Caught in the Crossfire - 10th January, 2017
From the odd-ball files comes the Chrysler Crossfire, a car that was literally caught in the crossfire of an unhappy relationship between Chrysler and Daimler (owner of Mercedes Benz). It never stood a chance. But the Crossfire is a better car than most people remember despite Jeremy Clarkson damning it when describing it as looking like a dog having a poo. Now you can’t un-see that image, can you? But maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the sporty Crossfire, and Turners Wellington can help.
The Name “Chrysler Crossfire” suggests something very American but the little sporty hatch is more German and was, indeed, built by Karmann in Germany. The underpinnings are the Mercedes SLK320 and they actually share 80% of their components. The interior and exterior designs are by Chrysler but the rest is Mercedes. The engine is a 215hp 3.2L V6 and the transmission in this car is a 5 speed auto from the SLK. All of this may explain the hefty ‘Merc like’ price tag when new.
Unfortunately for the Crossfire sales weren’t great and when Daimler flicked off Chrysler in 2007, after a messy divorce, the Crossfire was collateral damage. Production lasted just 4 years and only 76,000 rolled off the assembly line making the Crossfire relatively uncommon on the roads and a decent candidate for ‘future classic’ status.
It may be quite rare and strangely attractive (if you ignore the dog thing) but the Crossfire is no longer as pricey as it once was. Turners Wellington has this very nice example with an auction guide of just $10,500-$11,500, which is pretty reasonable when you consider the engineering pedigree and the unique looks. To the untrained eye it might look you’re driving some strange Porsche or a miniature Bentley and it’s just about quick enough to pull off that trick, too.
It’s not often the name of a car turns out to be a predictor of its demise but this just adds to the tragically short story of a pretty decent car. So be different in 2017 and maybe start by getting a car that few of your friends will even recognise. The auction is at Turners Wellington Tomorrow (11th Jan). More details here.
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