1991 Mercedes-Benz 230GE

Almost two months ago I checked out a 1991 G-Wagen that served Swiss Military well before passed on to civilian use for many more years of enjoyment and constantly explaining what the heck it is. Today’s Mercedes-Benz, and by Mercedes-Benz I mean Daimler-Steyr-Puch, is also a Swiss service vehicle. This one saw service with the Feuerwehr (fire department) in the small town of Stansstad in central Switzerland. From there, it looks like it ended up in the Netherlanders before finding a home with a collector in New Jersey. Unlike the Puch I checked out earlier, this 230GE isn’t a stripped-out spartan workhorse. It’s actually a nice place to be for a service vehicle.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 230GE on eBay

Year: 1991
Model: 230GE
Engine: 2.3 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 121,869 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

Current owner is an avid collector of rare and unique vehicles and when he was contacted about about this particular G-Wagon he had to have it.

When you drive this vehicle, it is obvious to observed that it was fleet maintained as the motor and transmission shifts smooth between gears.

Steering and suspension also functions the way you would expect, and I personally would have no reservations about driving this vehicle daily for long distances.

Acceleration seems to be much improved over the Diesel model, but please don’t expect this vehicle to throw you back in your seat like a new Ferrari.

Very reliable vehicle.

Please note I believe the lights and sirens have been disabled, and I am not an expert of restoring these systems.

RARE !!!

Find another in this condition !!!

Very solid vehicle.

Log of service calls that this vehicle responded to is included and hand written.

So Cool !!!

Body has one small spot of corrosion under the paint is on rear driver side quarter-panel and is photographed (see photos).

Priced to sell !!!

This vehicle is at my shop, and gets more attention than the 1986 Ferrari 328 GTS, or the rotisserie restored 1968 280 SL it is park along side.

Everyone wants to know the story about this very unique G-Wagon !!!

Pre-Purchase Inspections encouraged at my facility.

In typical Swiss fashion, this truck looks extremely well cared for. Over 20 years of service isn’t kind on anything but this 230GE has held up great. I’m no expert on Swiss fire departments, but if I had to guess this was probably some support vehicle and wasn’t exactly running full speed to fight fires. The interior is super clean outside of some leftover equipment and the cloth seats are free from any heavy wear. The rear cargo area is all diamond plated which I haven’t seen before but if that works when carrying heavy gear I’m not one to argue against it. Outside, the paint shines bright and clean but there is some rust starting the bubble on the rear quarter panel. What’s interesting is that this W463 still sports snow tires with a couple of them being the great Nokian Hakkapeliittas so it’s probably seen some snowy roads in its life.

The bidding on this one will be interesting. Early W463 G’s are sought after much more than the W460/461 trucks and seeing as this one is already on US soil without having to deal with any import logistics, I can see this one being very popular. This fire service theme is cool and all, but the real value here is the creature comfort this offers. You can drive this truck everyday in total comfort and although it’s a bit underpowered with the M102, it’s still fine to drive without much planning. It wouldn’t shock me to see bids of north of $20,000 here and it’s hard to argue against that price.

– Andrew

Alt-Terrain: 1962 Steyr-Puch Haflinger

When it comes to German utilitarian vehicles, the Unimog is the be-all, end-all; a half-tractor, half-urban assault vehicle. But Austria offered an interesting and less agricultural way to achieve the same goal. Built in Graz, Steyr-Daimler-Puch (usually shortened to Steyr-Puch) offered two platforms for military and industrial all-road capability. Starting in 1954, the first was the Haflinger, and it was anything but traditional. Named for the famed sure-footed breed of Austrian mountain horses, unlike a usual body-over-frame design, the Haflinger employed lightweight yet rigid casings around its drivetrain, highlighted by a central tube which connected the front and rear drive sections. This formed the basis for the structural rigidity of the Haflinger. A platform was then mounted above to carry passengers and cargo. Though they looked quite light-duty as a result and indeed tipped the scales at a scant 1,300 lbs, the off-road capability was anything but lightweight. Portal axles with gear reduction, independent coil springs and manual locking differentials gave supreme off-road capability. Power for such a small package was modest, with the flat-twin cranking out about 30 horsepower in .6 liter form as we see here. While you might not be going anywhere fast, you were certain to get there no matter where “there” was.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1962 Steyr-Puch Haflinger on eBay

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1991 Volkswagen Golf Country Chrome Edition

Though it was never available in the U.S. until this coming model year, all-wheel drive in a standard Golf is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around since 1986.

If you follow me around the internet, and I don’t expect you to, you might have caught my article for The Truth About Cars about all-wheel drive Golfs which predated the R32. Though the idea sounds simple enough since parent company Audi had an all-wheel drive system that was ever so popular, mounting that longitudinal transmission and drivetrain into the transverse engine Golf was impossible. Instead, Volkswagen contracted Steyr-Daimler-Puch to design a viscous coupling setup for the Golf with a new independent suspended rear. Like the contemporary Quantum and Vanagon setups, it was dubbed “Syncro”, though outside of all-wheels being driven the three systems shared almost nothing.

The result was a few fan-favorite models. Performance types love the Quattro-inspired Golf Rallye, Golf G60 Syncro and Golf Limited models. But undoubtedly the most recognizable Golf to wear the Syncro badge was the jacked-up Golf Country. Utilizing an already heavily modified Golf Syncro, Daimler-Steyr-Puch installed some 438 unique pieces to create the light offroading Golf way before the Outback was conquered by Subaru:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Volkswagen Golf Country Chrome Edition on eBay

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