A Co Down Race Car Builder Who Took An Iconic Fictional Vehicle And Made It A Reality

Since 1960, Crosslè Car Company has been building racing cars for customers around the world from its factory in Holywood.

Success on the race tracks of Europe and the United States brought growth and commercial success, with hundreds of cars exported in the 1970s and 1980s.

Many famous racing drivers started their careers driving a Crosslè.

From 2020 to 2021, the company delivered “Vaillante by Crosslè”, a project which it says transformed its approach to product development and brought “our best financial results for many years”.

The story began at a trade show in France, where MD Paul McMorran met brand owner Michel Vaillant. Michel Vaillant is a fictional £20million racing hero, drawn at the wheel of a spectacular range of machines.

Crosslè proposed to build a real Vaillante for the first time. An emblematic example of one of Michel’s most famous adventures was selected, and Vaillante de Crosslè was born.

It was no small feat to create a vehicle from a 2D print, but the company managed to land this year’s Excellence in Innovation award.

Paul McMorran, Managing Director of Crosslè Car Company said: “A business like ours depends on innovation. We are in a competitive market from a commercial and racing point of view. This innovative idea was born during confinement and it not only created a new car, it created a new market in France.

“It took us two years and it was a half a million pound project using local talent. It was real teamwork.

“We sold 13 of these cars to adult fans of these books and did it all using local talent in Holywood.”

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