1981 MERCEDES BENZ W123 230 CE CONVERTIBLE BY CRAYFORD
We have recently acquired this uber rare Mercedes Benz Crayford Convertible. It was originally a UK supplied vehicle and has most recently resided in Southern Ireland (from where we purchased it. It is finished in silver metallic with a contrasting blue interior trim. Only 79000 recorded miles. We are selling this car as a running project, which although drives perfectly well will require an element of recommissioning to get it back into the condition it deserves.
I recently spoke with the last UK based owner of this car and he said he has had many vehicles over the years but this is the only one he ever regrets selling! Only twelve examples were ever made in both 230 and 280ce format and according to the owners club they know of only one surviving example, which makes this not only the rarest car I have ever taken into stock but also one of the rarest cars on the market currently.
The w123 ce is a fantastic looking car to start with and this convertible version is just absolutely stunning in the flesh.
This is the type of project that could be undertaken very easily by a competent enthusiast but also similarly could be completed by any classic car workshop or bodyshop as w123's are very easy cars to work on. The body is very solid overall but both doors will require replacement (I can supply two very good doors) as they have rusted on the iside of the door bottoms, jacking points are fine but the inner sills (in front of the rear seats will require some work – this is a common w123 trait and a relatively easy fix. There is other various light corrosion to the bosy but nothing major to contend with.
All of the exterior chrome and trim is in superb condition save for the front grille which is a little pitted. The exhaust has a blow from the centre section and the roof has two cuts approx 1.5” each either side at the front.
Everything is working as it should and the car even has its original blaupunkt radio cassette.
We are selling as a running project due to time constraints (we have six vehicles currently in restoration and need to focus our efforts on these) .
We have priced the car sensibly to allow someone to add value once all the works are completed. If the vehicle does not sell we are happy to begin works towards the end of this year, once completed we will value this vehicle at oiro £30000 GBP.
I have done a fair bit of research on the model and have included some information I found online below which outlines the scarity value of this car:
Over the decades, from humble Mini beginnings, Crayford progressed up market through BMC, Ford and Audi. Then they reached a peak in their conversion skills when they started a long association with Mercedes Benz, although it did not start well. Mercedes were very protective of their brand and were uncooperative at first, even hostile to the point that they tried to legally stop the first Crayford conversion from being shown in the London Motor Show at Earls Court. They also opposed Crayford’s use of the MB 3 pointed star logo on Crayford brochures and paperwork. Eventually though, Crayford won around Mercedes with the fine quality and demand for their conversions. Mercedes even began endorsing the conversions and allowed full warranties to be honoured on Crayfords work.
Crayford’s best seller was the convertible 280CE called the ‘St Tropez’ based on the compact W123, it was the first affordable convertible available (excluding RR) in the UK with a power operated hood since Ford dropped the Mk.2 Zephyr/Zodiac range. The hoods were made using the best German mohair, the electrically operated hood frame and rams were aquired from second hand Pony cars bought in American scrap yards and adapted to fit. The cars where very exclusive and very low volume production – a property magnet in Wales ordered two! Today, only one car is known to the club. New in 1976 the conversion cost £11, 932
The following year, Mercedes debuted the W123 coupe (or C123, to Mercedes diehard fans). Available as a 230C, 280C, 280CE and 300CD, the British market only received the petrol options. It’s worth mentioning the Crayford St Tropez, a convertible based on the coupe and built in Britain. Launched in 1978, just 12 were made.
Viewings are welcome anytime, 7 days a week by appointment only.
Export enquiiries welcome also, we are able to help with delivery to the port or any UK address at £1.50 per mile – one way only. International Delivery also available – please ask!
Any further questions please feel free to telephone me or email, thanks for looking.
POWER STEERING, TIRES, RADIO-CASSETTE, ALARM, WOOD INTERIOR, SERVICE HISTORY IN OFFICIAL MERCEDES-BENZ, perfect working order, very carefully, and ITV DOCUMENTS TO DAY. MORE INFORMATION: - details.....