Crossle Car Company founder awarded MBE
By Tony Gregory
Over the Christmas season it was announced that Dr John Crossle, founder of Holywood based Crossle Car Company had been awarded an MBE in the Queen‘s New Year Honours list.
John Crosslé, a former champion motorcyclist built his first racing car in 1957, The Crosslé Mk 1 and subsequently the Mk 11 and Mk 111 - all 1172cc Ford Specials and in those early years of competing he won trophy after trophy, notably the prestigious Regent Trophy at Kirkistown.
Crosslé‘s attention to detail and value for money ideals, coupled with innovative design and sensible construction, soon led to a rapidly expanding company, which has gone on to be the longest surviving production racing car manufacturer in the UK. Having built over 1000 competition cars with the majority for export they still uniquely operate from their original factory, tucked into the Holywood foothills and surrounded by Redburn Park.
Under Crossle‘s long stewardship, cars have been produced cars for other national and international formulae, including Formula 5000, Formula Two and Formula Junior. It has also produced well-regarded cars for various classes in sports car racing. Many drivers who have since gone on to become household names drove Crosslé cars while in the early stages of their career. Among these are former Formula One drivers Nigel Mansell, John Watson, Eddie Irvine and Martin Donnelly. Former Jordan Grand Prix team owner Eddie Jordan also began his racing career in a Crossle.
John‘s reaction to the news of being named MBE in the Queen‘s New Year Honours list has been characteristically modest and understated. For his many friends and admirers around the world, however, this honour is a long-overdue recognition of the esteem in which he is held as an outstanding engineer, entrepreneur and gentleman.