In the same vein as the Hummer and Jeep, the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen was developed from a military application, in this case, from the Shah of Iran’s armed forces. Introduced in 1972, the G-Wagen was designed and built with assistance from Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Austria, and their considerable experience in developing four-wheel-drive systems for off-road vehicles. From 1979, the G-Class became available to the public and was marketed under the Mercedes-Benz name, though the firm initially thought the design to be too utilitarian for the US market and cars were only available on the grey market. The original design changed little over the half century, and its simplicity and robustness brought it to cult status with various iterations over the years, including 6-wheel drive customs, fire-breathing V8 turbo-powered AMGs and the rare, European market 2-door convertible.
The 1984 Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen Convertible on offer here was purchased new by an enthusiast and member of the US military, while stationed in Germany. As he returned home, he shipped his beloved G-wagon home with him.
He “federalized” the car for use in all 50 states, replacing the Kph speedometer for a mph unit. He enjoyed the G-wagon with minimal use for many years, until purchased by our vendor about 3 years ago. At that point the G-wagen was in need of refurbishment. The body was stripped of its bright red paint and readied for the new and striking Mercedes Paprika livery. The interior was restored with all new leather upholstery, carpet, etc. The original, surprisingly comfortable seats were re-stuffed and reupholstered in fine quality leather, matching the dash and panels. The roll down windows accentuate the vintage appeal of the car.
A hardtop was sourced and restored to match the car. Updates during restoration included G63 lights and front grill, door mirrors, new fender flares and running boards, and G55 wheels for a modern classic look and feel.
Fresh from service, the truck starts easily and runs well, with fully operational systems, including nice, cold AC, a rare option on a G-wagen of its age. Also rare is the automatic transmission mated to the gasoline powerplant.
The G-wagen’s cult appeal goes without argument, and this striking classic and rare convertible with subtle modernizations ticks multiple boxes for the discerning collector.
Location: Venice, California