Crescent cyclecars were first built in Pleck Road, Walsall. The first model, powered by an 8hp. air-cooled ‘V’ twin JAP engine, and belt drive, appeared in 1911. Unfortunately the belt drive proved to be inadequate in wet weather and so an improved model, powered by a friction drive, that was guaranteed for 8,000 miles, soon became available. The car had some success in trials. In December 1912 B.N. Bailey won a gold medal in the very first cyclecar trial, along a 100 mile route from Birmingham to Stratford-upon-Avon, and back.

Mrs Hartley Smith driving a 1912 Crescent car. Courtesy of the late Jim Boulton.

In 1913 production moved to Britannia Works at Smethwick and a new model was launched. The new car had a Blumfield or Precision water-cooled 8hp. engine, a chain drive to the rear axle, a tubular steel chassis, front wheel brakes, and a transmission brake. The rear axle was not fitted with a differential, instead the chain only drove one wheel, the other being driven by a friction drive. The open 2 seater sold for £127, but very few were built. Production ended in 1915 after the onset of the First World War.

Mark Longmore’s Crescent cyclecar, the only known survivor.

This example was made in Smethwick in 1914.

Another view of Mark Longmore’s Crescent cyclecar.
A final view of Mark Longmore’s Crescent cyclecar.

The builder's plate on Mark Longmore's car.

The interior of Mark Longmore's car.

An advert from 1914.

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