It has been awhile since I’ve featured a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen Cabriolet because frankly, they don’t come up for sale all that often. People that know what they are usually want them pretty badly and when they get their hands on one, they keep it for a while. The last one I checked out was a 1999 G500 Cabriolet that was nearly perfect and came with a price tag to match at $150,000. Today’s G, a 1990 300GE for sale in Las Vegas, is still a W463 but obviously a little older. This one however is a little cheaper and thanks to a bunch of custom touches, even a little bit cooler in my eyes. Although I want to be clear here. The word ”cheaper” is a relative term when talking about these trucks. They are still really expensive in the grand scheme of things. How expensive?
Just when I thought I’ve seen everything, I see something new. It is probably pretty easy to see why I’m featuring this vehicle today, but it’s what it’s lacking that has me surprised. This is a 2015 Mercedes-Benz G550 6×4. Yes, a 6×4. It’s pretty crazy to think that a 6×6 G-Wagen is almost normal to me now, but a 6×4 is an entirely new way to get your six wheel kicks. From what I understand, this G started out as your normal G550, then had another rear end tacked on the end with an axle that isn’t connected to the driveshaft but the braking system is entirely functional. Inside, all the extra room from the extended body work gives you another row of seats and the regular capacity in the hatch area. Surprisingly, all this work looks pretty good and might even pass as a factory job if you are squinting hard enough. But of course, all this comes at what cost?
It’s been almost two weeks since I last featured a G-Wagen, so I figured I’d get back on the saddle and bring to you today a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280GE up for sale in beautiful Aurora, Colorado. As you might have noticed, this W460 isn’t a stock vehicle but it’s not so crazy that you’ll look like one of those people who drive from Canada to Argentina in one trip. In fact, the only thing that is really different from every other basic W460 out there are some G55 AMG wheels wrapped in massive 35 inch tires, a set of shocks and springs to fit those massive tires, some fender flares to cover those massive tires and some torsion bars to make sure those massive tires actually get can down the road. Notice a pattern here?
I know what you are saying. ”Another G-Wagen?” Yes, but if you saw the title and looked at the photo you can understand why. This is a 2016 G300 CDI 6×6. Yes, a G300 CDI, which means this thing is powered by the 3.0 liter OM642 V6 diesel engine and of course, it is a 6×6, too. These special Gs are called the LAPV (Light Armored Patrol Vehicle) 6.1 used for military service for countries around the world. It doesn’t look like much now, but typically these are outfitted to look something like this or this. This 6×6 has also been upgraded with Beadlock 37-inch tires with a centralized pressure system in cab. Just for good measure, it is possible to tow a trailer weighing up to 4400 pounds. How much? It is a good thing militaries have large budgets.
Another week, another G-Wagen. Last week it was the crazy G55 AMG limousine and the week before that it was the short wheelbase G500 for sale in the UK. Today, we have another short wheelbase G but as you might have noticed, this one has a little extra feature. This is a 1999 G500 Cabriolet that was federalized by Europa (read more here about them) for sale in New Jersey with a little over 65,000 miles. It’s a no-frills G outside of that slick power top that will make any Wrangler or Defender owner as jealous as can be. But the price, are you sitting down?
Earlier this week I looked at a ex-military Mercedes G-Wagen in a 1987 240GD. Today is another 1987 ex-military G-Wagen but this one is setup to be a little more livable — at least for what it is. Unlike Monday’s truck, this one has a roof, a radio and is even capable of keeping up with traffic. But let’s not get carried away, you are still a long way away from cruising to the mall while taking photos for Instagram with your Starbucks cup leaning against the steering wheel. So let’s take a look at this Dutch 300GD.
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 71,606 km (44,493 mi)
Price: Buy It Now $25,995
Ebay does not reconise European Vinnumbers: WDB46131017053012
G-zuna is very pleased to offer this nice G Wagon with Low Milage and in a unique shape
Very Rare Unique Overlander/Expedition
G Class with a Rebuild OM 603 Turbodiesel (Engine is redone)
Stick 5 and lots of features like the sandplates with hidden storageboxes, special sparewheel holder.
High and low gear
Warrior whinch with Plasmastrand and a very nice whinchbumper and together with the black Brushguard it looks really impressive.
Runningboards and Alloy in black. High-Jack in the storage box and lots of light on the car as you can see on the pictures.
Don’t get me wrong, this is still very much a bare bones G-Wagen where comfort is an afterthought. This truck was setup to work judging by all it’s accessories and specifically the built in storage boxes that fold open. That is something I rarely see even on the ex-military trucks. The engine is the OM603 3.5 liter diesel that was notorious for cracked heads and bent rods but according to the seller it was rebuilt so I’d assume a new head was fitted to fix this.
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.
I have a love-hate relationship with the G-Wagen, the 4×4 from Mercedes first introduced in 1972 as a military vehicle. I think that the contemporary, blinged-out AMG versions driven by celebrities and Hollywood moguls are an abomination, a crime against motoring humanity. But on the other hand, I’m quite partial to the older, more humble trucks on which they’re based. (I clearly have a thing for boxy old SUVs: I adore vintage Range Rovers, and used to own a Jeep Cherokee XJ, though the less said about that the better.) The original trucks are honest in a way the modern behemoths are not. The G-class was never supposed to be nice to drive, luxurious or a status symbol of wealth and conspicuous consumption. It was a spartan, utilitarian vehicle intended to transport soldiers across inhospitable terrain or, when sold to the public, farmers across boggy marshes.
So lets start off with a quick Thursday evening history lesson. Way back in the grand time known as the year 2002, Mercedes-Benz finally decided to officially grace North America with its wonderful Geländewagen, or ”G-Wagen” for short. Or, ”G-Wag” if the next words in the sentence are ”sittin’ on 22-inch rimz.” So with the G-Wagen starting production 1979 and Mercedes never officially offering them for sale at dealers until the model year 2002, someone had to feed the need of wealthy North Americans who saw these on their vacations in Swiss Alps and wanted to get something else besides a P38 Range Rover that had a permanent EAS Fault message on the dash. That ”someone” were the guys at Europa G-Wagen located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Their business was pretty straight forward, they would bring over G-Wagens from Europe, do all the very expensive dirty work of federalizing these SUVs so they weren’t subject to the 25-year import rule, then distribute them all over the country. Their business did so well that they became the exclusive U.S. importer of the G-Wagen and eventually gained U.S. Small Volume Manufacturer status. This all went really well until 2002 until Mercedes gave them the ”we’ll take it from here” and bought the U.S. distribution rights from Europa. This left the company to focus more on service, parts and accessions. Today, Europa still dabbles in importing G-Wagens, but mostly in the models we never got here such as the three door Cabrio.
So, every once in a blue moon one of these W463 Europa SUVs pop up for sale. Today, we have a 2000 G500 in Colorado that deserves a closer look.
Many of my G-Wagen posts are centered around finding examples that counter the G-series unfortunate decline into status symbols as overblown as watches with four-inch faces. Today’s brings all the tough with a few bumps and bruises as well as an aftermarket truck bed. With a long wheelbase, 4WD, and bulletproof diesel, this would be an outstanding work truck. It looks pretty rough for being just 20 years old – a mere childhood in a G-wagen’s lifespan. The downsides are a rather optimistic asking price and the fact that it currently resides in Amsterdam. If the seller is serious about getting international interest, he’d do well to provide a bit more information.