There can be very few people in the Automobile Industry who have not heard of Crayford. To most automobile people Crayford are two men and a concept. The men—David McMullan and Jeffrey Smith—met whilst working as sales Manager and Experimental Development Manager for one of Britain’s last large independent vehicle manufacturers.
Crayford Automotive Design Consultants was formed in 1962 and their first triumph was the Convertible Mini , and shortly after that they were commissioned to build the legendary Heinz 57 Wolseley Hornets.
Then on to the 5 door BMC 1800 Estate Conversion followed by their most ambitious project in 1971—Estate development of the Mercedes Compact and then on to the Mercedes “S” Class. By the early 1980’s, as part of a drive to create cheaper product for Crayford, they had developed both the Austin Metro based Metropolitan Convertible, and the Fiesta “Fly” Convertible. It was soon realised that the Company did not have the space to carry out major production of both cars, David McMullan looked after the “Fly” while Jeffrey Smith Developed the Metropolitan.
The Fly name was coined from a model of horse drawn carriage which was reputedly strong and lightweight. The conversion was offered to both new and pre-owned fiestas.
By mid 1981 major press releases and publicity, along with approximately 20 Crayford built Fiesta Fly's having being completed, the demand was assured, and Crayford licensed the build, sale and distribution of the Fiesta Fly from approximately March/April 1982 to F. English in Dorset.
In 1983, Crayford once again returned to the little Ford Fiesta, with a pillarless coupe design known as the Fiesta Cabriot. This turbocharged and heavily modified project was displayed at the 1983 Frankfurt Motor Show, however the car produced was the only one.