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I remember them days looking like that and nobody gave a hoot when the seats got dirty from a working men,s pants. Well that was a long time ago before a white interior was hip.:laugh::laugh:


Early G-Class models are rare birds here in the States

The presence of the original Mercedes-Benz G-Class in the U.S. is taken for granted these days, but many people forget that Mercedes did not start officially selling it here until 2002. This means that all of the G-Class vehicles prior to that year were brought in during the freewheeling gray market era, with New Mexico-based Europa International modifying the G-Class for the U.S. market before Mercedes started doing so. And as this 280 GE reminds us, not all of them were lavishly optioned or offered with five doors.

The W460 G-Class debuted in 1979, initially designed as a light military vehicle. Mercedes teamed up with Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Graz, Austria, to engineer and build the model, which required building a new factory from scratch. The initial model that went on sale in 1979 was codenamed W460, while the early military version was designated W461. The initial model was available in three- and five-door hardtop flavors, as well as a three-door convertible.

The version seen here is a 280 GE, which means it's powered by a 2.8-liter inline-six good for 156 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. Before you mock its modest output, take a moment to appreciate the fact that it was a 280 GE that won Paris Dakar in 1983 with Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur behind the wheel.

These early G-Class vehicles, of course, were not optioned as luxuriously as the models that Mercedes itself started importing in the 2000s, and they often featured cloth interiors, manual transmissions and two-spoke steering wheels the size of manhole covers, which you can see in the photo below.
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