- Runs and drives
- Investment opportunity
- Complete, great condition interior
- Electrics reported working
The Mercedes G Series, or G Wagon as it is more lovingly known, has one of the most diverse and colourful histories of any model of car from any manufacturer, spanning a 40 + year production life. Originally developed following a suggestion by the Shah of Iran, its initial purpose was to be a military vehicle much like its British counterpart, the Land Rover. It was subsequently tested in the most difficult of environments of the Sahara Desert, German Coalfields and the Arctic Circle. With such vigorous testing, it’s hardly a surprise many examples have lasted this long.
This particular example (the W460, introduced in 1979) is fitted with the most popular and biggest, 3 litre diesel engine, a straight 5 naturally aspirated unit producing 87 bhp. It has three locking differentials, only a few vehicles use this feature, four-wheel drive and a lofty ride height ensuring you are equipped to deal with the roughest of terrain.
Whilst this model looks to have suffered at the mercy of our salted roads here in the UK, and with exception of the areas which caused the MOT failure (the rear tailgate area and right rear shock mount) it seems to be a diamond in the rough. If the market value of these models is to be believed, this could turn out to be an interesting investment, or another way into classic G Wagon ownership. After its long life and status as a cult car, the parts and aftermarket support for these vehicles is plentiful, making it a great option for a sympathetic restoration.
It has spent the last 7 years with the current owner with 5 previous owners before that. It has been in and around the Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire area for the past decade, so it’s been a local car that hasn’t been moved around a huge amount in its recent history.
The car has been SORN and off the road for the last year and a half whilst the world has gone through the recent pandemic. It does however run and drive, as the owner repositioned it on the driveway for the photos. The reason for selling, says the owner, is down to these changes in circumstance and some of the resto work being outside their skillset.
Whilst the V5 and a good record of some recent work is included, some of the paperwork from the cars extended history is not present. The recent work carried out however represents a significant cash payment to repair and maintain. More MOT information can be found on the Government website.
The interior of this car is in very good condition. The front driver’s seat material has a small rip in the bolster, however the owner is providing an identical replacement in better condition. The Electrics in the cab all reportedly work, with the owner adding discreet speakers and head unit to provide some entertainment as an improvement over standard. There is a small rip in the rubber gator for the gear lever, however, the interior has fared very well and has proven to be very durable over the car’s life.
This is where the car may put some off upon initial inspection, look past the outer layer however and it’s not hard to see the fantastic potential this car has to be a top-notch example of the marque. As previously mentioned, the right rear shock absorber mount needs repair, along with some work needed doing to the rear sections of the car.
There has been attempts by a previous owner to improve on certain sections of the body, which have been covered with primer to prevent further deterioration. Whilst serving its purpose, the primer-ed areas would obviously need further work to get the car back to prime condition. If investing in a long-term project then these issues should not put you off, the aftermarket support is plentiful, and the love for these cars shows no sign of letting up.
A few points worth mentioning over the exterior of the car are that the trim and wheels seem to be unaffected by any weathering and upon initial inspection were in good condition with the wheels having new tyres fitted a year ago.
The badges and light lenses were in good condition also with no cracks or ingress of water seen upon inspection. New front wing mounted indicators have recently been fitted to pass a previous MOT, not insignificant items that can of course be reused.
Apart from the areas mentioned then, a relatively usable canvas which could be improved upon and restored to former glory, a testament to this car’s legendary ruggedness.
With the car not being registered on the road, the mechanical inspection was limited to the driveway. The car fired up, ran and idled as smoothly as expected, moving under its own power to reposition for photos. No knocks, rattles or other untoward noises were noted during inspection. Due to the car not being road registered, we were unable to test the locking differentials.
One of Mercedes crowning jewels and longest running models, the G Wagon has well and truly attained cult status with countless variations and models gaining love from farmers to famous Hollywood stars alike.
This model represents a great base to reinvigorate a popular model from one of the first generation of G Wagon, and if done right, could prove to be a worthwhile future investment. It just needs someone to see its potential and return it to its former glory, then to use it for its intended purpose, traversing some of the roughest terrain you can throw at a vehicle with this level of off-road prowess.
With the continued love for the G Series, having a 1987 example in great condition would be a very attractive prospect indeed.
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