Talisman/Legend/Clubman differences?

Motorhome Facts -> AutoSleeper Motorhomes

Author: zooterkin PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:53 pm    Post subject:  Talisman/Legend/Clubman differences?

Hi, new member, but motorhome owner for a few years.

We currently have a 1990 Autosleeper Rambler, but we're looking at replacing it with a Talisman of a similar age, for the extra space inside (we have two dogs, who travel in a crate on one of the couches, and we need to put up the drive-away awning when we get somewhere in order to move the crate out. With the bigger van, we could have smaller crates on the floor, and not have to put up the awning in all cases.)

We've been looking around, and have realised that the Legend and the Clubman look very similar except for being on a Ford or VW respectively.

Does anyone know of the details of what the differences actually are? I think, from looking at photos, that the Talisman may be slightly longer (there seems to be an extra narrow cupboard by the fridge, and on the other side, next to the wardrobe).

Also, any comments on the relative merits of the different base vehicles would be appreciated. We've been pretty happy with the Fiat Ducato that our Rambler is based on, so wouldn't have any worries about the Talisman base vehicles.

We're probably most interested in a 2.0 petrol version (although diesel gives higher mpg, we're close to the M25, and are worried about the Low Emission Zone which will apply to diesel vans of the age we're looking at from next year), and manual rather than auto gearbox due to the lower cost.

Also, any other vans in a similar price range we should look at? The attraction of the Talisman is the mono-coque construction, and the layout works for us.

Author: Auto-SleeperAAA PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:04 pm    Post subject:  Rambler to Talisman


Regarding your wish to change from your 1990 Auto-Sleeper Rambler to a
Talisman of a similar age, we would make the following observations which,
perhaps, are helpful.

The 1990 is, of course, built on the Talbot Express chassis and these were
prone to corrosion on the lower radii of the windscreen pillar and
particularly on the top of the front wheelarch. Whilst the latter models of
the Talbot Express were better rust treated than the earlier models, this is
neverthless a point of which you should be aware.

The virtue of the Talbot Express Talisman is that it is an extremely roomy
vehicle within and compared with our current models, nonetheless, offers a
very large amount of space particularly with regards to the living and the
kitchen area. The Talisman is indeed a little longer than, for example, the
Clubman - as you rightly say it is due to the extra narrow cupboard by the
fridge and a similar unit forward of the wardrobe on the offside.

Desirable though the Talisman be - and its virtues are that it is very roomy
within - you want to bear in mind the potential corrosion of the metal
bodywork, although of course the glassfibre coachwork may only need
re-polishing to give it a new and gleaming appearance.

In summary, look very closeley at the areas we have suggested - an
inspection on a lift to inspect the underside of the body would be advisable
as well. However, the furniture is hand built and the ramin hardwood edging
is easily re-polished to give it an 'as new' appearance and Farecla
products, held by Motorhome Service Centre on 01386 853511, are available to
enable you to re-polish the coachwork.

If you wish to have any further discussions, feel free to contact Charles
Trevelyan at The Motorhome Service Centre, Willersey, on the above number - he has been with the Company for some 22 years and is well familiar with
this particular model.



Author: JulieW

Location: near Reading, UK

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject:  

Thanks Simon.

I'm co-owner of the above Rambler. It's good to hear useful information "from the horse's mouth".

From further internet trawling we've done since the original post, it appears that the Clubman won't suit us, as it appears to have permanently inward facing bench seats with no option to convert to forward facing belted rear seats and / or dinette seating arrangement. Is that always the case? Both the belted rear seat and (half) dinette seating arrangement (with both front seats able to swivel) are important to us and the way we expect to use the new 'van, based on our experience with the Rambler.

And to clarify: is the Talisman a little longer than the Legend as well as the Clubman? (And includes the two extra cupboards.) The Legends we have seen appear to be based on a Ford rather than Talbot. Is this always the case, or is it just coincidence? On the other hand, we have seen people advertising their Ford "Talisman". Is this an error (possibly deliberate if the Talisman is better known than the Legend)? Or are some Talismans genuinely built on a Ford chassis?

We still haven't seen a Talisman in the flesh yet - only a Ford Legend. Given that most people treat the Fiat/Peugeot/Talbot as essentially the same van, would I be correct in thinking that the cab area in a Talbot will be pretty similar to the Fiat Ducato cab in our current Rambler, or were there differences there too? For instance, the fact that the Fiat automatically switches the headlights off when the ignition is switched off is one of those useful little tricks that prevents an embarrassing flat battery - especially given that a) our modern company car does it too, making it more difficult to remember to do it in the 'van, and b) we use the 'van regularly as our "other car".

One photo we've seen of a Talisman for sale (way too far away for us to consider) shows a table positioned between the two front seats. Is this normal, or an addition by previous owners? Again, this is something we've improvised in our Rambler, but such little details are useful to know before embarking on long journeys to view something, and it's easy to forget to ask every single pertinent question of the current owner, especially when you're not sure which things are standard and which aren't.

One last question: We have seen some 'vans advertised as a "GL" model. What are the differences between the GL and non-GL?

OK. Two last questions Wink
Is there an (online?) archive somewhere of layouts / specs of older Autosleeper models? Such things are freely available for new 'vans, and it would be an invaluable resource for people like ourselves, on a budget, trying to evaluate which 'vans "of a certain age" will meet their needs.


Author: Auto-SleeperAAA PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:08 am    Post subject:  Auto-Sleeper

Dear Julia

I am delighted we are able to help - we have extensive knowledge, going back
many years, of our older models and we can generally assist in any enquiry,
not least of the type that you put to us.

Whilst the Clubman does have permanently inward facing bench seats - a
settee either side - our Motorhome Service Centre at Willersey (01386
853511) is able to remove the settee from the offside and to replace with a
dinette which might well be the configuration you require. The problem
would be that once this conversion had taken place, the forward facing seat
of the dinette would only be able to have lapbelts - since on the Clubman
the lap and diagonal seatbelt assembly was never developed. You might wish
to bear this in mind.

The Talisman is certainly longer than the Clubman, for the reasons you
rightly state, namely the two extra cupboards. There never was a Ford
Talisman - the equivalent was the Ford Legend. The first Ford Legend had a
layout very similar to the Executive and the Clubman, namely a kitchen at
the rear and and two settees, one at either side. The later Legend - built
from 1986/87 onwards - had the U shaped lounge at the rear and the shower
and kitchen facilities at the front. This indeed was a significantly longer
vehicle than both the Talisman and the Clubman. As I say, there was never a
Ford Talisman - the equivalent being the Ford Legend in its initial guise.

Regarding the similarity of the cab between the Talbot Express and Fiat
Ducatto, this is very similar indeed, not least since both these vehicles
were built on the same lines as the Pescara in Italy. You state that the
Fiat automatically switches the headlight off when the ignition is switched
off - I do not know the finite differences between the Fiat and the Talbot
base vehicle, but this might well be one of them.

The photo that you have seen of a Talisman showing the table positioned
between the two front seats would have been an addition by a previous owner.
This again (on the Talbot Express Talisman, in particular) would not have
been difficult since the table base is merely let into the floor but when
fitted to the cab, one must understandably be careful of penetrating
anything underneath the cab floor - for example brake pipes etc. Again, our
Service Centre can fit the tables ,largely in whatever position you need -a
very popular option is on a cranked table leg for the table to be fitted at
either the forward or rear end of the settee.

The GL (that in theory stood for Grande Luxe) depicted much the same
specification as its predecessor other than the GL had different trims,
materials, cushions and carpets etc., the specification was no different, it
was simply an enhanced model of the earlier guise.

You asked about layout and specifications of older Auto-Sleeper models.
Again, if you were to contact the Service Centre, they can send yout he
application form once you have purchased an Auto-Sleeper, for the
Auto-Sleeper Owners' Club. They have a very active committee, particularly
on the technical front, and once you are an Auto-Sleeper owner, they would
be only too pleased to help. There is not, as yet, a website open to all
that gives details of the layouts and specifications of the older
Auto-Sleeper models, but nevertheless a call to Charles Trevelyan at the
Service Centre would generally answer any questions you may have.

Forgive this somewhat lengthy reply - I hope it is of help, but in summary
give Charles a ring if you want any assistance and he, who has been with the
Company for 20 years, is the one to speak to.

With kind regards.

Author: clubman

Location: Helensburgh, W. Scotland

PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 11:56 pm    Post subject:  

Hi there...... we have 1996 Clubman and a large dog and find it a bit of a squash. The passage between the seats is only 17", so we had to take away the whole bench on one side and rebuilt it to give a narrower bed but a 23" passage. Not something we wanted to do but at least the mutt can turn round and we can get by each other more easily. Any more info. on this model, let me know.

Author: ladyrunner

Location: Brighton

PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject:  

I am a proud owner of a 1991 Talbot Talisman GL Autosleeper. Photos of my van are on this link below from a year ago when I bought the van:-

Rust on the Talbot Express van doesn't seem to be a problem - it has just sailed through it's MOT needing no work. There are only 2 small areas of rust where front van part meets the monocoque body.

The MH has 4 different table arrangements, one being between the driver/front passenger seat.

My MH is used by myself and my two kids (aged 12 & 11) and I have converted the area above the drivers seat into a permanent double bed but it has very restricted headroom!!

We have never yet had any problems with leaks and the build quality of the van is still very good after 17 years of use.

Julie Very Happy

Author: zooterkin PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject:  

Thank you, especially Simon, for the responses. We found what we were looking for, and are now the proud owners of a '93 Talisman (newer than we expected to get). We're taking it away this weekend, so will have a much better idea of what we've got, but it looks pretty good so far.

One thing it doesn't have, but which the manual refers to as an option, is the bulkhead for the overcab area. Are these still available?

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