1979 Mercedes 300SD Crayford Estate

I’ve posted a couple of these unique wagons in the past both of them were 1977 450SEL versions. You can see them here and here. This one that has popped up is a similar W116, but based on the 300SD instead.

Year: 1979
Model: 300SD Crayford Estate
Engine: 3.0 liter turbo inline five
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 62,000 mi
Price: $54,000

1979 Mercedes 300SD Crayford Estate

1979 Mercedes 300SD Crayford

I find it interesting that all three of the Crayford cars we’ve posted all share the same paint color. They all have had slightly different outside appearances though with one showing Euro lights and U.S. bumpers, one with U.S. lights and U.S. bumpers and this one with U.S. lights and Euro bumpers.

As any custom coachwork car would be, Crayford cars are scarce and they appeal to those fanatical Benz estate fans so they don’t come cheap. With Benz not offering the W116 as a wagon it does seem logical for someone to make an attempt at doing so as future success of Benz factory wagons have indicated.

With the indestructable 3 liter turbo five diesel under the hood this car was made for long haul travels for family vacations. For the economical minded this car would be better suited than the V8 cars listed above. I’ve seen in person one W116 estate conversion that was done on the mighty 450SEL 6.9, but it wasn’t a Crayford conversion, but rather one done by a firm called Brinkman.

This car is located in Austria it has covered a solid 62,000 miles, enough to no its been enjoyed, but that is nothing for a 300SD. The ask price is $54,000. That is a lot of money so a new owner would be buying this for the rarity not the functionality. The car has been restored and the interior is super clean for a station wagon. The seller says the car is highly optioned and it is notable that it has ABS.  It would provide the owner with quite a nice niche in Mercedes history. What is baffling with this dealer listing is that they didn’t bother to include a photo of the customized rear boot as the Crayford conversions could be had with the rear modified to the customer’s liking.


1977 Mercedes 450SEL Crayford Estate Wagon

This find comes into us from reader Randal. We have seen some pretty solid prices for factory Benz wagons of late, but here is a chance to get your hands on an earlier conversion.

The Crayford wagons are fairly well known cars in the Mercedes estate circles. I came across one in June of 2009 that was seen on GCFSB. While the car didn’t sell the first time, in January of 2010 BringATrailer found it listed again and ran a post on it. It sold for $23,000.

These conversions were tailored to an owner’s specific tastes and were done to a high standard. From the era before the venerable Mercedes TD & TE, they were unlike anything available directly from the factory. Interestingly Crayford cars retained their original Mercedes warranty.

This particular model comes out of the Texas estate (pun intended) of Eddie Chiles. It has 73,000 miles on the clock and has recently been serviced to bring it back into a daily driver level of service.  It features the U.S. quad, headlights, one of the differences from the previously mentioned car.

This car features a really interesting L shaped third row bench seat, the seller says that this feature is unique to this car only.

The car needs someone to give the inside, outside, under the hood, etc. a good cleaning. I’m actually surprised the current seller did the mechanical work on the car, but decided against cleaning up some of the grime. Some relatively simple elbow grease could pretty easily add a $1,000 to the sale price of this car.

This specimen is not as nice as the one that sold for $23,000, but bidding is already up over $16,000. I suspect we’ll see resistance at just under $20k for this one, but with a car of which less than 20 exist it only takes a few people who want one to do strange things to the auction price.  A neat piece.


2 Unique Mercedes 77 450SEL Estate, 91 Koenig 300CE

1977 Mercedes 450SEL Crayford Estate Wagon on eBay

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With a clientele that included Sophia Loren, Crayford conversions on 1970s Mercedes are an exclusive beast. These costly vehicles came warrantied by Mercedes and were the way customers who wanted an estate wagon for their fancy sedan could have the best of both worlds. This particular car interestingly shows the ugly U.S. market safety bumpers, but has avoided the recognizable, though inferior U.S. market quad circle sealed beam headlights in favor of Euro spec H4 beams. The seller, presumably using the register of Crayford Mercedes found here: http://www.crayford-benz.org, claims this to be one of only two or three in existence.

91 Mercedes 300CE Koenig Special on eBay.

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I may be mistaken, but I believe that this is not the only Koenig Special Benz once owned by baseball legend Ken Griffey Jr. in existence. Koenig epitomized the Miami Vice over the top bad ass look when it came to mid 80s Mercedes. This later 1991, has the same flavor with the in your face widebody kit, but I think the look is actually better pulled off by slightly larger W126 bodied Benz coupes like the 560SEC. Occasionally you will see the widebody kits in metal, but more often they are fiberglass and after nearly 20 years it may show some spiderweb cracking up close. It is hard to say what the premium here is for the owner provenance, but it safe to say this asking price is a significant discount from new. A new owner of this Koenig Special vehicle will need to remember that, though most mechanical parts won’t be any harder to find than standard 3 liter Mercedes fare, replacing the massive 315 size tires on the rears will be a cost. Fortunately with a 6 cylinder engine, instead of the torque of a 5 or 5.6 liter from a 126 bodied car, burnouts should be easier to avoid. The big V8 Koenig Specials sometimes came with even more outrageous 345 meats on the rear.