Autopoint Articles


Autopoint Articles


A charming red brick period house and adjoining workshops located near Holywood, Belfast is the unlikely location of the longest surviving constructor of racing cars in the UK, the Crossle Car Company, and is also the home of John and Rosemary Crossle. John Crossle built and raced his first car back in 1957 and shortly afterwards went into business producing innovative and very successful racing cars for the 1172cc Ulster Ford Formula. From such small beginnings, over 1,000 Crossle racing and sports cars have been designed and built in the last 55 years, an incredible achievement for such a small comapany in a very competitive business and also a tribute to strong Ulster grit and determination through many years of terrible troubles in Northern Ireland. Many Crossle cars were sold to America, and to-day a number of Crossle 9S sports cars have gone to Switzerland. Crossle Formula Ford cars from as far back as the late ‘sixties continue to be raced in Ireland and further afield, which is a tribute to their acknowledged advanced design, build quality and strength

The list of famous drivers who raced Crossle Formula Fords includes Nigel Mansell, Eddie Irvine, Derek Daly, David Kennedy and Eddie Jordan who all went on to achieve fame and fortune in Formula One. Ulsterman John Watson raced a Crossle sports cars with considerable success on his way to F.1. At the recent historic gathering in the Crossle Car Company’s HQ deep in the heart of Rory’s Wood, many Irish drivers who raced Crossle cars in the past were there to welcome the new owner Paul McMorran and amongst the ‘oldtimers’ were Tommy Reid, Brian Nelson, Richard Young, Plum Tyndall, Ken Fildes, Anthony Murray, P.J.Fallon and Martin McCarthy.

Arnie Black bought the Crossle Car Company in 1997. Arnie, a very successful driver of Crossle Formula Ford 1600 and 2000, and 9S sportscars, has now entrusted the future of the iconic company to Paul McMorran, the new Managing Director of the Crossle Car Company.

Paul McMorran was born in Belfast in 1958, when John Crossle was alreading building and racing his own cars. Having studied at Belfast Royal Academy he took a degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Edinburgh. He gained valuable experience in welding and fabrication skills at Harland and Wolff, the Belfast shipyard, He has accumulated 32 years experience in the petroleum industry, in South-East Asia, Middle East, West Africa and Continental Europe. From 1998 he held executive positions with major Russian oil companies, married a Russian lady and they lived in Moscow for fifteen years with their three children. As well as his engineering and business background, Paul is fluent in French and Russian, and has diverse passions from motor racing to opera, the seas and the lakes of his native Ulster. His Crossle racing successes include the ADAC Von Trips Cup in Germany, Dutch Historic Monoposto Championship, and the pre-82 Formula Ford Championship at Kirkistown. He drove a Crossle 17F to third place at the Monaco Historic race meeting in 2010.

Crossle fans worldwide share his vision of “an exciting new chapter in the history of this unique company” . With Paul’s drive and enthusiasm, the extended and dedicated Crossle Clan will not have to wait long for news of future plans and developments.