Author Topic: W116 Crayfords around the world  (Read 9066 times)

OzBenzHead

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W116 Crayfords around the world
« on: 05 February 2008, 02:15 PM »
Received in the post the latest Crayview magazine (issue #81, Nov '07)) - published by the Crayford Convertible Car Club in the UK.

Of its 30 pages (including covers), seven are dedicated to the M-B 116 estates.  Now that's serious coverage!

There are, unfortunately, quite a few errors of fact, including John Green's location being stated as Perth (!), but great to have the coverage regardless.

Here is a scan of one page giving a table of all known 116 Crayford estates.  As it was published prior to JG's acquisition of the 450SEL recently from the Mornington Peninsular, that vehicle is not listed; and Kermit is still listed as owned by "Crayford" of former Illawarra (in)fame.

Look at the prices at the bottom of the table; a mere 280SE such as mine cost more than 2.5 convertible Cortinas, and a 450SEL 6.9 wagon cost 5.5 CCs (or somewhat more than two 280SEs).  Sheesh!



(Source: Crayview, issue #81, Nov 2007, p. 26,  published by Crayford Convertible Car Club)

WGB

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #1 on: 05 February 2008, 04:26 PM »
Is that Crayford in Mt Barker still there?

Bill

OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #2 on: 05 February 2008, 05:00 PM »
Is that Crayford in Mt Barker still there?
Bill

Seems to have been "lost", Bill.  Don't know if it was crushed or what ever other fate might have befallen it.

I did wonder, when watching the eBay 450SEL (that John Green ended up with recently) from the Mornington Peninsular, if perhaps that car was the WA Mt Barker example partly resurrected. Given the state of the Mt Barker car, probably not, but I have no other explanation for whence the Mornington example materialised, as it wasn't previously on record as far as I know.

There was supposedly also a red 116 Crayford in Melbourne some years ago, but it, too, has fallen below the radar.

Seems that Oz had (still has) more than a proportional share of these wagons.  There have been at least seven known of in Oz - about a third of the total produced. There used to be an icon gold one in Byron Bay about a decade ago, owned by an acquaintance of mine, but even then it was seriously cancer-ridden, living a mere 100 metres from the high-tide mark. The owner gave it to my (then) mechanic for resale or other disposal, and I've not seen or heard of it since.

Regarding my "Rolfwagen", there's a note in Crayview - in a letter from one of Rolf's previous owners (two before me) - to the effect that he had been in touch with the original owner and MD of Crayfords - David McMullen - and that DM suspected that Rolf was built locally in Oz under the supervision of Crayford's Alan Dawkins sometime in the '70s.

I'm not sure I believe this, as Rolf was originally delivered (as a sedan) to the UK, according to the data card, and was purchased there by R Harris from the Majestic Garage in Christchurch, second-hand (but little used by the original owner who was "too scared to drive it much"), sometime prior to issue #139E (1/1976) of In Aller Welt where it was written up with a photo of the two Rolfs. (My wagon was delivered to its original UK dealer on 25 September '73.)

OTOH, John Green suspects that his 280SEL may have been an Oz-built conversion, as there are aspects of it that he believes to be different from other Crayfords he's seen.

The old Crayford Coachworks kept very poor records, I'm told by the company's current owners, and none of those are known to still exist, so it's all a matter of people's memories. Given that there are very few former Crayford employees still living, I can't see the details clarifying any time soon.

It's all rather muddy history, and somewhat frustrating to sort.

OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #3 on: 05 February 2008, 10:28 PM »
Okay, folks - here is a swag of Crayford material.

Most of these materials are from Crayview magazine, the official organ of the Crayford Convertible Car Club based in the UK. Unless otherwise acknowledged, all scanned text and photos by Barry Priestman, Chairman and magazine Editor.


(from Motor magazine)




OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #4 on: 05 February 2008, 10:29 PM »







OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #5 on: 05 February 2008, 10:30 PM »







OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #6 on: 05 February 2008, 10:30 PM »
Here are some non-W116 Crayford estates - including one gorgeous (to my eye, at least) W109 and one aesthetically challenged "Dachshund" - the naming of which offended the parent company (DB) as they didn't like one of their vehicles - no matter how modified - referred to as a dog!











OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #7 on: 05 February 2008, 10:31 PM »
Mostly, Crayford were famous for beheading cars - such as the Cortina - and turning them into ragtops.

Here is a rather neat looking W123 "St Tropez" by them.





OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #8 on: 05 February 2008, 10:31 PM »
And Crayford also had an armouring division.  Here is their brochure.








OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #9 on: 05 February 2008, 10:34 PM »
Sheesh!  Last time I looked at the clock it was noon.  Now it's almost time for my car club dinner and meeting.  Anyone would think I had nothing better to do with my time!   ::)  Perhaps I should get a life?    ;D ;D ;D

CraigS

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #10 on: 05 February 2008, 10:40 PM »
Interesting that they used a LHD car for their advertising of the armoured version.

Would be nice if they proof read their newsletter - "........vary rear............" !

OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #11 on: 05 February 2008, 11:03 PM »
Interesting that they used a LHD car for their advertising of the armoured version.

And for David McMullan's personal chariot, too.

Quote
Would be nice if they proof read their newsletter - "........vary rear............" !

Oh that's far from the worst of it, unfortunately.  This professional editor / proofreader found it rather hard to take, but that's life when one's a pedant, eh!   ::)

kolin

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #12 on: 26 February 2008, 02:52 AM »
have to say, much as i love the 109 and 116, has to be one of the fugliest mercs out. looks out of proportion.
the 5th door looks like the saint's volvo station wagon rear end.(PV 154 i think)
they lost the plot there.
reminds me of a shooting brake aston another fugly
sorry if i upset anyone here

OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #13 on: 26 February 2008, 03:07 AM »
have to say, much as i love the 109 and 116, has to be one of the fugliest mercs out [...] sorry if i upset anyone here

Not I, Kolin.  My skin is thicker than the 70kg paint job on a W116!   ;D ;D ;D   The Crayford is interesting and collectible only because of its exceptional rarity (about 15 built, about 9 left) and, in the case of der Rolfwagen, its provenance.

As for the tailgate - it looks rather hearse-like to me; the tailgate treatment on the Pollmann Karosserie wagon (like John Olsen's 450SEL 6.9) is, to my eye, far more aesthetically pleasing, though that is balanced by its less refined C-post design.

All personal and subjective.

nathan

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Re: W116 Crayfords around the world
« Reply #14 on: 26 February 2008, 03:20 AM »
OBH, thanks for time and effort to post the pics...
that red 108/109 is frikkin sensational...the 116ers do not look like a nice aesthetic mobile in my opinion, but that 108/09 is awesome...not to say i dont like the crayford 116s...in fact, one was advertised here in wa a few years back for about 1 grand (rusted out), but it was 7 hrs away from perth and i couldnt be stuffed!
regards
nathan
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