Belfast Telegraph

Bono's old Mercedes goes on eBay

By Louise Hogan

If the cowhide-patterned interior isn't a strong enough hint as to its famous past, then there are other, firmer clues.

The logbook for the 30-year-old metallic-bronze Mercedes 450SL still carries the name of 'Paul Hewson', better-known as Bono, U2's frontman.

"It's been restored to its former glory and it is now a vintage car," said the current owner, Dave Lawlor, the manager of the music venue Fibber Magee's on Dublin's Parnell Street.

The vehicle has already driven through its fair share of auctions, but will shortly be going up for sale again on eBay. Mr Lawlor said he planned to donate around €5,000 of the sale money to charities for schizophrenia.

The car is believed to be one of Bono's first big purchases after the success of the band's album 'Boy'.

He owned it for 20 years from 1980 until 2000, when he gave it to a charity auction to raise funds for aid to Ethiopia. The successful bidder was Pepsi Cola, which paid €61,000 for the vehicle.

In 2002, it was handed over to the Boyzone member and actor Keith Duffy, who raised more than €30,000 when he auctioned it to raise funds for autism charities.

The ownership trail then saw it purchased by a Cork businessman, Stuart Matthews, before being later snapped up by Mr Lawlor.

It contains a sound system worth around €15,000, which was installed by the singer.

"It is a big monster of a thing, a V6; it's an unusual car," Mr Lawlor said.

"When I bought it, it was full of rust and everything. I spent around €20,000 restoring it. I've had everything restored."

Mr Lawlor imagines a "major U2 fan" would be eager to buy it. "Or you never know, Bono might buy it back," he quipped.

But if it is a more modern horse-power you are after then fans of the James Bond movies may be eager to hear a 2005 tungsten-silver Aston Martin D89 V12 Touchtronic is going under the hammer this week.

Merlin O'Reilly, from Merlin Car Auctions in Naas, Co Kildare, said there had been a lot of interest in the two-door coupe which has 3,000 miles on the clock.

He said it would retail at €85,000 to €90,000 but is expected to fetch around €70,000 when it goes to auction tomorrow.

The fallout of the recession is continuing, with a number of luxury cars -- including ex-finance vehicles and private entries -- expected to number among the 300 vehicles up for auction.

Irish Independent

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