October 2, 2008

The Worst Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 Station Wagon, Except For All Those Others

mb_69_wagon_tamerlane.jpg

Oh my. A classic Mercedes aficionado blogging at Tamerlane posted this sighting of a 450SEL 6.9 wagon, supposedly the "only one commissioned by Mercedes" itself for "the head of MBUSA."

That raised roofline was causing me much pain, until I clicked on his link to the Crayford Estates. Crayford was a coachbuilder in the UK who offered convertible conversions of W123 coupes, armour plating for VIP's--and absolutely atrocious-looking wagon conversions of the full-size, W116 Mercedes.

mb-116_crayford_wagon.jpg

They apparently did this by installing the tailgate of a Ford Granada [!] between an all-new roof and the original boot. Which gave the Crayford 116 Estates the ugly little rear shelf that you may know from such automotive misfits at the BMW E34 5-series Touring--and the 1980 Ford freaking Escort! FORD!

Yet Mercedes was satisfied enough with the mods to give the Crayfords warranty protection and allow the three-pointed star to remain. Less than two dozen were built, and according to Crayview, the fan magazine of the Crayford Convertible Club, only nine have been spotted in the wild. Ten if Sophia Loren still has her silver, poodle step-equipped wagon in Zurich. It's not clear to me that any of the surviving Crayford 116 Estates are 6.9s I would really like to think not.

Mercedes W116 450SEL 6.9 Wagon [tamerlane]
Read the whole, sad tale here, many sad pictures: W116 Crayfords around the world [forum.w116.org]

4 Comments

E34 Touring is so NOT an automotive misfit. Come on!

The brown wagon at the top is NOT a Crayford conversion. It is one of two 6.9s built by Pollmann of Bremen in Germany and is currently in the USA owned by John Olsen of the M-100 register.
For more info and photos on the Crayfords check;
http://www.crayford-benz.org

Chris M.

Thanks for the link and the Pollmann info, Chris. I re-read the post, and it wasn't clear enough that Olsen's brown wagon was different from the Crayford conversions. Even though the difference--of the roofline, and the rear gate treatment in particular--was the impetus for the title of the post. Now if you have any info on the whereabouts of this other Pollmann wagon...

so they ruined a lot of granada turnier to turn some mercedes's to be useful, shame
:)

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