A brief history of the Clan Motor Co.
Beginning in 1971…………..
The Clan Crusader is a fibreglass monocoque sports two-seater, powered by the rootes imp sport engine, with suspension and main running gear from the same manufacturer.
The Crusader was originally conceived by a group of lotus engineers in the late ’60s. Paul Haussauer formed the Clan Motor Company and developed a prototype vehicle, styled by John Frayling.
Initial production of the first few cars started in a nursery factory in Washington, Tyne-and-Wear. They were completed and registered by July 1971. A purpose built factory unit was leased, taking advantage of government grants designed to improve employment in the area.
By the official start of production, in September 1971, five cars a week were being produced. This continued despite the coal miners’ strike the next winter, the knock on effect of which caused supply problems. This prevented, to some extent, the growth of production, the factory being capable of four times this throughput.
Approximately 350 cars were built by Clan Motor Company, some at the beginning being sold in component form, i.e. Bodyshell fully trimmed, all wiring, glass and piping fitted. (in the same way as lotus elans) to beat the 25% purchase tax. With the advent of vat, component kits were dropped. In May 1972 the Crusader was successfully crash tested at MIRA.
Production ceased in late 1973 due to the company’s financial difficulties, even though sales were still good. Several finished and part-finished cars were sold after the company’s closure.
This is a very genuine and original example of a 1972 Clan Crusader that has survived the past 40+ years remarkably well and pretty much still as it left the factory back in 1972 , build/chassis # 01000077 ( # 77 ? ) (out of a total production of 350 ) and believe it would have been a factory built car.
The recorded mileage of 82,000 miles is believed to be genuine.
Just out of dry storage after 10 years and now undergoing some light recommissioning but will require further work.
Listed below is the owners brief description of the car …..
Body……… I believe the body to be in exceptional condition for it’s age, having owned many 60s-70s lotus/tvr/ginneta etc this one is very good. Only minor pickling to the paintwork here and there but could be in the fibreglass also.
All gaps are good and no evidence of past accident repairs etc. The paintwork however although acceptable from 10 foot but under close examination it is obvious that the paint is very old, I believe it is cellulose so would greatly benefit from a flat with 1200 wet and dry and a good moping and polish.
The rare original rubber bumpers are still in place and are in very good condition.
Mechanics…… the 998 sport engine fires up first time and runs nicely showing 50 ibs oil pressure and doesn’t seem to overheat. The clutch works ok and selects all gears. The transaxle seems to be ok as does the drive shafts and doughnuts.
New battery just fitted.
Remote oil cooler.
Just fitted reconditioned brake and clutch masters cylinders. Also fitted two new front brake flexie hoses’s. The brakes however still require further work which is mainly the n/s/rear slave cylinder which is seized. Just adjustment required once this is replaced.
Fitted with stainless sport exhaust with the original sport tubular multi branch manifold.
Interior…….. The interior is in exceptional original condition, I have had both front seats re-covered in the original pattern vinyl and rebuilt the sub frames with new zinc plated bolts.
Almost perfect original “basket weave” roof liner/door cards/rear compartment. The dash is original and perfect with all instruments functioning correctly. The black carpets are very good as is the rare original steering wheel/badge.
Both drivers and passenger drop glass function correctly. Even the period radiomobile radio still works! The sundym tinted glass is in excellent condition with only a slight scratch to the drivers drop glass.
The original fitment webatso folding sunroof is in as new condition together with it’s roof lining and functions perfectly.
“Chassis” ……the “chassis” appears to be in very good original condition from what I can see of it, it would appear that the car had some major work carried out before it was put into storage with new looking copper brake pipes plus other tall-tail signs of work and a coating of wax oil to the “chassis” also. The Clan Crusader does not in fact have a separate chassis, it was unique in it’s day as it was of glass fibre monocoque construction with no separate chassis.
Wheels/tyres……ounce again the original fitment “cosmic” alloys are in superb condition as are the Goodyear “G800 Grand Prix S” tyres inc the spare/cover/tool kit.
Lighting/ancillaries……………. the lights are all functioning correctly, as are the wipers, heater, indicators and instrument back lights etc. As previously mentioned, the vintage radio also works!
Number plates…………. I have had a pair of very nice period silver on black number plates made, not yet fitted but ready with the car.
Summary….. A very honest and genuine example of this now rare car. Out of the 350 or so produced there can only be half that amount remaining world-wide today??
This is a “survivor” car and not a restored example…………..at present a cheaper alternative to it’s ginetta “cousin” but prices are now rising making it a very usable investment.
This car is being offered for sale on Ebay UK as an on-going restoration project.