1985 Mercedes-Benz 280GE


As much as I think all the fancy AMG G55s and G63s I see around (not to mention the unobtanium G63 6-wheeler) are interesting thought exercises in mechanical dissonance, I’d much rather have a “real” G-wagen in my garage. Something like this 280GE would do just fine, as it spent much of its life with an off-road guiding company. Hell yes. It looks like the business on big BFGoodrich 33s with a winch and the perfectly-classic light blue. The interior looks nice enough for me, but there are some rust spots that may need attention. Or not, and you can keep driving this thing on and off-road like the badass it is, knowing that a few scuffs just add to its story.

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


Year: 1985
Model: 280GE
Engine: 2.8 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 105,536 mi
Price: Reserve auction


For sale is a 1985 Mercedes Gelandewagen 280GE. This is not my personal vehicle I am selling it for someone. The current owner purchased this vehicle from an off road guiding company in Vermont where the vehicle proved its off road prowess on a regular basis. The vehicle was purchased having a transmission problem, so the transmission was removed, repaired and reinstalled. The current owner now has other projects that need his attention so he has opted to sell the Gwagen, it is ready for the next owner to drive and enjoy it.

What makes the G wagen a top flight expedition vehicle is the fact that every component on it is built with durability in mind. It has solid axles with mechanical locking differentials both front and rear, the ride is surprising comfortable with its coil sprung suspension. It has a mechanically fuel injected 2.8 liter 6 cylinder gasoline engine and 4 speed automatic transmission. The transfer case allows you to shift between high and low range on the fly without stopping, a huge asset in certain off road situations and something very few other vehicles can do. It has an ultra stong fully boxed frame and of course that iconic utilitarian body style.


The motor starts right up and runs great and the automatic 4 speed transmission shifts as it should. The engine has a slight oil leak from the valve cover gasket and a slight coolant leak that may be coming from the water pump gasket. The truck drives, steers and stops great there are no obvious faults with the drivetrain. The rear brakes and drums were recently replaced. The truck is equipped with AC although the drive belt is currently missing so it is not working. The exhaust appears to have been recently replaced and is in great shape. The tires are 33/10.50-15 BF Goodridge mud terrains and have about 75% tread remaining. The wheels are the original Mercedes aluminum wheels, they do have some scrapes and the spare wheel has 2 bends in it.

Body and chassis

The body is in good overall condition. It has been repainted once, there is some rust on the rear quarter panels, rocker panels and rear door jamb. The door bottoms and floors are in good shape with no obvious rust. The body also has some dents on the 2nd row passenger side door and some other minor dings and scrapes throughout the body. The body gaps and fit and finish is excellent and the doors close with a solid thump unlike most other modern vehicles. The frame is in great shape the only obvious rust is on the rear bump stop platforms. The suspension is in great shape and the truck rides great, all rubber bushings appear serviceable. The winch is not currently working it may need a solenoid or new controller.


The interior is in good shape, although there are two small tears on the driver seat and a few small missing trim pieces on the door panels. The front seats are exceptionally comfortable and ergonomically designed. There are fold down jump seats in the back to allow for 4 additional passengers giving the truck seating for 9. The simple vinyl upholstery and rubber floor mats reflects the trucks utilitarian no nonsense design. Electrically everything works as it should including the aftermarket cd player.

Although this G wagen is not the fastest vehicle on the road it is an excellent platform to take you just about anywhere on the continent you want to go.


Wish-list: Manual transmission, diesel, pop-top. Don’t need to put on the wishlist: JUMP SEATS. Heck yes you could fit 9 people in there. I want to buy this and drive it around, casually “nudging” all of the black/silver G63s littering Silicon Valley. This is what G Wagens were born to do; not haul your butt to Goopplebook.


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