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The Mercedes G Class

Mercedes G Class
ER Classics Desktop 2022

"From battlefield to PC Hooftstraat"

The Mercedes G Class was conceived for the army

Made in 1979 for the army and become the mother of all SUVs. From simple combat vehicle to BlingBling XXL tank. The Mercedes G Class (Gelände, terrain) have remained virtually unchanged for more than thirty years.


Older specimens have been damaged by the rustworm, but we now look under the hood. A bonnet that is impressive Just like the whole car. Almost all heavier Mercedes-Benz passenger car engines have found their place under the hood in the Mercedes G Class.

Lots of choices under the hood

There are both diesel and gasoline variants on the market. And all of them were as solid as the Star always promised. But the gasoline engines that were available at SHELL refueled time and again for meters of savings stamps. By sticking it up and exchanging it for cash, driving such a giant could almost be free. Almost.

In practice, the engine compartment is well filled with an OM 616 four-cylinder diesel engine with a displacement of 2,4 liters and an engine power of 53 kW (72 hp) and a maximum torque of 137 Nm at 2400 rpm. This is a loyal companion that does not let itself be fooled by high speeds, but it performs extremely well in the terrain. The well-known five-cylinder diesel OM 617 with 80 hp and the four-cylinder petrol carburettor engine M 115 (102 hp) and the six-cylinder petrol injection engine M 110 E (150 hp) round off the practical offer there in that typical German engine room: sober, well thought-out, accessible and reliable. .

Solid and maintenance-friendly

After all, in the army there is no room for subtle neuro surgery as with a Lambo or Ferrari. A V8 fills it up impressively. But a serious terrain vehicle has never been helped by dragging a large, heavy V8 between the front wheels. Later Geländes have an engine that is covered with a huge plestik pancake. That is no good. Mercedes wise, of course, nothing beats factory or AMG originality.

The engine of a daily driver

But different laws sometimes apply to daily drivers. A six-cylinder engine gives a little more spice on the motorway without becoming as brutal and thirsty as the V8s already mentioned. And a later mounted diesel engine can make the fuel costs enormously more pleasant. Because on gasoline or diesel, fuel consumption is just as impressive as the rest of the Mercedes G Class.

Air miles score with the Mercedes G Class

Unfortunately, that cannot be otherwise when the toaster in the dark has to propel a heavy construction with the streamline of a medium-sized apartment complex. With gasoline engines, just think of 1 on 7 at its best. But 1 on 3 is also certainly one of the options.

Our fashion model is from Theo Terwel, the restorer of many a classic and BMW motor passionado. In terms of car technology, the Mercedes G Class has stolen its heart. But as an entrepreneur, he naturally lives not only to his heart, but also to his mind. His spotlessly reborn Mercedes G Class started his life with an 2,3 liter four-cylinder gasoline.

With another block in it

A winner in the terrain, but constantly on the border of overloading on the highway. 1 on 6 was more the rule than the exception. Meanwhile, there is an 3.0 liter six-cylinder diesel under the hood. That required a lot of research in the field of the correct engine mounts from the Mercedes program plus some hassle with the intermediate axles because Theo maintained the original gearbox instead of the automatic transmission usually used in the combination.

The air filter also had to be adjusted and so did the front part of the exhaust system. A block that year is identical of course. And even the engine number feels 'fitting'. And the designation on the bodywork has also been adjusted. Just like the license plate. After all, perfection is the starting point.

Only the silent blocks on the left-hand side of the engine room are freebies about the fact that Das Werk had thought it differently. They are the fixing points of the old air filter housing. Faster than 110 is not used. But the zespitter runs 1 on 9 on average. And so also this, not entirely factory original, but on paper transformed into diesel G G Mercedes very close to its roots.

Mercedes G Class
Mercedes G Class

2 Comments

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  1. Hi Dolf
    As always written smoothly and nice to read. But the SUV really only has one, indispensable, indelible, unmistakable primal father and that is the Jeep. Seven slots in the nose, with or without a rear cabin and as basic (or luxurious) as you want. Throw a Land Rover against it, if necessary all. Jeep was the first.
    The G-series is like the best thing about the ball; she arrived late, but her charm never made her forget.

  2. Still a Steyer-Puch design, or at least developed and built together with Mercedes? A lot of Puch G drives around in Austria and Switzerland, a much more sober version than the famous PC Hoofd-tractor! I like the Puch much more, but tastes differ!

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