#FailFriday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 240GD

$_57 (5)

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

DSC06986_zpsdb5acbfe

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

$_57 (3)
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

1986 Mercedes-Benz 240GD

$_57 (6)

Do you get jealous of the brightly-colored Land Rover Defenders romping around the streets, looking all tough? Well, today we have a Geländewagen that looks ready for safari, enough so that it will probably be regularly mistaken for its British counterpart. With just 40k miles and a great diesel/manual combo, it’s a very nice off-road package. Bidding is hot on the no-reserve auction for this orange beast that will never be taken for a road-going G55 or G63.

Click for details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz G240GD on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

The search for the perfect Providence commuter continues, and I’m constantly drawn back to these 1980s Geländewagens. Part of that is the inherent appeal of the G-wagen, with chunky good looks, rugged utilitarianism and honed-from-granite build quality. Sure, it’s about as fluid a design as what my 2-year old would draw and didn’t take much imagination; Draw one rectangle with two circles underneath, and on top place a slightly smaller rectangle. Job done! But the proportions are just right and with the right tires and alloys, the stance is perfect. Another reason that the G is on the list of cars that are acceptable in this household? My wife likes them and thinks they’re cool – rare for Mercedes-Benz products in her mind:

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

1986 Mercedes-Benz 240GD “Wolf”

For all the glitz and glamour of the current models, the Mercedes-Benz G class was originally intended for military consumption. However, much like the Hummer H1, the jet set took a liking to this vehicle and ran with it. Now we have AMG models of a rough and ready off-roader, answers to a question it seemed no one asked in the first place. If you want an honest, back to basics G-wagen, dial back to the 1980s, as there are a few bouncing around on these shores courtesy of the importer at the time, Santa Fe Motors in New Mexico. In addition, now that we’re at the point that most 1980s machinery is eligible for legal importation, interesting variants like this 1986 “Wolf,” built for defense operations in mind, have started to make their way across the pond. This one for sale in New Jersey is perfect for someone who wants to take the road less travelled off-road. Literally.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 240GD “Wolf” on eBay

1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

It’s hard to believe that the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen has been with us for 35 years. In an era when Mercedes styling has become more daring than ever, this boxy truck has defied trends and continues to offer unmatched levels of off-road prowess with the latest luxuries. Once Mercedes-Benz started officially importing this model to the US, however, the G-wagen became a bit soft around the edges, losing a bit of that simple ruggedness that endeared it to military and rescue services the world over. This earlier, imported 280GE for sale in California, however, is set up for the more hardcore enthusiast, looking quite purposeful in black with large, slatted roof rack. Equipped with a higher horsepower, Euro spec M110 inline-6, it has been certified as 50 state legal.

Click for more details: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on eBay

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

1986 Mercedes-Benz 250GD

DSC06152_zps0b04d59d

I’m always interested in old-school G-wagens that kick the sparkly stuff in the faces of the people that see them as accessories similar to those watches with 4-inch faces, or 30 lbs of platinum tennis bracelets. This almost 30-year old green example is in fantastic shape from less than 60k miles, but it eschews the standard glitz and chrome for a great green and flat black exterior. The extra kick to the 1%’s groin is instead of “V8 Biturbo” on the side, it says “Schnitzel.” Yep. Be careful when you sit in any of the NINE seats, because there’s a strong chance you’ll get some serious awesome rubbed off on you.

Click for details: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 250GD on eBay

1997 Mercedes-Benz G300 CDI Convertible

$_57

I’ve alluded to my annoyance at the ubiquity of the AMG Geländewagens around Silicon Valley, as growing up there was a mystique to insane breathed-on monster SUVs. The German marques have seemed to erase all mystique in their performance brands by expanding them to every model and selling as many as possible. Today’s G-Wagen would turn some heads and probably elicit some envy from G55 owners, intrigued by this short wheelbase convertible that will seem to the rich but ignorant to be a very expensive and unique car when it was in fact a more base version in other parts of the world. Living in Canada but with a US title, this would be an extremely capable off-roader with diesel efficiency and Jeep-like convertibility. The importation and rarity doesn’t make it cheap though, with an asking price that could easily get you a very nice, newer G55.

Click for more details: 1997 Mercedes-Benz G300 CDI on eBay