This 1993 Mercedes-Benz G Wagon W461 pickup truck is said to be one of just nine that were imported into the United States, it’s from a time well before the G Wagon (later known as the G Class) became a luxury status symbol – back when it was still a military-spec off-roader.
This rare pickup truck variant has seating for two up front in an air-conditioned cab, it has a tray back in the rear with fold down sides and a fold down rear for easy access to cargo, and it’s powered by a 2.9 liter turbodiesel engine.
Fast Facts – The Mercedes-Benz G Wagon W461
- The Mercedes-Benz G Wagon, now officially known as the G-Class, is an off-road vehicle produced by the German automaker since 1979.
- The W461 variant of the G Wagon was introduced in 1992 with an updated chassis and a revised front end. The W461 was developed for military and industrial use, whereas the W463 model was produced in parallel as a civilian-oriented model.
- The G Wagon has undergone several updates and upgrades over the years, but its iconic boxy shape and utilitarian outer design has remained largely unchanged. Newer models have added a slew of luxury features and high-performance powertrains.
- The example you see in this article is a less common pickup truck variant of the G Wagon, it’s a rare vehicle on American roads and it now benefits from a full frame-off restoration.
Building A Better G Wagon – The W461
By the late 1980s the Mercedes-Benz G Wagon was beginning to show its age. The original W460 model had been developed in the mid-1970s and released in 1979, intended for military use and first suggested to Mercedes by the Shah of Iran – then a major shareholder in the German automaker.
Mercedes realized there was demand for two major variants of the G Wagon design, one for military and heavy duty industrial uses and the other targeted at civilians. They were given model designations W461 and W463 respectively and such is their popularity that they both remain in production to the current day.
The civilian W463 had made its debut in 1989, no one at the time knew it but the model would become one of the most distinctive and desirable luxury SUVs in the world in just a few years, and the subject of innumerable rap songs.
The military W461 was released in 1992 to replace the original W460 which had left production in 1991. The W463 was significantly updated under the surfaces, though it kept the rugged look that made the G Wagon instantly recognizable.
The body of the earlier W460 was brought forward largely unchanged and used on the new W461, but the chassis underneath was significant updated, the powertrains were improved, and the interiors were noticeably upgraded.
This newly upgraded G Wagon proved popular with military buyers in Europe and around the world, it was also used extensively in other roles like rural firefighting, search and rescue, oil exploration, forestry, and as national park ranger patrol vehicles.
Civilian buyers do exist for the model but almost all get them second hand, often as military surplus, and there’s a booming market for them.
The 1993 Mercedes G Wagon Pickup Shown Here
As noted in the introduction, this G Wagon is perhaps a little more special than most. It’s one of just nine that were imported into the USA and it’s in the rarer pickup truck body style. The odometer now reads 35,000 miles which is fairly low for a vehicle of this age.
It now benefits from a complete body-off restoration, it’s powered by the 2.9 liter Mercedes turbodiesel engine, a power unit famous for its longevity, and power is sent back through a 5-speed transmission and a dual-range transfer case to either the rear wheels only or all four wheels.
During the restoration the vehicle was given a fresh coat of military-style olive green paint, it has a snorkel, a roof rack, a front bash plate, protective headlight grilles, and a roof rack-mounted axe just in case.
Inside the cab you’ll find two green vinyl upholstered seats with headrests, the steering wheel is on the lefthand side as you would expect for an officially imported example, and it has both air conditioning and a newer stereo head unit.
Under the hood you’ll find a dual battery set up, common on more serious four-wheel drives, and it has an uprated intake system. The tray back has three fold-down sides for easy loading and unloading, there’s a spare wheel mounted behind the cab, and there’s a tow hitch on the back.
This G Wagon is now due to roll across the auction block with Mecum in late March, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.
Images courtesy of Mecum
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