Clan Owners Club

Crusader 40

40th Anniversary of the Clan Crusader

Forty years after the first car rolled off the production line the Clans returned to Washington, Tyne & Wear, as the Clan Owners Club celebrated the anniversary during the weekend of the 2nd/3rd July.

The celebrations included trips on Saturday to the impressive local coast with photo shoots at the Souter Lighthouse and then, in the afternoon, members and their cars descended on the Northern Aircraft Museum in Sunderland for a mass line-up of 22 Clans in front of a Vulcan bomber undergoing restoration. In the evening some eighty members and friends gathered for a celebration dinner at the Holiday Inn, Washington, where the guests of honour, Paul and Heather Haussauer, were entertained. Paul was the Managing Director of the Clan Motor Co. and his after dinner speech enlightened those present as to some of its history.

On the Sunday morning, 36 Clans travelled in convoy from the hotel, via the original factory building on the Crowther Industrial Estate for another photo-stop and then on to a reserved car park at the Galleries Shopping Centre complex where they were joined by more Clans to bring the total to 46, around 10% of the total Clan production. The Clans were joined there by the cars other local classic enthusiasts and together, they provided an impressive display for members of the public. Two Clans left the display during the afternoon to feature in the launch of a new locally brewed beer, at the Washington Old Hall (the ancestral home of George Washington).

Clans on display included the prototype Crusader that evolved into the works rally car which made a very successful debut on the 1972 Manx International Rally and the first car off the production line in 1971, still in pristine condition and driven all the way from Milton Keynes to Washington by Jim McEwan, the Clan Owners Club archivist. Several other notable competition cars attended including the racers of the Richards family and the very successful rally Crusader campaigned in the early 1970’s by Alan Conley of the Wylam Garage, Northumberland. The 46 car line-up was judged for concourse condition by Keith Noble Chairman of the North-Eastern Restoration Club. Prize tankards went to Steve Fenner for the best original Clan and to Scott Fanning for the best restoration. Such was the standard of cars on display that judging was no easy task – a compliment to the care of the owners and the quality of the original production of the Clan Motor Company.

Once all the judging was over on Sunday afternoon, members dispersed towards the South Coast, Scotland, and all points in between, after a very successful celebration of the manqué. Club Secretary and Event Organiser, James Spencer, said that it had been fantastic weekend with the largest Clan gathering for 30 years and if he was still able to get into his Clan he would be returning for the 50th Anniversary in 10 years time.