Crayford 3-Litre estate

Seen as a replacement for the discontinued Morris Oxford Traveller and Austin Cambridge Countryman, this behemoth offered seating for up to nine passengers, and a few examples still exist today.

The car’s capacious interior also lent itself to use as a private ambulance (while other converters, such as Wadham Stringer, offered an alernative way of achieving this). Surprisingly, Crayford used the tailgate from the much narrower BMC 1100 estate model, yet managed to integrate it well, sitting inboard of the 3-litre’s substantial rear wings. Customers could also order an “interior-only” conversion (as they could with Crayford’s 1800 estate), leaving the saloon bodywork intact but gaining the advantage of the folding rear seats.

The text and photo below are taken from Crayford’s own promotional material for the car.

New Austin 3 litre Estate by Crayford

Following the withdrawal of the BMC A60 series estate model, this new full length station wagon based on the very advanced Austin 3 litre chassis, and available with automatic transmission, power steering and self-levelling suspension, more than adequately fills the estate car gap.

The treatment is orthodox in general design, producing a profile very similar to the original A60 model, although, of course, much longer. The rear door is a one-piece steel pressing hanging from roof-mounted hinges and controlled by twin support arms. Seats fold forward in the orthodox manner but also lift out completely (as on Crayford’s 1800 estate) giving a record floor area for any British estate car of this size.

The roof is fully insulated throughout and covered with a fabric PVC material to reduce noise level, and the rear floor is trimmed with either rubber or carpet to the customer’s choice. The interior roof lining is competely rebuilt in high quality material and the inside of the vehicle is re-trimmed to an extremely high standard, producing a general appearance of a truly luxury station wagon. When the car is equipped with the children’s bench seat at the rear (facing backwards) it is then capable of carrying a total of nine passengers.

It is believed that as the Austin 3 litre estate offers enormous load-carrying capacity plus certain technical features not available on any other British estate car (eg: self-levelling suspension with low platform height) its future is assured in the quality estate car market.

BMC Estate Car price list

Estate car conversion Austin 3 litre models £ s d
Complete conversion – including leather trimmed roof as standard 595 0 0
Custom rack – Specially built full length custom rack with six roof installation points built into the roof and full length timber slatting 39 0 0
Custom rack – If fitted to a car at any later date after the conversion has been carried out 59 0 0
Interior-only conversion – This is available on the 3 litre model and can be executed either leaving the parcel shelf in place or removing the centre section. The original boot-lid is left in place and the seats either fold forward or can also be completely removed 115 0 0
Airflow extractor kit – Fitted during conversion. Twin air exit grilles to increase heater/cooler efficiency: assist rear window demisting, keep car fresh and thus reduce travel fatigue 4 5 0
Children’s rear seat – A special folding bench seat which can take three or four children is available. This seat is instantly removable and is trimmed to match the interior of the car 19 10 0

Thanks to Alexander Boucke for his contribution to the information of this page.

Keith Adams


    • The backwards sitting baby is the safest possible position in car until child is 18 kg. In case of emergency braking child’s neck is not stressed as the whiplash movement does not occur. Infant’s occiput is constantly resting on the headrest unlike an adult whose skull is always spaced off from the rest.

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