|Terrence I. Murphy, 21.02.2012|
The Southern Cross was an Australian automobile manufactured between 1931 and 1935.
Financed by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, a noted flying pioneer, the car featured a monocoque chassis and body, and was built from laminated plywood. Rumors quickly began circulating that the body was a fire risk, so the timber was sheathed in steel to protect it. The engine, a locally-produced flat-four of unknown capacity, developed 55 bhp (41 kW), giving brisk performance for the era. Open and closed models were manufactured. Two cars built used a torque converter, developed in Australia, instead of a clutch. It is unknown how many Southern Cross cars were produced, probably no more than ten, but none have survived. The marque died with Kingsford Smith, who was in the process of raising additional capital at the time of his death.