A steadfast modern icon, the Mercedes-Benz Gelӓndewagen or “cross-country vehicle” is the fruit of military-vehicle collaborations dating to 1972 between Daimler-Benz and Austria’s Steyr-Daimler-Puch. Interestingly, development was advocated by the Shah of Iran, a significant shareholder in Daimler-Benz AG at the time. The first civilian version came in 1979 and these rugged, yet stylish vehicles have been developed into myriad versions, with the original ‘W460’ models supplanted by the updated ‘W461’ series in 1992, with production continuing today with the ‘W463.’
While initially intended as a high-mobility military vehicle suited to the harshest terrain and forbidding driving conditions, the Mercedes-Benz G-Series is best-known as the civilianized “G-Wagen.” Once civilian sales began, these rugged vehicles took on a double life as fashionable and highly luxurious accessories for the wealthy. Nonetheless, the off-road prowess of the G-Wagen is nothing short of phenomenal and its ability to seamlessly adapt to virtually any requirement has made it one of the most capable Mercedes-Benz models of the modern era, with a legendary reputation matched only by the iconic Unimog trucks.
Production of the ‘W460’ G-Class included variants built in Algeria and Greece, plus a myriad of models for specific German domestic and export markets. The 200 GE, represented by this marvelous 200 GE Cabriolet, was produced for Mercedes’ Italian export market, where heavy tax penalties were levied against vehicles powered by engines displacing over 2.0 liters. Built on the short-wheelbase model 460.215 chassis measuring 2,400 millimeters (94.5 inches), versus the standard 2,850-millimter wheelbase, it is powered by the Italian-specific 2.0-liter, M102.964 gasoline engine equipped with Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection and rated at 134 brake horsepower. Other standard 200 GE features included power-assisted steering and a five-speed manual transmission.
Delivered new to Milan, Italy, this highly engaging 1988 Mercedes-Benz 200 GE Cabriolet was lovingly cared for by its Italian owners and still sports the original registration plates. Features and options included power brakes, font and rear locking differentials with a dual-range transfer case, a heavy-duty battery, a 13.5-liter auxiliary fuel tank, rear mud flaps, and a front towing coupler. Finished in Beige Grey (DB7728), the 200 GE features a highly inviting interior compartment, trimmed in optional light brown tartan cloth upholstery, offered as part of the code V05 “luxury” package (luxury being relative, of course). Other choice features include headlamp guards, optional front-seat headrests, a versatile folding rear seat, a Black vinyl convertible top, fold-down rear tailgate, a covered rear-mounted spare wheel/tire, alloy wheels, and a rear trailer hitch. Paint, exterior trim, and upholstery are all in superb original condition from stem to stern. It is factory-standard with the exception of a Becker Traffic Pro stereo/navigation unit.
Previous owners have documented the G-Wagen’s provenance, beginning with the original owner’s purchase in April 1988, through its sale in 2003 to the second owner, through whom it passed in 2005 to the third owner, who retained the vehicle until 2020. Since then, service and maintenance work included installation of new tires and new Bilstein shock absorbers, and rebuilding of the steering gear, fuel injection, and front axle. Following completion of these items, the 200 GE was exported to California. Crucially, the 200 GE retains its correct M102.964 engine. Presented in excellent, well-preserved original condition throughout, this exceptionally well sorted and attractive, Italian-market G-Wagen is ready for off-road fun and adventures and is likely to draw admirers everywhere you take it.
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Stock number 7448
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