La Aduana: 1986 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen

The G-wagen has an impressive history of service between its roles as a military transport, special operations truck, and even as a pope-mobile. But lets be honest, reputation alone hasn’t sold us on it; a big part of the G-wagen attraction is that it’s just plain cool. Strong lines, impressive capability, and a luxurious interior make for a pretty fantastic, and not to mention comfortable expedition vehicle package. Like many things in life however, you get what you pay for. The G-wagen isn’t exactly cheap. In fact it’s almost too expensive for most people to justify its use as an off-road vehicle. Fortunately, the one we’ve found today will give you all the style and capability without requiring you to do things like, spend your children’s college fund, start a pyramid scheme, or sell your kidney on the black market.

This particular truck is a 1986 two door that has averaged less than 3,000 miles per year since production. With such little use it’s not surprising that it is in pretty great shape. The only flaws that are mentioned are a few points of flaking paint and a small tear in the drivers seat from entering and exiting the vehicle, which is to be expected at this age. The seller states that there is no rust and that it runs strong with smooth shifts and ample power for this its size. For those looking for a cool, capable, and affordable G-wagen, this clean two-door could fit the bill.

Check it out on Ebay Motors here:

Here’s a look at what the seller has to say:

The drive is great, very responsive steering and surprisingly light to steer. Gear changes are smooth and feel tight. The visibility is excellent due to the huge rear windows. The 2.3 gas engine never feels underpowered and zips along nicely at a cruising speed of around 70-75 mph.

This G Wagon is a real head turner. It has spent 4 hours in our workshop being valeted and looks stunning. A brilliant red combined with black arches and trims really pop.

We would say that this is an entry level vehicle, for someone who loves and appreciates the G Wagon and wants something special. I have personally driven the vehicle and find the drive excellent, my wife drove it for 5 hours back from Brunswick and didn’t want to get out at the other end. It is the kind of vehicle that you quickly grow attached to and will want to tinker with it.

The reason we call this an entry level vehicle is that there are minor things that an enthusiast would possibly want to consider, although it is stunning as it is. There are some cosmetic jobs that could be done which would only improve the vehicle. There are areas where the paint is flaking, not through rust, just old paint. If this G Wagon was to be resprayed it would soon look like the $50,000 plus vehicles you see up for sale. The interior is in great condition, the only flaw is the tear in the drivers seat, the kind that comes from climbing up into the vehicle and squashing down the edge of the seat, this has been stitched and repaired as you can see in the photo, but would benefit from being removed and repaired.

The best thing is that the bones of this G Wagon are superb, the chassis and engine are in excellent condition as is the running gear. We do not import any vehicles that do not pass our stringent tests in the UK and that have not been ‘pre loved’ by their owners. We ensure that all of our vehicles have great bones, cosmetics can be done to taste, but you have a superb foundation.

Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Chris didn’t receive a real taste of the outdoors until moving to Prescott, Arizona, in 2009. While working on his business degree, he learned to fly and spent his weekends exploring the Arizona desert and high country. It was there that he fell in love with backcountry travel and four-wheel drive vehicles, eventually leading him to Overland Journal and Expedition Portal. After several years of honing his skills in writing, photography, and off-road driving, Chris now works for the company full time as Expedition Portal's Managing Editor.