Mercedes G Wagen


Images via Influx Street Spots, High Snobiety, Mercedes

We've been Land Rover fans for as long as we can remember here at Influx Towers. As we've mentioned time and time again, there's a loveliness about the simplicity of pure use value in a motor car - and nothing comes close to this aspiration as the stripped-down Landy. Apart from one other car, that is.

The Teutonic cousin of the Land Rover - the G Wagen, has been popping up in our peripheral vision of late. It might have something to do with the bad weather - or simple selective attention, but we seem to be noticing more of these on British roads this winter. Figures please Mercedes? We do know, though that the G class is the Benz model longest in production - developing in 1972 and officially launching in '79.

But in terms of heritage, the G doesn't have a quantum of the chops of the Landy. Developed, so the story goes, as a response to a request from the Shah of Iran for a fleet of go-anywhere luxury cars.

What emerged was just that: and was, consequently, probably one of the earliest manifestations of something approaching a European-built SUV.

The G might not be characterised by Luxury - that indivisible core value of the brand - but in terms of solid engineering, it remains right at the heart of what the world thinks about a Mercedes. There's a chunky utilitarianism that's difficult to ignore - and sorely missed at times in these days of wind tunnel tyranny.