A 1955 model Mercedes Benz, that the company itself wanted to buy back from the Royal family of Thiruvananthapuram, would now be gifted to NRI businessman and chairman of LuLu Group, M A Yousuff Ali.
The Mercedes 180T was one of the favourite rides of the late Marthanda Varma, the Maharaja of Travancore, so much so that he had refused the offer of two new Mercedes Benz cars in return from the company. The descendants of Marthanda Varma have decided to hand over the car to M A Yousuff Ali based on the wish of the late royal.
Uthradam Tirunal Marthanda Varma used the car till he was 85. The royal family bought the car in the 1950s paying Rs 12,000. It was registered in Karnataka under the number CAN 42. Marthanda Varma was a lover of cars and this Mercedes Benz 180 T was his personal favourite. He began using the car when he was 38 and it is estimated that he must have around 40 lakh miles in it. The medals that were given by the Mercedes Benz company, marking the kilometres the car has covered, are also displayed at the front of the prized vehicle.
Many industrialists and the wealthy had approached the royal family, offering staggering amounts to purchase the car. However, the royal family has decided to fulfill the wish of the late Marthanda Varma and will hand over the car to Yousuff Ali. The Travancore Royal family and Sree Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma Foundation are set to hand over the car, currently kept in Pattom palace under the supervision of Marthanda Varma’s son Padmanabha Varma and the foundation, to Yusuff Ali.
Marthanda Varma himself had offered the car to Yousuf Ali when he had visited the palace in 2012. He had directed his descendants that the car should be given to Yousuf Ali before his death. Royal family sources said the car would be handed over to the businessman soon.