The good old days…

Mr Ezzeldin sent us this photograph from back in the days. We think the car on the photograph is a 15 ph. Crossley. Better known as the ``Shelsley`` model. This sporting version was introduced in 1913, with the well-known peaked / V shaped radiator. Many of the Crossley cars were delivered in chassis only form. Then either Crossley themselves or independent coach builders built several two and four-seater bodies on the customer’s request.

This specific photograph is taken in front of Villa Austria at Road 12 Maadi, Cairo in Egypt. Which was probably around 1914. Back then, the car was owned by (we think) the man sitting behind the steering wheel. We think so, because we do know for sure, the car was later owned by Annie Gismann (the little baby in the photograph). Which we assume is his daughter (or other relative), she owned the car until her death in 1969.

After her death, it is a mystery what happened with the car. Is there anyone who knows this story, knows more about this specific car, or maybe more about these makes? Please let us know, and comment below!

Do you also have a photograph with such a wonderful story you would like to share? Or a photograph you would like to know more about? Send it to us, and maybe we or other car fanatics can help you complete your story.

Source: Monarchy and Dynasty
Sent in by Mahmoud Ezzeldin

Published: Sunday July 9th, 2017


  • The body style and "V" radiator of the 25/30 pictured was designed in 1913/14 by Harold Lambert (Percy Lambert's Brother) He was employed by Crossley and also had owned a Dealership in London specializing in 15HP Crossley cars. Not surprisingly he raced 15HP cars with great success at Brooklands. He re-designed the 15HP in to the Sporting Shelsley model first, in late 1912 for the 1913 season and followed later with the 20/25. Both models had flat radiators in 1912. Although the "Manchester Tourer"was advertised during the War period from 1916 with its "Trout nose" radiator. it would not be available until 1918/19.

  • I believe this is a 25/30 Crossley 'Manchester Tourer' 1919 to 1925

  • Great shot Mahmoud! It brings back memories from my youth when I lived in Maadi (from 1960 - 1964). We first lived in an old villa, I believe on the crossing of Road 85 and Road 17, and later in a Frank Lloyd Wright inspired villa on Road 20. I never went back again after a friend had warned me that, once you have gone back, your fine memories are wiped out forever. Maadi was a true paradise at the time and the Sporting Club was a wonderful place for spending your free time. Best, Hans

  • I don't wish to contradict the narrative above but the car I believe is a 25/30 model Crossley, 1919 onwards, not a Shelsley model of 1914. The radiator is too tall for the Edwardian model.

  • Are we sure of the model here? I'm not a Crossley expert but I always thought that the Shelsley was a more rakish body. This looks more like the Manchester tourer to me. Less sporting but arguably more elegant

  • researching Villa Austria and the architect eduard matasek I found the following:

    kind regards Thomas from tyrol


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