The Puch 230GE Is A Mercedes G-Class 4×4 With None Of The Luxury

    Basic G-Wagon’s saw plenty of military service, and this Puch model is certainly a unique, bare-bones and American-titled off-roader

    Go back to 2002 , show the average car buyer a brand-new Mercedes S-Class, and they would be completely blown away. It would be like living in a Star Wars movie with its “self-driving” capabilities, lack of buttons, and wild surplus of OLED screens in the interior – not to mention the performance capabilities of something so massive, heavy and otherwise unconcerned with the very concept of sportiness. In the same way, older cars can be just as shocking to us, with their lack of gratuitous tech, comfort, and bare-bones styling. This Mercedes, or Puch, depending on how you look at it, is a perfect example. It’s a 1992 G-Wagon in military spec with no creature comforts whatsoever, and it is currently for sale.

    A Bare-Bones Retro G-Wagen Might Be The Coolest 4×4 You Can Get

    The first complicated part to figure out is the name. Is it a Mercedes, or is it a Puch, whatever that is? It is a result of the partnership between Mercedes and Steyr-Daimler-Puch, an Austrian company, to create a G-Wagen for the Swiss military. In Switzerland, Austria, and a good chunk of Eastern Europe, the Mercedes G-Class was sold under the Puch name, though they were all G-Wagens. Sort of like how the Chevy Suburban is also a Cadillac Escalade and GMC Yukon, except those names are still familiar to those in the U.S.. Fortunately, this specific Puch 230GE is already registered as a Mercedes in Pennsylvania, which should make the whole BMV process easier.

    The 230 part of the name refers to the engine, a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine capable of about 126 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. Known as the M102, it was shared with several Mercedes models throughout the 1980s and 1990s. All that power is sent to either the rear or all four wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission with a two-speed transfer case.

    Other equipment included with the G-Wagon is a locking rear differential, front tow hook, a rear trailer hitch, rear folding bench seats, crank windows, 16-inch color matching steel wheels, and surprisingly, power steering. It’s finished in faded army green with a black and green interior with a removable soft top with a “lived in” look to it. It looks like it has been used by the military every day since it rolled off the production line, and it is completely unmodified.

    Things To Know If You Want To Buy A Classic Mercedes G-Wagen

    If you want to buy this classic G-Wagen, which you should, and also have a couple tens of thousands of dollars burning a hole in your pocket, there are some things you should know. First, Mercedes did not bother to import the G-Wagen to America until 2002, by that point, it was already a luxury item, so if you want a more basic and utilitarian example like this one, you’ll have to get it imported. But, since Mercedes has been building these since 1979, there are enough used examples in the European wild to give you some choice, start with German, French, and Dutch classified and used car websites, and military surplus examples could be on the cheaper end.

    The two generations are the W460, made from 1979-1991, and the W461, made from 1992-2021. The latter is probably a safer bet in terms of repair costs, but take a close look for dodgy modifications. Loads of different engines and gearboxes were used. One of the best was the 3.0-liter turbo-diesel straight-six called the OM603, mostly because it can run until the end of time with regular maintenance and is one of the more powerful diesel engines Mercedes used in the G-Wagen. Common faults are propshaft failure, and gasket, hose, and turbo leaks. Of course, take a good look for rust. Other than that, they are more or less pretty solid. So, do some research and some digging, and go buy yourself one of the coolest off-roaders money can buy.

    Article Credits: Josh Conturo
    Full Articles:×4-with-none-of-the-luxury/

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