Crayford produced it’s only Volkswagen conversion in 1980 for a local Volkswagen main dealer, Wolfe Garage Ltd, in Westerham. It was called the Tempest (like Sirocco, it means a type of wind) and it featured a fully powered electric hood. Crayford showed the metallic blue car at the 1980 Motor Show but failed to generate a single order, neither did the car at the Wolfe showroom where a thousand brochures had been printed. The car would become a unique one off which has since disappeared off the radar.

So despite its good looks and claim to be the smallest convertible available with a power hood, what went wrong?

Crayford had set the price at from £9,800, climbing to £10,000 plus with any extra’s. Also Crayford had the misfortune to launch the convertible at the same time as Volkswagen launched its own Golf Mk.1 convertible to the world, at the very same show, only yards away and it was less then half the price of the Crayford. It was the first time a major manufacturer had re-entered the affordable convertible market since Ford dropped their convertibles in the sixties. The Golf convertible was a worldwide runaway success. It would appear that the people at Wolfe garage were not in the loop with Volkswagen when they signed up for the Sirocco convertible’s development costs with Crayford.

There were no other Volkswagen based Crayford’s, a VW beetle pick up truck was built by Crayford’s largest Argocat ATV (all terrain vehicle) dealer in Scotland as a one off for their own use and it carried a Crayford badge. Each ATV they sold also carried the Crayford badge, but it was never a Crayford product.

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