After predominantly playing with sports cars for the better part of a decade, it is time to grow up and get something classy... and with utility. I decided to hold nothing back and go for what I want, because the foundation to every build is always the most important detail. That means I skipped right along past Toyotas, Landcruisers, and other perfectly awesome vehicles. They were all good, but they weren't the top tier goal.
What sat at the top of my list were 2 vehicles in particular: The Defender and the G-Wagen. I would throw the H1 Hummer into that mix, but it is too huge. The Unimog also deserves a worthy mention, but it is too utilitarian.
I looked at Defenders first, but long story short, it didn't work out and I deemed them to be of poor value. So I made the lateral pivot to the G-Wagen. Within a couple weeks of searching, and narrowly missing a couple deals, I found this low mileage 1980 300GD in the Austin Texas region Craigslist. 1980 is actually only the second year of production for the G-Wagen, after having come out in 1979. They are all handbuilt in Graz, Austria by Steyr-Magna for Mercedes. This is the classic, first-gen G-Wagen, or otherwise known as the W460. The current, soccer-mom variant is called the W463.
It was the seller's brother's personal vehicle back in the Netherlands and was recently imported. It has 90k Kilometers on the clock and an OM603 Turbo Diesel and 5-speed swap. Overall, it looked to be in great shape and had good bones. I immediately called the seller, went back and forth on a few details, and then pressured him to take my deposit on it.
A few days later, I sent him the cash and then coordinated a transport pickup the day after that. In less than a week of finding the ad, I remotely purchased the truck and it was soon on its way to me.
The seller actually had a running ad for it on eBay, and if I didn't find his phone number from the Craigslist ad, I wouldn't have been able to call him fast enough to seal the deal. It had 15+ bidders when I intervened and persuaded him to go my way.
I took delivery of the G-Wagen last Tuesday.
This is just an introduction post as I am still deep into the research process, but I have big plans. Although I'm well acclimated to sports cars and things that go fast... deep down inside, I've always wanted a badass offroad SUV to function as a daily. And the goal is to realize that dream with this G-Wagen.