2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Brabus Convertible

From the sands of Namibia to the marble of Rodeo Drive and everything in between, the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen might be the most socially versatile vehicle ever built. For the workforce in Germany and for a number of military applications around the world, the stripped-out, no-nonsense W460 (1979-1992) and later W461 (1992-2022) built countries and explored the ends of the earth. Meanwhile, the wood-and-leather-linedcivilian-spec W463 G-Wagens have shuttled an unbroken line of moguls, magnates, and millionaires since 1990.

Because of this near-universal appeal, the diversity of the G family is unmatched. Need a 4x4 with rubber floors, manual transfer case, manual transmission, and room for a partial platoon? Sure. How about a leather-lined 631-hp twin-turbo V-12 meteor? You’re covered. Popemobile? Bless you, absolutely. 6x6 monster truck with portal axles and a twin-turbo V-8? Duh. How about a short-wheelbase G with a soft-top, V-8, and quilted-leather interior?

The 2000 Mercedes-Benz G500 Cabriolet on offer is one such rare G-Wagen. Of all the “standard’ body configurations available on the civilian-focused W463—those being the four-door station wagon, coupe, and short-wheelbase convertible—the cabriolet is far and away the rarest, offered in extremely limited numbers for special, connected clients and for use by certain head-of-state excursions into inhospitable territory.

Re-engineering a cubic expedition vehicle into a cush casino cruiser was challenging, but the end formula was quite simple. The charmingly stubby short-wheelbase configuration serves as the base, with the rear third of the roof and all of the D-pillar now replaced with a power-retracting canvas soft-top that exposes most of the driver’s ceiling panel and all of the rear-passenger area, leaving only the A- and B-pillar roof framework in-place.

The combination of short wheelbase, tall ride-height, canvas roof, and straight-edge styling makes the G500 Cabriolet delightfully incongruous in modern traffic, especially in the U.S. market where it is estimated only around 65 G-Class Cabrios exist. The V-8-equipped G500 Cabriolets are particularly rare, as records indicate only 311 units were built globally between 1998 and 2003.

Rarer still are those G500 Cabriolets that have passed through the experienced hands of Brabus, as this G500 has. At some point during previous ownership, a full suite of aesthetic upgrades from the renewed tuning firm were installed including Brabus wheels, grille, badges, and G55 fender flares.

While Brabus is well-respected for its outrageous power packages offered for a wide array of Mercedes models of all types, the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter M113 V-8 is left untouched aside from a custom exhaust. Celebrated for its robustness and longevity, the G500’s M113 offers a stout 292 hp and 336 lb-ft though Merc’s 5G-TRONIC five-speed automatic transmission. And should the going get rough, the fun won’t end with the pavement, as even the cabrio comes with the G’s complete four-wheel drive system with locking differentials.

Inside, those familiar with G-Wagens—or a Mercedes of any type, for that matter—of this vintage will find nothing out of place, and will note upgraded quilted black-over-cream upholstery complemented by extended glossy wood trim and tight leather-wrapped touchpoints. Both the interior and exterior present in very good condition, with only minor use-related wear on interior surfaces that belie the 52,585-mile odometer reading.

Given the ongoing surge in collector appreciation of both modern Mercedes-Benz and the G-Wagen family, the G500 Cabriolet exists at the remarkable intersection of rarity, collectability, usability, and mass-appeal. Combine this with the rarity of the Brabus accoutrement and low mileage, and the truck on offer would be an intriguing addition to any collection.

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