rear wheel via a 3 speed gearbox and chain. It cost around a £100 and was claimed to be capable of 35 mph and 50 miles per gallon. Later in 1912 it was also available as a four wheeler with the engine enlarged to 906 cc.

1912 Listed in Spennell's at Gosford St (Tel. 339), Coventry as Motor Car Manufacturers. [1]

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices see the 1917 Red Book

In 1913 it grew to 994 cc and in 1914 to 1018 cc. One of the cars gained a Gold Medal in the 1912 London-Exeter trial. When production restarted after the war the model became known as the 8 with the engine now displacing 1115 cc. The last one may have been made as late as 1922 when it cost £245.

1914 December. Advertising for staff [2]

1915 Re-structured as Crouch Motors (1915)

In 1922 a more conventional car came along, the 8/18, still a 2 seater and dickey, with pressed steel chassis and shaft drive. The V twin engine was retained however but now with overhead valves and 1248 cc capacity. It was listed at £285. About 1500 V twin cars are thought to have been made after the First World War and possibly 400 before 1914.

With other manufacturers offering 4 seat cars at less money it was necessary for Crouch to change and in 1922 the 12/24 was announced at £350 for a four seater and £335 for a two seater with four cylinder Anzani 1496 cc engine and 3 speed gearbox. An electric starter was fitted. A 60 mph Sports and 80 mph Super Sports were listed and one of these were raced at Brooklands by Alfred Moss, the father of Sir Stirling Moss who sold the cars from his London premises. About 800 12/24s are thought to have been made.

The cars were still expensive and so in 1923 the Economic 10/4 10 hp model was announced at £250 using a four cylinder Dorman side valve engine of 1200 cc. It was not terribly successful and only about 60 were made.

For 1925 the 12/24 became the 12/30, the Economic vanished and what was to be the final car the 11/27 was announced. This had a 1368 cc Coventry Simplex 4 cylinder side valve engine and was priced between £225 and £285. About 100 11/27s were made.

The company disappeared with many others as a result of the depression and the rise of mass produced small cars which could comfortably undersell the largely hand built small makers models. A failed export order didn't help.

Of the approximately 3,000 cars made only about 5 are known to have survived.

At its peak Crouch employed about 400 people and turned out 25 cars a week. John Crouch, the founder, had trained with Daimler and his son Bob Crouch worked there after the family firm closed. He eventually became head of bus sales.

It had no connection with Crouch of New Brighton, Pennsylvania, USA who made steam cars between 1897 and 1900.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Spennell's Annual Directory of Coventry and District, 1912-13
  2. Coventry Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 08 December 1914

[1] Wikipedia