Valuable Classics Part 7: Mercedes–Benz G-Class models
The G-Class was clearly built with the military in mind. In addition to orders from the Persian army Mercedes was betting the Bundeswehr would be interested as well. Unfortunately, the German forces favored the cheaper VW Iltis. Due to orders from the German Border Guard and armies from countries such as Norway, Argentina and Indonesia, Mercedes went ahead with the production of the G series anyway.
The many variations of the G-Class
Of the numerous versions of the G-Class, the open version was particularly popular with the military. The traditional design, with a separate chassis, made it easy to respond to special customer requests. The Indonesian military, for instance, opted for the open version but without the doors. After the production of the Iltis was halted the Bundeswehr decided to purchase the G as well and, in the end, ordered almost 50 different versions.
Most of the military versions were equipped with the 2.4 liter four-cylinder diesel with 72 hp. Only a small number was ordered as 300 GD with 88 hp. In 1987 the 240 GD was replaced by the 250 GD which had a more powerful five-cylinder diesel. This was also the version ordered by the Bundeswehr in 1989 to replace the Iltis. Upon its introduction, the 250 GD received the nickname “Wolf”.
particularities of the Mercedes-Benz 250 GD
The “Wolf” 250 GD was built and designed with robustness and reliability in mind. It has some special features compared to its civilian counterparts. As is often the case, with military vehicles, the “Wolf” operates with 24 volts instead of the usual 12 volts. Most of these vehicles also have the special heavy-duty transmission with 6 gears.
The open two-door basic version with a short wheelbase, is the most common one. The version with the long wheelbase is much rarer. The closed G type was produced with a short as well as a long wheelbase. Most of the closed versions have special equipment installed to make them suitable for special tasks such as ambulance or as a mobile radio unit. Many military Gs can be registered as trucks, which has a particularly favorable effect on the taxes required. And the nice thing is, the first versions already qualify as classic cars.
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