Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars
Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!

I think 90% (maybe even more) of the Mercedes Geländewagen shown here on LaLD are thick bad-ass AMG Powerhouses with a gazillion horsepowers and the aerodynamics of a brick wall. Sometimes with some set of extra wheels. But the G came from a way more humble origin. As a proper work horse.

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Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!

Suggested to Mercedes-Benz by one of their shareholders, the Shah of Iran, Mercedes-Benz teamed up with Austrian Steyr-Daimler-Puch for the G. And for those ever been in Austria (and Swiss): These were sold over there as Steyr-Daimler-Puch so no stars on those!

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Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!

It was known for being the best 4x4 for decades. That didn’t only attract off-road enthusiasts, armies fell for it’s usefulness as well (guess what the Shah wanted it for in the first place). Many western European armies used these. Even the always parsimonious Dutch.

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Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!

And the French. Of course they had to use a workaround to get the G. Because why would the greatest nation on earth need a car produced by it’s nemesis?

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Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
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But power initially wouldn’t be a 3rd from what the later AMG G55 would have to offer. Often even way less than a 3rd. Top of the line was the G280E with it’s inline 6 M110, mit Einspritzung. A solid 156hp. But you never saw these, the majority were the 200 and 230 4-cylinders with a power ranging from a 100 to 125 hp.

Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
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The real off-road enthusiasts (and farmers and foresters) opted for a diesel though. Of course. You need low-rpm torque in the field. But with powers not coming close to 100 hp (max 88hp for the 3.0 5 cylinder OM617, there were two engines below this one!) and this kind of weight it wasn’t that at home at the Autobahn.

Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
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So this G230E would probably be the one for me. Still no car to take to the Nürburgring but a decent off-roader and still capable of doing some highway miles. Although I’d probably be deaf after 100 miles of cruising at 120km/h.

Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
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Of course you’d have to find a German producer for such a classic G in scale. The model you see here is a Minichamps scaled in 1/43. It’s the only MC I have that didn’t come in an acrylic case. It even doesn’t have a black base! It’s just a blister within the well known black Minichamps carton.

Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
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It really is a decent rendition of a G: it comes with a tow bar, fuel cap on the back and all the correct badges. I love the fact they mounted a roof rack although that one may be made from somewhat too thick material. The color is spot on for a G.

Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
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Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!

Not much else to tell actually. I hope to see more G’s today. And if someone ever runs into the Papa G go get it. That one really is a classic.

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Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
Illustration for article titled Teutonic Tuesday: Tarnung im Gelände!
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Tschüss!

That won’t fit, watch that roof-rack!
That won’t fit, watch that roof-rack!

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