1987 Mercedes-Benz 300GD

Now that it is the middle of August and it could snow next week for all we know, I have to start thinking about my winter vehicle situation. My trusty Land Rover Discovery 1 that I’ve had for the past 12 years probably won’t see the flakes fly because I think some coolant is leaking into the cylinders and that is a problem. Because a Discovery with 180,000 miles that has been in Pennsylvania for the past 12 years is worth roughly the price of a used lawnmower, which I’m sure people on Craigslist will offer up for trade, it isn’t worth pulling the heads and fixing. This of course has led me to shopping for G-Wagens. The sensible decision would be to find a decent Land Cruiser/Lexus LX and never lose a dime on it while being 100% reliable, but the crazy person in me says go find a G-Wagen because that is what I really want at the end of the day.

During my search for the perfect G, I came across this wild example up for sale in Canada. You might notice it is quite a bit longer and has a few more seats. This  W460 300GD was cut up and lengthened a massive 32 inches. This added room for another row of seats while still keeping a healthy amount of space in the rear. The fit and finish look great along with basically everything else on this G. But I have to ask, why?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300GD on eBay

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 300GD

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I’ve always thought the early W463 Mercedes-Benz was the pinnacle of all the G-Wagens that made it to production. It has enough creature comforts to make you feel like you aren’t a member of the Slovak Republic Armed Forces on a counter-terrorism mission (seriously, 43 military organizations around the world use a G-Wagen) but not so many modern toys that everything is already broken inside it or at least on the verge of being. It has comfortable seats, a modern HVAC system, a nice stereo system and some real wood trim. You still got your choice of gas engines as well as a diesel that didn’t have 84 horsepower. Mercedes also gave you a choice of a five-door or a three-door and, perhaps most surprising, a three-door Cabriolet. Today is one of those convertibles for sale in Italy and since it’s a 1992, it’s only one month short of being eligible to be imported to the United States under the 25-year importation rule.

 CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300GD on eBay

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1985 Mercedes-Benz 300GD

While the Unimog Doka I wrote up a few days back is truly a vehicle I desire, I can admit that it’s probably not the most practical vehicle in the world. Navigating the ultimate Mercedes-Benz off-roader around local roads would likely be fun at first, but I can envision it ultimately being a headache. I recently watched a clip of Jeremy Clarkson rolling around England in a Hummer H1, and I imagine the Unimog would be similar. While it’s not exactly as tight as Cambridge, England cart paths around here in New England, nor is it like Texas. What makes more sense for a rugged, go anywhere, impossible to kill commuter? Well, we’re back to a G-Wagen, of course!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300GD on eBay

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1988 Mercedes-Benz 300GD

An entire generation vehicles has passed since the introduction of of the Mercedes-Benz Gelädewagen in 1979. Time marches on and even though there have been rumors over the past decade of this off-road vehicles imminent demise, this beast continues to soldier on, looking not too dissimilar from the day it debuted. Even though SUVs have been wildly popular here in the US for the last two decades, it wasn’t until 2002 that Mercedes-Benz gifted us this vehicle, as the only G-Wagens to arrive here before that were imported via Europa Motors in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This 1988 model has been worked over, with a 300SD motor installed and a specialty gearbox with low range. Painted in dark green with flared fender arches and a snorkel, this G looks ready to tackle just about anything that stands in its way.

1988 Mercedes-Benz 300GD on eBay

Up for sale is a nineteen 88 Mercedes 300GD turbodiesel with a 5-speed Wolf crawl gearbox. This truck was born a 300GD diesel with a 5 cilinder 617 engine coupled to a 5-speed Getrag gearbox. The truck still has its original forest green color with its original brown plaid interior. It has front and rear diff. locks, high and low 4X4 transfer box, RPM meter, snorkel on alternator, headlamp washers, fog lights front and rear, wiper and washer on rear door, front towpin and tow hitch and a set L/R front Mercedes G 460 rubber mats. The following modifications were made using only original Mercedes or Mercedes suppliers parts.

-ORC lift kit, both axles, with shocks 15cm. (www.orc.de)
-R.H. deep dish alloy rims 8.5J X 15 special G-wagon rims. (www.RH-alurad.de)
-17 cm Mercedes fender extenders matching the RH rims. the widest extenders Mercedes ever offered.
-Wolf, 711-116, gearbox out of a military 250GD. This gearbox has an extreem low first crawl gear.

Model number: G1/18-5/6.15. It is a super strong cast iron made in Gaggenau, Germany gearbox.
Reverse 5,347:1
1st gear 6,157:1
2nd gear 3,148:1
3rd gear 1,743:1
4th gear 1,278:1
5th gear 1:1

– 5 cil 617A turbodiesel engine out of a 1985 300SD. Car had 160kmi with a rebuild cylinder head.
– Set of ORC rock-sliders bolted, not welded, under L and R rocker panels.
-METAL Mercedes-G snorkel, from drivers seat not visable, hidden behind windshield post.
This snorkel also serves as an intercooler providing cold air straight into the air cleaner.
-Mercedes-G outside sunvisor.
-W463 functional vents in RF and LF fenders. A metal passage way was fabricated to allow hot air to escape the engine compartment.
-New Pro-Comp 15X12.50X35 tires.
-Truck was professionally repainted in its original factory color.
-Roof panel was painted in white.
-New heavy duty Sachs clutch plate, throw-out bearing, pilot bearing and clutch slave cilinder.
-Factory gaskets between bell housing and engine & bell housing and gearbox for water tightness.
-Correct new Wolf shift knob, Wolf shift mechanism and Wolf shift linkage rods.
-Larger capacity 300SD (617A) oil cooler was installed.
-Swiss Army foldable emergency shovel with matching leather holster mounted next to rear door on inside.
-Custom exhaust thru the chassis pipe, this was done to achieve optimal ground clearance.
-Turbo emblem on rear panel.

All filters and fluids were checked or changed. Engine was resealed while it was out on the bench. A lot of time, effort and $’s were invested in this truck in addition to help from knowledgeable and dedicated G-wagon experts from the USA and Europe. We have now created a beast that can be put up against any Mercedes G-wagon, especially new ones, and come out the winner every time. I have a free and clear title in my name, will assist with shipping. We have run the truck on WVO, he loves it! The snorkel, turbo and exhaust produce a nice whine especially under load. Sale is not complete until a Bill of Sale has been signed by both buyer and seller. Good Luck Bidding!!

I have 1 more G1/18-5/6.15 Mercedes Gaggenau cast-iron 5-speed gearbox available. Top Gear contacted me to have this G appear in their program!

Before Mercedes-Benz starting importing them officially, Geländewagens used to command high values, even when used. Today, the market for them is still strong, but I’m not sure if it is quite as strong as the asking price on this particular 300GD. While it has an impressive amount of equipment and work done to it, I’d estimate we might be about $5,000 to $10,000 too high, as I’ve seen similar vintage two-door Geländewagens on offer in that range. I could be wrong, however, as there are certainly G-wagon devotees out there who are willing to lay down a lot of cash for what amounts to one of the most capable off-road vehicles ever built.

-Paul