Classic car Clan Crusader welcomed home to Washington as it joins collection at North East Land Sea & Air Museum

The North East Land Sea & Air Museum (NELSAM) is marking the 50th anniversary of a Washington car plant by putting one of its classic models on display.

The Clan Crusader factory began production in 1971, pre-dating Nissan by 15 years. Production stopped during the UK’s severe economic difficulties of 1973, which led to power cuts.

Only 358 cars were produced at the Crowther Industrial Estate plant, but the Clan Crusader remains a favourite among petrolheads, as well as being highly collectable.

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An enthusiast from Essex, Mark Cox, has now sold his pride and joy to NELSAM. Although he could have sold it for more, he was keen for the vehicle to be looked after and seen by people who most appreciate it, close to where it was built.

The Clan Crusader is now back home, a short distance from where it was built in Washington.

Mark withdrew the car from eBay and agreed a deal covering the original purchase price and transportation and storage costs. The sportscar has just 8,800 miles on the clock.

The chair of NELSAM, David Charles, said: “The addition of the Clan Crusader allows the museum to tell the full story of car manufacture in the region.

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"The museum now houses examples of iconic cars from Washington including the Nissan Bluebird and Micra. This particular Clan is one of the best examples of its type and will be on show to be enjoyed by enthusiasts and visitors alike.

“The museum is grateful to its own for recognising the importance of the car to the region. It is now displayed 10 minutes drive from its place of manufacture.”

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This Tornado jet is also now on display at the North East Land Sea & Air Museum.

Mark Cox said: “The idea of this highly original unique car being preserved in a museum, local to where it was originally made, massively appealed to me, so I withdrew it from eBay to stop any bids escalating.

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"I’m very excited about this, as the car will be preserved and will be educational to people about the area’s local car production history.

“Both my wife and I will be travelling the 600-mile round trip to visit the car at the museum.”

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NELSAM has also recently been presented with a Panavia Tornado jet fighter from the Royal Air Force, in tribute to the support that the North East has given to the RAF.

The Clan Crusader arriving at the North East Land Sea & Air Museum.
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