Monday 22nd July 2019,

Clan 1982 – 1986: The Irish Clan

The original Clan Crusader was a British sports-car that because of it`s rarity soon became a true classic car. However, the unfortunate VAT imposition in 1973 took it’s toll and the Clan factory closed.

The company and body moulds were then bought by Cypriot Truck owner Andreas Kaisis. All of Clan’s tooling and equipment was shipped to Cyprus where they remained untouched during the Turkish invasion of Northern Cyprus. When the heat blew over the Clan moulds and stock were brought back to England by Ian Hopper.

The `Irish Clan` appeared in 1982. Peter McCandless, a Clan enthusiast, obtained the body-moulds and opened a factory in Newtownards in Northern Ireland.  John DeLorean with his DMC-12 did the same for the same reason. The politics of the day were to create more jobs in Northern Ireland so governmental development grants were  available.

Using the later 998 cc Imp engine in two performance versions, McCandless built 120 road-cars and 10 racing-cars in the four years until closure in 1986. The ‘Series II’ Clan was now available in various ranges from a boxed-up kit car for around £1.500 to a completely assembled version with fully tuned engine for almost £10.000.

This Clan was not called `Crusader` but was visually very similar to it. One great improvement was the installation of `pop-up` headlights which vastly enhanced the look of the bonnet area. Another improvement was the fitting of MGB disc brakes. If the reader comes across a Clan he/she will recognise an English version (Crusader 1971-1974) by it`s `frog-eyed` headlights. Only Irish cars have the retractable type.

Detailed technical specs are scares for this car but we can say that the chassis and body-shell remained unchanged from the original Clan Crusader apart from the three revisions aforementioned. With the new fully specced-up 998 Hilman Imp engine it is said that the Clan could achieve 110 mph using the same transmission. Two versions of tune were available, one called the ‘E’ at 65 bhp and an ‘S’ rated at 78 bhp.

The reader is advised to also read the post about Clan Crusader, to fully understand the Clan story. The Clan was a long way short of being a luxury car, more of a Spartan chariot, but it represented good value and a lot of fun.

Irish Clan 1982-1986 Specs
Body Type2 seater Fixedhead coupe
Engine PlacementRear
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Cargo VolumeNext to none
Engine998 Hillman Imp E spec SOHC 8V
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement998 cc60.9 cui
Power48 Kw65 bhp6000 RPM
Torque89 Nm66 ft. lb4500 RPM
Power/weight106 bhp/t
Top Speed169 km/h105 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph10 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight615 kg1356 lb
Engine998 Hillman Imp S spec SOHC 8V
Cylindersstraight 4
Displacement998 cc60.9 cui
Power58 Kw78 bhp6000 RPM
Torque108 Nm80 ft. lb4500 RPM
Power/weight127 bhp/t
Top Speed177 km/h110 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph8.9 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight615 kg1356 lb

Pictures: © imps4ever

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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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