How Nelson Mandela's Mercedes-Benz Was Built by Hand

A central figure of the anti-apartheid movement and a national hero in South Africa, Nobel prize winner Nelson Mandela was released from the Victor Verster jail in early 1990, after a 27 year imprisonment.
Nelson Mandela with his Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz South Africa/YouTube
Needless to say, his release was one of the most important occasions in the country's history and a group of people decided to make him a truly special gift. The following short film shows how a number of workers from Mercedes-Benz' plant in East London, South Africa, hand-built a special version of a Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class to be gifted to Nelson Mandela.

The car was actually manufactured mainly by hand and outside of the normal working hours, while most of its parts were donated by Mercedes-Benz for the special project, which was completed in just four days.

Nicknamed Madiba's Merc (Madiba is Mandela's Xhosa clan name), the special car featured a South African flag and Mandela's name, along with a personalized license plate reading “999 NRM”, with NRM being short for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

The red Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class can now be seen at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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About the author: Alex Oagana
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Alex handled his first real steering wheel at the age of five (on a field) and started practicing "Scandinavian Flicks" at 14 (on non-public gravel roads). Following his time at the University of Journalism, he landed his first real job at the local franchise of Top Gear magazine a few years before Mircea (Panait). Not long after, Alex entered the New Media realm with the project.
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