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

1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

1I 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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on Hemmings

#FailFriday: 1998 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabrio

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Welcome back to Fail Friday: Where once good cars can hopefully get the help they deserve. Today’s vehicle is a result of what happens when people just simply have too much money. It’s not the fact that it’s the ultra-rare W463 G500 Cabrio, it’s the fact that someone decided to turn it into a driving Salvador Dali gallery. I have lots of questions and not a lot of answers so let’s try to sum up this surreal G-Wagen located in Germany.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabrio on eBay

2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Europa

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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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Europa on eBay

1988 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

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I love the G-Wagen. From the military-spec W460 to the Kardashian-spec W463, I love them all. The do-everything utility SUV from Mercedes-Benz that’s brash but can also be handsome in its own sort of quirky way. Designed by a team who were only allowed to use straight-edge rulers, the G has been kicking around it’s same basic shape since 1979. Everything from tiny four cylinder diesels to massive twin-turbo V12s that are more valuable than the GDP’s of some small countries have been in this thing. Unfortunately, Mercedes never graced the US with it’s G-Wagen gifts until 2002 and unlike almost every other mass produced Benz, the G seems to depreciate to a certain point in the mid-$20,000 range and never go any lower. The dreams of picking up a 2002 G500 for $9,500 will be just that — dreams — unless you are conformable buying half a G, in which the other half was involved in a large fire.  So importers have loading up the ships with handfuls European-spec Gs, spray painting the under body with three coats of black paint to hide the rust, throwing them on eBay with vague photos and descriptions then hoping the winner has a bad back and can’t crawl under it to check it out himself. Today’s featured G doesn’t seem to be that case. A wonderful 3-door 280GE located in Delaware could be a great buy for someone. As long as they don’t enjoy using drive-thrus.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on eBay

2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6X6

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Sometimes a vehicle can be best summed up by numbers. There’s a few to remember with this truck, the Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6:

6: Number of wheels
37: Tire size in inches
20: Capacity in liters of the four air tanks that inflate aforementioned tires
18: Ground clearance in inches
7.8: 0-60 mph time
561: Number of torques the 5.5 liter twin-turbocharged V8 produces

And most importantly, 9,050. That would be the curb weight of this beast. If any truck was going to make the Lamborghini LM002 look rather pedestrian, this modified G-wagen would be it. From the land that gave us the V8 Supercars race series, those nutters down under were partly responsible for this creation we see before us. Designed for the Australian military, the G-Wagen 6×6 went into low volume production last year, continuing on for 2015. I was well aware of the existence of this 6×6, but didn’t know that any of them have made it over to the US. Amazingly, such a unique automobile has surfaced on Cars.com. Thanks to our reader Walker for passing along the tip!

Click for details: 2014 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6 on Cars.com

1997 Mercedes-Benz G36 AMG

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A little more than a decade has passed since Mercedes-Benz North America decided to finally import it’s legendary Geländewagen and the truck is still in the lineup after 13 years in the market. Before this, it was up to private importers to bring this vehicle to our shores, most notably Europa International out of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Before Mercedes started officially importing to the G Wagen to the US, AMG variants were few and far between. This G-Wagen for sale in California began life as a G320 but has been transformed into a G36 AMG, with the AMG 3.6 liter engine supplanted under hood, along with AMG exhaust, 18” AMG wheels and the requisite brush guards for the correct look. If you’ve wanted an AMG G-Wagen but were perhaps a bit weary of the V8 thirst, this clone could be a good compromise.

Click for details: 1997 Mercedes-Benz G36 AMG on eBay

#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

1986 Mercedes-Benz 300GD

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Today we have a Geländewagen that covers a lot of ground, and not just in the typical all-terrain beast way. Sure, it can do all the badass stuff, but it’s looking unique and clean with a low-mileage diesel and an amazing interior. Seriously, plaid AND jump seats?! It all looks pristine and the price reflects it. If red is your color and you want to have a little of the GWagen panache without the overwrought AMG details, this is a great choice.

Click for details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300GD on eBay

1980 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

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I love finding anti-G55/G63 G-wagens, and here’s one that’s been used hard but is ready to go for more. It’s an Idaho off-roader, ready to take on trails and backcountry in a way that fully exploits its original intentions. Racks, lights, and big tires all create a great look in addition to being very useful, and the short wheelbase looks like a blast in the hills. It has low mileage but quite a bit of lurking rust, which should keep the price low.

Click for details: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280GE for sale on eBay