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Three door SUVs are an interesting proposition. You have all the utility a 4×4 has to offer, but with less cargo space and sometimes less seats. It clearly works as we’ve had multiple versions of them running around for decades like the Jeep Wrangler, Land Rover Defender 90, and even stuff like the Ford Bronco. Lest we forget Germany’s entry into this market, the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. These have also been around for decades but as the years went on, demand for five door models has been so great that it is rare to see a W463 G-Wagen. However, today I ran across a 1999 three door in Germany and it isn’t just your normal W463, this one is one of the very few G55s made in the short body.
A number of weeks ago I looked at aÂ heavily armored 1995 Mercedes-Benz S600 that was built for none other than the Sultan of Brunei. It was anÂ 8,700 pound tank of a car that probably is on par with some tanks as to how much combat fire it can withstand. Today, I came across another literally bulletproof Mercedes that can handle everything just short of armor piecing rounds. This 2011 G55 AMGÂ that is built to a B6 level of armoring is originally a vehicle from the Middle East and somehow is now in California. Just like the S600 you would think that this is just another standard G55 that is hopping aroundÂ Los Angeles. Then you open the doors to see that clearly isn’t the case.
Last week I took a look at the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz G500. It was entirely new with just a few parts carried over from the W463 G-Wagen and the response from everyone here was lukewarm at best. I understand, it does look a little odd and it surely lost some of its brute looks in the front end while the interior was nothing but a bunch of screens and futuristic HVAC vents. Despite it’s best effort, we all knew the W463 wasn’t going to last forever but thanks to its production run that literally lasted generations, there are plenty of them out there on the used market. Today, I wanted to look at one of my favorite G-Wagens, the G55 AMG. Thanks to its prior owners and ideal climate where it resides, this one might be one of the cleanest 15-year old Gs I’ve come across.
Last week I checked out a really cool short wheel base right hand drive G500 in the UK and explained that you can basically have a G-Wagen any way you want it. Well, today’s G is another way get your kicks and if you haven’t noticed, this one is quite a bit longer than the last G I checked out. This is a 2005 G55 AMG that has been stretched and of course, updated with the G63 bumpers, wheels and badges that seems to be all the rage now. The stretching sadly wasn’t a factory job and because of that I’m going to stop short of calling it a true Pullman and instead go with the more tradition term of limousine. Although this stretching job looks really well done, I do have a couple of questions and one big red flag.
As misunderstood and misused as they are, I love the G-Wagen. What started as a utilitarian military vehicle has now evolved into pieces of sheer…