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Homepage. This page: A mighty 6.3 litre S-Class Mercedes-Benz of the early 1970s, and its interesting history.

Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL.

Steven contacted the site with the story of his superb 1971 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL, its restoration, and its interesting history.
Rolls-Royce EUC 100C and the 1971 Mercedes.

Restored 1971 Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3 Litre reg. JMO 9K.

The original owner of this car was 1960/70’s ‘mellow yellow’ pop icon Donovan (shown here sat in the Mercedes). The 300 SEL is one of the most expensive saloon cars Mercedes have made. The car was built in 1971 but registered in England in
Donovan sat in the Mercedes
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, and has also been photographed next to the white Rolls-Royce EUC 100C once owned by the Beatles. George Harrison from the Beatles and Bobby Whitlock from Derek and the Dominoes have also travelled in this car, as well as Moby amongst other celebrities. Donovan also used the car in Southern Ireland for a while.
It took roughly two years to restore the car. It was then featured in a few magazines as well as mentions on Radio2 and Capital Gold. The car has also been featured on the Mercedes Enthusiast calendar, and has been on display at Mercedes-Benz World, at Brooklands in 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 occasional wedding hire work and is registered for film hire.
The 300SEL at Mercedes Benz World
To retain the original feel and period vibe of the car, the leather interior has been kept. The leather has been re-dyed and is regularly coated and kept at the correct humidity to keep it supple. Despite some blemishes it is generally considered that the leather interior is 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.
There 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 un-economical 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.
Author: Steven Barratt www.barrattscarhire.co.uk
Many thanks for sending your Mercedes' story over.
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