Film, Television & Wedding Hire

Established in 2005

Freephone: 0808 168 0063

No Sales Calls

Opening Hours:
Monday-Saturday 8:00am - 7:00pm

Film, Television & Wedding Hire

Established in 2005

Freephone: 0808 168 0063
- No Sales Calls

Opening Hours:
Monday-Saturday 8:00am - 7:00pm

Classic Mercedes Wedding Car

Please click images to enlarge

Featuring Quality Restoration Help For Mercedes 300 SEL 6.3 Owners And Enthusiasts

I can recommend the following companies to carry out quality restoration, to locate spares or provide services

J Haynes Auto Technics

Eirene Garage
Mulberry Lane
West Sussex
BN12 4RD
TEL: 01903 500000

Kienle Automobiltechnik

D-71254 Heimerdingen/Stuttgart
Max-Planck-Str. 4
TEL: 0049 7152 52827

Star Motors

1694 Union Center
Maine Highway Rt 26
New York
13760 1341
TEL: 001 607 786 3918

Available from October 2020
£9.97 ebook
£11.47 Paperback

Announcing an essential guide for every Veteran, Vintage, Classic, and Custom Car & Motorcycle restorer, amateur or professional.

The mainly English suppliers listed carry out the work, not agents.
This highly useful guide book lists many proven specialist services. The guide comes complete with details of a worldwide discounted door-to-door courier service making the guide effective to be used by people worldwide.

The list has been built up from many hours of telephone calls and meetings over sixteen years seeking reputable individuals or firms to provide the various specialist services.

This was not only to save money, but also to ensure that I did not have to go through an agent in case of problems. I soon found that many of the so-called repair services or engine reconditioning services were merely agents who took your parts in. They delivered them to a reconditioning service. While they advertise themselves as a reconditioning service, in reality they were merely acting as a go between the customer and reconditioning service.

A description of each company along with their name, address and website address where applicable, plus telephone number are listed in the guide.

For full details and to purchase please visit:

Automotive Restorers Guide


The Restoration of the Mercedes-Benz

The original owner of the classic car was 1960/70's pop icon Donovan. The restoration of the Mercedes-Benz took approximately two years, although of course work is always on going to keep the car up to standard.

This webpage and some others on this website are designed to provide help and advice in maintaining and restoring these flagship Mercedes-Benz saloons.

For many enthusiasts, motoring journalists or just general admirers this model was and is still classed by many as Mercedes-Benz flagship Saloon. Perhaps it is the timeless elegant styling that has helped it maintain this position, or maybe the mighty 6.3 German V8 fuel injected engine shoehorned into the body which has had more influence in its status.

Whatever way you view the car it cannot be denied that this model of car which was designed in 1967 was very advanced with its fuel injected engine and self levelling air suspension. Built in times gone by when more emphasis was on quality components. This model was for many years the fastest accelerating saloon car available worldwide.

For those interested in the full restoration story then please click below.

Donovans 6.3 Article.

'DONOVANS' Restored 1971 Mercedes 6.3 litre 300 SEL JMO 9K

Carrying out the Restoration

Carrying out the restoration took two years. Shortly after the restoration, it was featured in a few magazines as well as mentions on the national radio shows Bob Harris Show on Radio 2, and Capital Gold. The car was also been featured on the Mercedes Enthusiast calendar, and has also been on display at Mercedes-Benz World Surrey in 2007.

It is a wonder that the car was still around to restore after its hard life especially as it was stored outside in a field at the mercy of English weather for approximately five years after Donovan sold it.

The car has been restored using original parts, although the points and condenser have been replaced with (link to Pertronix page) Pertronix electronic ignition. This was fitted to achieve a more reliable ignition system which is adjustment free.

To retain the original feel and period celebrity vibe of the car most of the leather interior was kept. I felt this was important, as although carrying out a restoration I wanted to retain some of the period vibe. The leather has been re dyed and is regularly coated and kept at a good humidity to keep it supple. Despite some small blemishes, the leather is in very good condition for the age and the previous very hard life of the car.

Many people hiring the classic wedding car like the fact that, they will be sitting on the same leather seats as Donovan and George Harrison once sat. The interior wood sections have been restored, and most of the chrome work has been re-chromed. Many people like to experience that most of the original interior is still in place.

Hire the Classic Mercedes JMO 9K

As can be seen from the long rear doors, the classic Mercedes is a car to be chauffeured in. Anyone who hires the classic Mercedes-Benz JMO 9K is very soon aware of the extra legroom, which is very useful for a Bride with a large wedding dress.

The large 6.3 litre, twin camshaft fuel injected V8 engine delivers plenty of power and torque. Acceleration of 0-60 mph is approximately 6 seconds. On a constant 60 mph you can achieve around 12 mpg. Driving around town is approximately 8 mpg. It is possible to cruise at 85mph quite comfortably.

There were only approximately 650 of these classic Mercedes-Benz cars made in right hand drive. Over the years most have been broken up mainly due to a combination of very high restoration costs, technical complexity and hard to locate spare parts. At present market prices (2006- 2020) it is often uneconomical to fully restore these cars as the restoration costs outweigh what they are presently worth.

This Mercedes-Benz 6.3 is one of the best right hand drive models in existence. 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 plates. There is also a photograph of the car parked next to a Rolls Royce used by the Beatles. The car continues to attract lots of attention from all ages when on the road.

Hire the classic Mercedes JMO 9K, and feel the period vibe.

Barratts Classic Car Hire
Restoration Information

Restoring aluminium window and windscreen trims 'Chemical Brightening'

Many enthusiasts reading this will no doubt have polished aluminium surrounds on their front and rear windscreens and window surrounds. Often these are either scratched or quite tarnished. In many cases when it comes to restoration, some sections are still available new, but many are not. The chances of locating these sections second hand, which are about forty years old with a decent shine and dent free are fairly remote. These sections, can be restored back to the same finish. Try to locate trim sections without dents in, as it is expensive to have the dents removed. It does not matter if the section you find is badly tarnished or with small fine scratches as these will polish out.

These sections are not just chrome plated or polished and lacquered as many think they are. The process is called 'Chemical Brightening'. The restoration of your aluminium section involves polishing it until it is smooth all over and free from pits, scratches etc. The section is then placed in a chemical bath where it brightens, hence the name 'Chemical Brightening'. The section is then anodised to stop it corroding. The whole process is not that expensive and does not take that long, as far less work is involved than say something like chrome plating. Years ago in England there were quite a few companies operating this service but due to changing health and safety regulations many have closed down.

Cleaning of various different steel items

When it comes to cleaning up various different steel items, it is nearly always best to have them grit blasted and sprayed with a zinc primer or hot zinc spray. This provides a decent rust free surface all ready for spraying. Grit blasting can save you much time and is a far better way of cleaning. For large items the whole item even a body shell can be soaked in a bath of acid to remove paint and rust.

Air suspension valves

Many people with these cars find that they start to sink down over night or over a couple of days, in other words there is a leak somewhere in the air suspension system. There are many different joints and valves, which cause a leak, and it is often best to use foam leak detector to find the leak before purchasing any valves or often-other expensive spare parts. It is always best to check that all four air bellows are ok. Another thing to bear in mind is that people think that they have a leak from the bellows when in fact water has worked itself in-between the face of the bellows and the steel air chamber. This often causes rust, which in turn means that the mating face of the bellows does not sit tightly on the air chamber. Another thing that can cause air leaks is where past owners have taken a valve or pipe off and not replaced the ‘o’ ring inside the joint. On most of the air system, a standard o-ring is used but on some parts a flat faced o-ring is used. Obviously, make sure you replace with the correct type. Whenever you take a joint apart always, replace the o-ring.

Air pipes

I replaced all my original steel air pipes with copper nickel pipes. I know this is not original but the obvious advantage is that they will not corrode. Having all these made up, bent to exactly the same shape as the steel ones was quite difficult and time consuming. However, they do look good, and are corrosion free.

The original air pipes were sprayed with a dark green paint. This green is the same green finish as the brake pipes. I decided not to spray this green paint on the air pipes. I was concerned that this paint would eventually start to come away from the copper nickel pipes from engine bay cleaning and lack of adhesion over time and thought this would look untidy. You can see an image of the engine bay below with the air pipes fitted. As a matter of interest apart from the air pipes, the only other thing that is not original on my car is the PerTronix unit. This is fitted to vastly improve the ignition, as in no more points, condenser or adjusting of dwell angles with the original two points set up.

Near side view of the engine bay
A short film of JMO 9K showing the engine bay as well as the interior recently after restoration. Filmed in 2006
The wedding car has also featured in the following magazines

Mercedes-Benz Club Gazette, May 2006. In a six page article 'Donovans 6.3' by Steve Barratt.

Practical Classics, July 2006. In a three page article 'Road Test' by Paul Wakely and Nigel Boothman.

Mercedes Enthusiast Magazine, August 2006. In a five page article 'Cosmic Wheels' by Tim Slade. The article ‘Cosmic Wheels’ featured on this website is reproduced with their permission.

Mercedes-Benz Club Gazette, December 2007. In a three page technical article 'Bye Bye Points - long live Pertronix' by Steve Barratt.

Mercedes Owner Magazine, April 2013. In a one page article 'Musical SEL' by Steve Barratt.

Classic Car Magazine, November 2018. In a two page article 'Power to the People' by Andrew Noakes.