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Homepage. This page: A German pop star of the 1970s, with his turf-covered 250SE.

Ramma Damma's Mercedes-Benz W108 at Gretna Hall.

Val emailed over a number of car-related photographs, and amongst them were the following photos of a German pop-star and his very distinctive Mercedes-Benz, in the 1970s. Val's husband managed the Gretna Hall hotel from 1973 to 2006, while Val herself managed the blacksmith courtyard contained within the grounds, from 1974 to 2006, and the hotel is the location for the following photos.
The same car appears on this record cover
The Mercedes also features on a Ramma Damma album cover
The passage of time had led to Val not remembering the tall gent's name, but a little online research confirmed that the chap being interviewed by the local TV station is none other than Ramma Damma. I was still in short trousers in the mid-1970s, so I'd not heard of this German legend before now, and I'm not sure how well-known he was this side of the Channel anyway. He was (and still is) clearly something of an extrovert, with more than a passing interest in not just music, and grass-covered motor-cars, but also plants, fruit, and other earthly products. He gained some notoriety back in the day for marrying a pineapple of all things - perhaps his reason for heading up the M6 to Gretna in his Mercedes 250SE (W108 series)? The Mercedes, complete with its fake grass/astroturf covering, also appeared on the cover of Ramma Damma's 1975 record titled "Ich Bin Dein Taugenichts", a stereophonic production. I wonder what happened to the grassy 250SE? The fake turf effect can't have done the original steel bodywork any favours (nor its fuel economy!!).
In the first of Val's photos, RD is shown leaning nonchalantly against the front wing of the Mercedes while being interviewed outside the Gretna Hall hotel. The grassy Mercedes is pretty grubby after its trip, and must have been quite difficult to keep looking tickety-boo. The blast of road muck and stones had clearly had a negative effect on the turf around the wheelarches, and below the rear bumper. Promotional images can be seen stuck in the nearside rear window, one of which looks rather like the album cover shown above. A couple of contemporary cars are parked over to the left of shot, including the boxy rear end of a Volvo 145 estate.
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Ramma Damma with his Mercedes Benz 250SE
The W108's distinctive headlamp design is evident in photo number 2, as are several fluffy toy birds that RD (real name Ulli Hopper) had decorated the Merc with.
Ramma Damma and his grass-covered car
Ramma Damma continues to live a colourful existence, and now runs a plant sanctuary in Germany.
I've yet to find any news of the Mercedes' fate online. The W108 series of cars was built from 1965 to 1973. The 250SE, which this car is believed to be an example of, was powered by a fuel-injected straight-six engine of 2,496cc.
Cars continue to be covered in grass, real or fake, for promotional purposes, but no doubt RD was an early exponent of this eye-catching modification, and one of the few people who'd actually drive around in his neatly-trimmed vehicle. There were adverts in the 1970s that I do remember, of various off-the-shelf stick-on "hairy look" coverings that you could embellish your car with, for some reason a Renault 16 with a hairy bonnet comes to mind. Maybe I imagined it. Thanks for the photos Val :-)
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