Mercedes G Wagen
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.
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