The Clan Motor Company was formed by Paul Haussauer and a group of Lotus engineers in the late '60s. The crusader was styled by John Frayling and used the Rootes Imp Sport Engine, suspension and mechanicals, due to their simplicity and lightness. With a kerb weight of around 600 kg it promised good enough performance.
The first production car rolled off the line and was registered on 21st July 1971 and by the 1972 Motor Show company had 19 dealers and were producing cars at the rate of five a week with intent to rise to ten a week at that time.
In rallies, Andy Dawson/John Foden had taken a 998cc version to second overall in the 1972 Manx Rally and Alan Connelly winning the 1972 tour of Mull, Clan set up a separate unit within the factory for competition clans building 15 rally cars and 1 race car. The competition cars were lighter, with strengthening around suspension locations and integral cage moulded into the roof pillars. It looked as though the Clan had arrived and become an institution in one year flat.
The Motor Show 1973 saw The Clan Motor Company there with their test cars in strong demand by the motoring press, but a week later, production had to be suspended due to supply difficulties, with the Clan Motor Company going into liquidation at Christmas with 331 cars being built in the two years.
What was left of the company was sold to a Greek-Cypriot millionaire, Andreas Kaisis, in April 1974. Kaisis’ company assembled KMC trucks using Chrysler components in Cyprus, so the deal looked promising and a four-seater version was envisaged; but, having sold off the part-built cars, the new owner withdrew in the wake of both the continuing fuel crisis and the Greek-Turkish war and that was finally that. So total Clan Crusader production finished at some 358 cars all told.
PBL986M is a works competition shell originally built for hill climbing and sprinting but never used. It had lived in a garden shed since early 2000 until being rescued by its current owner two years ago and rebuilt to full works rally spec, but with the addition of an FIA approved roll cage.
Engine : Four cylinder, rear mounted engine, overhead valve, two valves per cylinder, 110 bhp, 1020cc
Induction : Naturally Aspirated, with twin weber carburettors
Transmission : Rear Wheel Drive, four speed Jack Knight Close Ratio gearbox with Quaife LSD