#FailFriday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 240GD

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While it looks very similar to the models that have been rolling out of Germany since 1979, most of the G-classes we see in the US are of the W463 variety, an update that ushered in the 1990s. While the 11-year run of the W460/461 chassis probably seemed long at the time, I don’t think anyone could have guessed that the W463 would still be produced 25 years later. While the actual aesthetic differences are few, I much prefer the older W460/1 models as they very rarely look like soft-roaders and usually carry a little more patina, history, and toughness.

Today’s flat-black with green canvas top looks pretty mean and would likely be unstoppable off-road, but the devil is in the details. While the owner claims it has covered just 8,000km or 5,000 miles, the close-up pictures show some rust hidden under the too-easy black respray. Combined with a weak description, its potential is overwhelmed by more questions than answers and a terribly optimistic price.

Click for details: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 240GD on eBay


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Year: 1988
Model: 240GD
Engine: 2.4 liter diesel inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 5,000 mi
Price: $19,995 Buy It Now

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1988 Mercedes Benz Military Jeep, 6 Cylinder Diesel,4 or 2 Wheel Drive with high and low range , Full vinyl removable canvas top , all heavy duty steel construction, all light work, modern seat belts, new seats, 4 newer tires with a full size spare, 8000 Kilometers 5000 original miles, runs great and drives GREAT!!! one of a kind vehicle , a real head turner

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$20k seems like a price for a great W460 that leaves no questions unanswered; unfortunately, I don’t think that’s the case here. The 240D was a 4-cylinder model – is the seller confused or was there a swap? Why has it only covered 5k miles in 26 years? When and how was the repaint done?

This has all the signs of a seller who is just throwing flat-black poop on the wall and seeing what sticks. It does a pretty good Willys Jeep impression, but it’s no more a Jeep than it is Kleenex or a Xerox machine. A few black rattle-cans and a mediocre job from your local boat-top canvas maker does not make this a one of a kind. There were literally tens of thousands of these made. If the Buy-It-Now was half of what it is now, I’d think “oh, sweet, seems reasonable for an old G-wagen to run in the woods!” For now, I just think it’s a crack-pipe price with a disconcerting lack of information.

-NR

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3 Comments

  1. The plate on it is a used-car dealers plate (starts with “D” in NJ..) so.. the lack of knowledge isn’t surprising. Looks like a used-car dealer who took inventory down to Florida, perhaps thinking it’s a better market.

  2. BTW – figure 1,000 of those miles were done getting it to Florida. Maybe he drove it down and found after that distance he actually hated it (I did that once.. was ready to sell the car and fly home..)

  3. The rust coming up on the pic of the side mirror & emblem! Yikes! Seller not knowing what engine is in it, double yikes! Lack of interior & under hood pics…jeez.

    Scanned his recent auctions and he also tried (unsuccessfully) to sell a circa 2001 Vette for about $15k more than NADA. The sun might be setting soon on his internet car flipping career.

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