As our merry band of misfits cavorts across the Irish countryside, we return once again to the fertile fields of Kenmare, where we saw the 2CV Fourgonnette. After using the public restroom, we spied this 1982 example of a G-Wagon in prime Curbside Classic fettle.
My wife loves the G in general and wants one. My daughter even knows what they are which I was surprised by. We’ve owned a Land Cruiser, I flat refuse to partake in anything from the Land/RangeRover stable, we currently have a GL450 (which was supposed to at one time replace the G-Wagen in Mercedes’ line-up and while a great rig really doesn’t even come close in raw solidity), a G-Wagen I suppose could somehow be construed as a logical purchase. Not that they hold their absolute value (they plummet like a rock on a percentage basis but decent older examples seem to stabilize around the value of perfectly nice and logical new CUV’s), but they are one of the last examples of hand-built vehicles made to last virtually a lifetime with proper maintenance and repair.
Of course the ones we are familiar with in today’s showrooms or city streets are a far cry from these early versions. This one is a 1982 and I believe it is a 300GD. Hand-built by Puch in Austria for Mercedes, they’ve transformed into something very different from their original purpose but are still every bit of capable as they were back in the day.
This one, clearly, has been used hard. Very hard. However, it still seems to be in daily use. Not much is left that shows its original form but obviously it wasn’t ever one of the luxury versions that today’s examples have become. It was (and is) simply a solid utilitarian tool, much like an equivalent aged Land Rover Defender or Toyota Land Cruiser. Would we even put a Jeep Wrangler in the same class? I’d probably venture no, we would not (but could be wrong).
Even the interior has been pretty used up. No door panels even. How Eugenian. The back was filled with tools, boxes, debris and other “stuff”. I suppose the owner is using it the way Paul uses his F-100 or many (ok, some) others use their pickup trucks.
It’s no leather-lined beauty with a sticker price well (very well) in excess of US$100k as a new one is, but to its owner I’m sure it is a thing of beauty that helps him put food on the table and provide for at least himself and probably others too. In the end that’s the main function of a tool, any tool, and this one has been doing it seemingly well for a long time. With a bit of luck, some spit, and not a whole lot of polish, it looks to be able to do it for a good time more.