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W116 Crayford estates

Author Topic: W116 Crayford estates  (Read 9299 times)

OzBenzHead

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W116 Crayford estates
« on: 12 November 2007, 04:08 PM »
Crayford estate info update

I have received in the post a pile of brochures, newsletters, registries, and photos of the W116 Crayford estates, from the Chairman of the Crayford Convertible Car Club in the UK, Barry Priestman.

I shall post these over the next few days as I read, scan, and digest them.

Meanwhile, here is a table showing what details are known of the 15 or so known to have been built.

If anyone can fill some gaps, that would be great!

One that particularly needs filling is info on the Australian assembler / modifier; the CCCC Chairman believes that three (at least) were made under licence in Oz. As John Green's blue one and Caroline's green Kermit are (I think) both Oz-compliant, they are likely candidates for Oz conversion.

Rolf appears to have started life in the UK and come to Oz later (although I'm still hoping to trace his history more fully).

Note at the top of the table I've given some numbers for the W114 estate conversions - 400+ - far more of those than the W116 (which could cost twice as much as a 114 wagon).

The W114 was converted under contract by FLM Panelcraft at Fulham, UK as well as in Johannesburg by Cooper and Cooper.

The W116 was converted at Crayford's own plant in Westerham, UK, as well as in California (Hoopers), Detroit (Harpers), and Oz (licensee unknown, but my guess is a Melbourne coachbuilder - could be wrong).

To make it easier to read the table, right-click on it to "view image"; this will then give you an image you can enlarge to its full size.


oscar

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #1 on: 12 November 2007, 04:52 PM »
Interesting you say Melbourne as a possible site.  I know Melbourne built many things under licence from planes to cars but after reading your post I remembered a link which may throw you another lead to chase up.  I found it after reading GrantV's post on South African built MB's.

http://www.mbzponton.org/valueadded/production/australia/australia.htm
1973 350SE, my first & fave

116Benz

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #2 on: 12 November 2007, 06:13 PM »
Fintails were also assembled here as well, from memory its now a Toyota assembly plant. Top find too Oscar, that was a good read.
1995 Mazda MX-5
1975 280SE
1978 280SEL
1990 300SE

oscar

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #3 on: 12 November 2007, 10:17 PM »
It is a good read and whilst I haven't read it again, I do remember they stopped some time before the W116.  As far as the article being helpful, I should mention that I really meant the author.  He seems to be very knowledgeable on MB in Aus let alone Melbourne from a company/dealer point of view.  It wouldn't surprise me if asked about Aussie Cray's he could reveal some names, company or otherwise.
1973 350SE, my first & fave

gregdeklerk

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #4 on: 12 November 2007, 11:15 PM »
The W114 was converted under contract by FLM Panelcraft at Fulham, UK as well as in Johannesburg by Cooper and Cooper.


That is interesting. I have only ever seen 1 114 estate here in South Africa.

CraigS

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #5 on: 12 November 2007, 11:30 PM »
I don't know if you have any information on the author, but I have asked my MB contact if he has any contact details for him. Will PM you if he does.

s class

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #6 on: 13 November 2007, 04:16 PM »
Hmmm interesting.  I am under the impression that at least one 6.9 was converted as well - I remember some talk on the m100 site - I will try digging when I get a chance. 

'76 6.9 Euro, '78 6.9 AMG, '80 280SE, '74 350SE, '82 500SEL euro full hydro, '83 500SEL euro full hydro , '81 500SL

116Benz

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #7 on: 13 November 2007, 06:29 PM »
The Sophia Loren Crayford was a 6.9, says there it's living in Switzerland.
1995 Mazda MX-5
1975 280SE
1978 280SEL
1990 300SE

CraigS

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #8 on: 14 November 2007, 10:31 PM »
Reply from MB Australia

"Hi Craig,

Have spoken to Paul Roleff and he could not assist with any info on the Crayford, he was not aware of any  in Australia".


OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #9 on: 15 November 2007, 03:35 PM »
Craig: Thanks for trying.

Frankly, I'm not surprised.   My experience with M-B Oz is that they neither know nor care terribly much about anything.

I have on various occasions asked them a number of questions and received "don't know" type answers (or answers that make no sense) - and sometimes just no response at all.

In contrast, whenever I've contacted the Classic Center in Stuttgart, I've received positive responses full of the details I sought (and frequently more).  Perhaps it's an attitude thing, maybe a knowledge lack, or  it could be sheer lack of interest in anything other than sales of new vehicles and extortionately priced parts.

You can guess that I'll never be an M-B Club president; I don't have the diplomatic tendencies or skills required to crawl to "the Company that can do no wrong" - as seems to be a common belief at presidential level.

[Definition of diplomacy: The ability to tell someone to go to hell whilst convincing him he'll enjoy the trip.]

116Benz

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #10 on: 15 November 2007, 04:57 PM »

You can guess that I'll never be an M-B Club president; I don't have the diplomatic tendencies or skills required to crawl to "the Company that can do no wrong" - as seems to be a common belief at presidential level.

[Definition of diplomacy: The ability to tell someone to go to hell whilst convincing him he'll enjoy the trip.]


Nothing has changed then I see, I know there was going to coup a few years back that never came to fruition.
1995 Mazda MX-5
1975 280SE
1978 280SEL
1990 300SE


OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #12 on: 24 November 2007, 12:56 PM »
Craig:  Thanks for that!   :)

Coincidence:  I was corresponding with the Practical Classics folk just yesterday, as they are reputed to have quite a strong interest in matters Crayford - although far broader than just Crayford Benzes.

Have ordered the mag.

crayford

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #13 on: 24 November 2007, 02:50 PM »
I don't think the Sophia Loren is a 6.9. It's a 280. There are many pictures I've seen of it, and they've all been a 280.

To my knowledge, Kermit is not Australian-converted. John Green's is unusual in that apparently no SELs were converted by Crayford in the UK, but his was an SEL done here.

Rolf came from England - Rolf H was the second owner. Apparently the first was too scared to drive it much.

The 114 conversion by Crayford was the first time Mercedes-Benz gave a factory warranty for a conversion outside Germany.

I've an excellent issue of Mercedes Enthusiast with Crayford conversions in it. From my information, Crayford did not convert any 6.9s, and the 6.9 wagons I've seen do not mirror the Crayford conversion in incorporating the boot lip into the tailgate. They are shaped straight down as in a W123.

If anyone can track down the Condor, which was the 450SLC Crayford conversion, then I'll be impressed  8).
Caroline

1975 116 280SE Crayford conversion (Kermit)
1976 Ford F100 (The Big Banana)
1967 108 250SE manual floorshift (The Colonel)
1980 Alfa GTV 2 litre (the restoration)

OzBenzHead

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Re: W116 Crayford estates
« Reply #14 on: 25 November 2007, 12:41 AM »
[...] If anyone can track down the Condor, which was the 450SLC Crayford conversion, then I'll be impressed  8).

I assume that you mean the real thing, not just a photo and some words.  I have the latter (left, absent-mindedly, in Sydney last week with Michel), and would post same if they were here.