After reading your recent article on the Clan Crusader, I thought you may be interested in the driving experiences of one who has owned a Clan since August 1972 (seven months) and 19,600 miles later. First the good: It is certainly one of the most enjoyable cars to drive that there can be. The beautiful steering that simply requires wrist movement makes most other so-called sports cars feel like lorries! The one-piece chassis is remarkably “solid” over nearly all road surfaces and keeps rattles and creaks to a minimum. Contrary to the road report I find the seats to be extremely comfortable, especially over long distances and the way the 875 c.c. engine revs. is a delight (though it really needs a 998 c.c. unit).
Now to the not so good: The servicing can only be described as awful. Since August the car has consumed no less than three water pumps, for which the distributor’s service dept. charged me even though I am informed by a Hillman dealer that over-tightening of the fan belt (carried out by the distributor) is the cause. Huge draughts through the doors and windows that need a superman to open and close them receive comments such as, “yes, but what do you expect? they’re all like that”!
Last week, the starter Bendix jammed four times and one night I climbed in to discover that there were no electrics at all! The battery had to be charged next morning to start the car.
I won’t go into the three times it’s let me down by the Motorway-side, the most annoying part being that letters to both the factory and the distributor simply result in more demands for bill payment!
In conclusion, I’d like to say to anyone who fancies a Clan that the motoring will be well enjoyed, but be prepared to walk!