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Homepage. This page: A proud owner introduces his rare Cluley 10/20 tourer, built in Coventry during the early 1920s.

Roger's vintage Cluley 10/20.

Roger dropped me a note with some information on a vintage Singer elsewhere on the site, and also sent over some fascinating information about a rare Cluley 10/20 tourer that he discovered and subsequently restored. The photo below shows the finished car, registration NX 6115.
A rare Cluley 10/20 car
The car was built in 1923. Out of the 800 or so that were built in Coventry between 1920 and 1928, only 10 are known to have survived. Roger runs the register for these surviving cars, and is keen to track down any more material that relate to this manufacturer.
"My car, NX-6115, was owned from new by Sidney James, who was the office manager of a Ford main agent/garage and car dealership in Leamington Spa called Midland Autocar Co. In 1932 he bought a more up to date car, a Standard, and he gave the old Cluley to his employers, who used it as a garage hack for a number of years on trade plates. At some point the car was left in an old lock up. Sidney James died in 1950 and in about 1959 the Cluley was dug out and got back into running order. It was sold to a collector, Roger Thorpe, of Wellesbourne. Mr Thorpe had many more interesting cars, and the Cluley was left to moulder away in an old fire station, un-restored and decaying.
"In April 1984 Mike Worthington Williams wrote an article in The Automobile featuring Cluley. Roger Thorpe sent a picture of NX-6115 which was published in The May edition. The picture stayed in my sub-conscious until the car was advertised for sale at the end of 1985. I went to view the car which still had a 1933 tax disc in the window from the last time it was taxed. I am a keen cyclist and have a number of veteran bicycles, most of which I had restored. I had never restored a car, but had the idea that I could do this gradually. Cluley having been a cycle manufacturer, the car was of particular interest.
"I bought a lock-up garage cheaply and the car was moved there. Restoration took 15 years during which time I had 2 children, moving house in 1989 to a house with a garage where I could strip the whole machine down and rebuild it. There was extensive wet rot and woodworm in the ash frame and about 50% of this was replaced while retaining all the original part steel, part aluminium body. Research was carried out into the company history and I located all the original factory records showing that 702 of these cars were made. I have run the car since 2001 and it is a delight to drive.
The photograph below shows the Cluley in "as found" condition, outside Midland Autocar (Warwick). Note the early Morris 1000 van being topped up with fuel in the background.
The Cluley automobile
Thanks for the write-up Roger!
Your Classic Cars section at oldclassiccar

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