About Me

I was born just after WW2 in the part of Lancashire which is now in Cheshire and there I spent my early years until my father’s job necessitated a move south in the year of the Queen’s Coronation. My parents, elder sister and I then settled in a village just north of Oxford and I have lived in Oxfordshire ever since.

james spencer with his clan crusader

Me with my yellow Clan Crusder

Having grown up in the age when car ownership was becoming more popular I have always been fascinated by them, even as a 4 year old I was the only child in the area to wear out the tyres on his pedal car and my father having two Zephyr Six’s fuelled my enthusiasm. I couldn’t wait to be 17th and on my birthday I had my provisional licence, ‘L’ plates and was behind the wheel of my father’s Morris Oxford. The Zephyrs had gone by then, which was probably a good thing as I don’t think dad was impressed with the speed I took road junctions on that first outing, but soon all was well and I passed my test first time, four and a half months later.

My first Job was in Local Government 10 miles away from home and until I passed my driving test transport to and from work was a Lambretta TV175 Scooter. After a winter out in the open I was glad to get my first car, a 1958 Standard Ten and having little spare cash I soon learned how to carry out major repairs in order to keep the Standard on the road. It served me well until I upgraded to a 1968 Hillman Imp, this in itself was unusual as living around Oxford with the BMC Cowley Plant close by most of my friends were driving Morris or Austin products, but not surprising as I had discovered Rallying and the exploits of the Rootes works Rally Imps did not go un­noticed.

However in the early 70’s there was a new Imp powered car that was doing extremely well, the Clan Crusader and a friend whom I rallied with bought a Rally prepared version. That was it I had to have one, so when my second Imp was in need of replacement I looked around for a Crusader but they were not easy to find as by then the Clan Motor Company had gone into liquidation and the car was out of production, so try as I may I was unable to buy one, eventually, like many others I turned to the blue oval and bought.

Many Fords later in 2001 I was persuaded by a friend to take a Hillman Imp for restoration and I joined The Imp Club. However whilst buying parts for the Imp I came across a bright Orange Clan Crusader that was for sale and remembering the excitement of the 70’s I had to have it, a deal was struck and in 2002 I bought it and joined the Clan Owners Club. In 2007 the opportunity to acquire another Car presented itself and I became the owner of a yellow Crusader which is the Clan Motor Companies Motor Show car from 1972. This car required full restoration but was back on the road in 2008. Whilst involved with the Clans I have also restored two Imps, one of which, a Caledonian, I still own.

At the Clan Owners Club AGM in 2005 I volunteered to join the Committee as Club Secretary, a position which I still hold. During my time as Secretary I have been involved in all of the Club Activities, even organising some of them like the Clubs 30th Anniversary at Coventry Transport Museum in 2008 and the 40th Anniversary of the Clan Crusader in Washington, Tyne and Wear, in 2011. In 2014 I took on the additional responsibility of Spares Co­ordinator and now organise and distribute all the Clan Owners Club Spares.

I was interviewed as part of an item on The Clan Motor Company featuring on ‘Timeline’.