Tag Archives: Foden

The Lotus Clan – Clan Crusader

In the late 1960’s early 1970’s at least three sports cars went to market using the all aluminium Coventry Climax derived Hillman Imp / Singer Chamois engine including the Ginetta G15, Davrian Imp and today’s featured vehicle the Clan Crusader.

In 1969 three Lotus Engineers, Paul Haussauer, John Frayling and Brian Luff left the company after an unspecified disagreement with Colin Chapman and founded the Clan Motor Company in Washington, Co Durham, England.

Clan Crusader, Castle Combe

Their one and only model styled by Frayling, employed a steel reinforced monocoque designed by Luff with Imp / Chamois suspension. The handling of the Clan, with a top speed of 100 mph, was said to be superior to that of both the cheaper Ginetta G15 and Davrian Imp.

From late 1971 until the introduction of crippling taxes the car was manufactured in self build or complete forms, with the self builds dropped the Crusader successfully completed independent crash tests in mid 1972. By the end of 1973 production ceased with over 300 complete cars and kits built, despite a healthy order book, due to component supply and financial difficulties.

Clan Crusader, Castle Combe

In 1974 much of the Clan stock and body moulds were shipped to Cyprus, however due to the Turkish military invasion later the same year production never got underway on the Mediterranean island.

Brian Luff made a new set of moulds from an existing car and built some more Crusaders mostly for competition use. Crusaders competition successes included a second place on it’s debut the 1972 Manx International Rally with Andy Dawson and John Foden, 1972 Tour of Mull Rally win for Alan Conley and Crawford Dunn along with two production car trials championships for Mike Hinde in 1973 and Bill Moffat in 1993.

Clan Crusader, Castle Combe

After acquiring Luff’s moulds in 1982 Peter McCandless founded Clan Cars Ltd in Northern Ireland and recommenced production of the a variant of the Crusader now simply known as the Clan which featured a new nose with pop up head lights. Around 120 so called Irish Clans were built for the road and a further 10 for competition.

A Clan Clover model, powered by an Alfa Romeo engine mounted ahead of the rear axle was also built, more than 20 of these cars are thought to have been built before the receivers were called in to Clan Cars in 1987.

Today’s featured 1972 Crusader was seen at Castle Combe a couple of years ago.

Thanks for joining me on this “Lotus Clan” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1948 Bentley called Blue Velvet. Don’t forget to come back now !


To Roll And Not to Rock – Silverstone Classic

Thanks to my friend Caroline lending me her Audi Convertible for one last time I managed to cram a substantial part of what was happening at the Silverstone Classic this weekend into just one 10 hour visit.

Allgaier Porsche, Silverstone Classic

If you like discovering vehicles you never new existed the Silverstone Classic is just the place for you, amongst many vehicles I have never seen before are this streamlined Porsche ‘Diesel’ powered Allgaier agricultural vehicle.

Roger Willis, Mercury Cyclone, Silverstone Classic

Unfortunately my visit coincided with qualification sessions only, Roger Willis, seen here, shared this Mercury Cyclone with 1966 British Saloon Car Champion John Fitzpatrick making a welcome change to a field dominated by Mustangs, Galaxies and a couple of Jags all of varying 1960’s vintages.

Vauxhall Ventora, Silverstone Classic

The Vauxhall Ventora on which this cut down funny car is loosely based was a 4 door saloon / sedan by a General Motors owned marque.

JAH 1L, Silverstone Classic

This well known transporter reg JAH 1L was in use by Team Lotus from 1973 until the 1980’s is painted here in it’s original 1973 John Player Special colour scheme.

March 2 4 0, Silverstone Classic

I was disappointed not to see the CGA Engineering March 761 out but this 1977 spec Formula 1 March 2 4 0 more than made up for it. Allegedly the car was built as a publicity stunt, it never raced but was used to good effect on hill climbing events.

Nippy, Sentinel, Silverstone Classic

Six wheel vehicles, and steam powered vehicles were very much in evidence at Silverstone, found the idea of having this Sentinel steam powered truck delivering tea quite amusing.

Foden 6x6 DROPS, Silverstone Classic

I believe the brave lads from the British Army had the tallest vehicle present, I believe this is a Foden 6×6 DROPS vehicle, the Foden marque has disappeared as has a significant contingent of the British Forces.

Berkley, Silverstone Classic

At the other end of the scale one of the smaller, electric kiddy Land Rover was the smallest , 4 wheel vehicles I saw was this 1959 Berkley.

Bob Berridge, Sauber C11, Silverstone Classic

Rain added a little authenticity to the late Group C practice session which was only about 20mins long, I could have stayed out all night listening to the mighty roar that eminates from the Sauber C11 of Bob Berridge by far the best sounding and looking Group C ever IMHO.

Aston DB2/4, Touring, Silverstone Classic

Car of the day for me was this 1953 Touring Aston DB2/4 I believe the RHD is a giveaway that this car was won by a Mr Smith who responded to a newspaper competition to sum up the cars design with a catch phrase.

Even if I had been camping I probably would have been too exhausted to catch the line up of tribute bands on the first night of the Silverstone Classic festival I guess all of my passion is focused on cars and very little of it on music.

PS It would appear NASCAR contractors who prefer to settle their differences in pit row rather than on track might want to take a leaf out of events that unfolded at the Silverstone Classic in the pit lane. See linked story by Tony ‘Giraffe’ Gallagher.

Thanks for joining me on another Classic edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !