Donovans 1971 Mercedes
300 SEL 6.3 Litre
The original owner of this car was 1960/1970 ‘mellow yellow’ pop icon Donovan.
- Re live the 1960/70's vibe.
- Original Owner 1960/70's Pop Icon ‘Donovan'.
- Other Celebrities Who Have Travelled in the Wedding Car include:
- George Harrison (Beatles).
- Bobby Whitlock (Derek and the Dominoes).
- Tony Mortimer (East 17).
- Rory Kinnear.
- Catherine McCormack.
- In 1971 the car was first featured in a short promotional film 'Yellow star' with Donovan. Since then it has been:
- In Various Magazines.
- On Display at Mercedes-Benz World Surrey.
- On a Calendar.
- On National Radio 2 and Capital Gold.
- In Various Music Videos.
- In a Promotion for The White Company of London.
- In a National ITV Television Drama.
- On ITV Drama 'Lucan' dvd.
- Due to be Featured in a Main Release Cinema Film 'Mortdecai' in 2015.
This model is one of the most expensive saloon cars Mercedes have made. The car was built in 1971 but registered in England in 1972. During the time Donovan owned the car it was often driven from his home on the Wentworth Estate in Surrey to the Hard Rock café in London, often at speeds of 100mph plus where possible. The car was also featured in a promotional video with Donovan where it is being driven down the Marylebone Road in London. The car has also been photographed next to a Rolls-Royce once owned by the Beatles. George Harrison from the Beatles and Bobby Whitlock from Derek and the Dominoes have also travelled in this car amongst other celebrities. More recently Moby used the car in his 'Lie Down In Darkness' music video. Donovan also used the car in Southern Ireland for a while.
It took approximately two years to restore the car. It was then featured in a few magazines as well as mentions on Radio 2 and Capital Gold. The car has also been featured on the Mercedes Enthusiast calendar, and has been on display at Mercedes Benz World, Brooklands Surrey. It is a wonder that the car was still around to restore after its hard life especially as it was left outside in fields in the English weather for approximately five years sometime after Donovan sold it. The car is presently used for wedding car hire work and is also registered for film hire.
To retain the original feel and period vibe of the car the leather has been kept along with the original carpets. The leather has been re dyed and is regularly coated and kept at the correct humidity to keep it supple. Despite some small blemishes it is generally considered that the leather interior and carpets are in very good condition for the age and the previous very hard life of the car. It can be seen that Donovan stuck one of his promotional record stickers on the back of the front driver’s seat and great care was taken to dye around the sticker. The interior wood sections which were in very poor condition have been renovated back to original. Some of the exterior and interior chrome work is original, although most has been replaced.
The long rear doors mean that this car was built to be chauffeured in rather than drive yourself. The car is considered advanced for its years as it uses adjustable self-levelling air suspension coupled with a large 6.3 litre twin camshaft fuel injected V8 engine, which delivers plenty of power and torque. Acceleration of 0-60 mph is approximately 6 seconds. On a run you can achieve 12 mpg, around town approximately 8mpg. It is possible to cruise at 90/100mph quite comfortably. It was for its time the fastest saloon car around for many years.
Their were only approximately 650 of these cars made in right hand drive, and over the years most have been broken up mainly due to a combination of very high restoration costs, technical complexity and hard to locate spares. At present market prices it is often uneconomical to fully restore these cars as the restoration costs far outweigh what they are presently worth. Due to its condition and history this 6.3 car is classed as one of the best right hand drive models around. The car is complete with the original sales brochure, Logbook, Pink card, many tax discs and MOT certificates, as well as the original German oval shaped number plates.
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Click for An article about running and maintaining the Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3