The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen: A Must-Have For the Rich and Famous
The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, short for Geländewagen or "cross-country vehicle," is one of the longest produced Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Daimler's history. It has been rolling off the line for over 35 years, going from military vehicle to celebrity must-have in the process. The G-Wagen 460 went on sale in 1979 in both short wheelbase and long wheelbase variants. There have been many different body styles over the years for both the public and the military and it has amassed a collection of very high-profile owners. It has served as both an army ambulance and even as the Popemobile. RELATED: See the 1980 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
A V8 G-Wagen went on sale in the United States in 2002 at a cost of $75,000, appealing to those who wanted lots of luxury along with off-road capability. Despite its popularity, Mercedes-Benz thought about no longer selling it in the United States by 2005. The U.S. Marines get credit for changing their mind when they placed an order for 157 units to replace the old Desert Patrol Vehicle.
Mercedes-Benz even released a Grand Edition of only 500 units to mark its exit from the United States in 2006. These vehicles were numbered with a silver plaque, but by November of 2005 Mercedes thought better, deciding to continue production of their popular military and civilian SUV.
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