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The legend that is the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen hits 40 this year and one American company is paying tribute in serious style.
These are no multi-million-pound continuation models – although with prices starting at $90,000 (that’s over £73,000), they aren’t exactly cheap either.
Instead, the enthusiastic specialists at Expedition Motor Company in Frenchtown, New Jersey, are pouring their hearts and souls – and almost 1000 man hours – into restoring ex-military Geländewagens, with spectacular results.
The result is that EMC’s bespoke 250GD Wolf models could be the wind-in-your-hair classics you never knew you craved.
And, in case you’re wondering, ‘Wolf’ refers to the nickname Germany’s military bestowed on its G-Wagens, all of which were drop-top 250GDs with fold-down windscreens.
Yet while these creations ooze street-wise cool, there’s not a thumping great big AMG engine in sight.
All are based on ex-military 250GDs which were built between 1990 and 1993, every finished car retains its original five-cylinder diesel powerplant, and each original car is source by EMC – meaning the firm won’t take on rebuilds of customers’ cars
But that’s not to say these are faithful nut-and-bolt restorations. Thoughtful upgrades feature, too, as this 1992 Mojave Silver 250GD demonstrates.
During the comprehensive, frame-off restorations there’s also a complete mechanical overhaul, meaning the 2497cc engine, five-speed transmission, brakes and axles are refreshed.
LED headlamps are fitted, too, as well as new shocks and springs.
Then it’s time for the buyer to customise his or her Wolf.
Choose from 14 colours, such as eye-popping Sky Blue or retro-chic Solarbeam Yellow, fit a winch, add a bull bar, light pod or snorkel kit – or ask EMC for items not listed on the firm’s website.
Each build takes between three to four months, but what you’ll get is a turnkey G-Wagen, a fully restored classic with a handful of 21st-century refinements.
Not one for shrinking violets, then, but it’s certainly an exciting way to preserve these classic cabriolets in style in the model’s 40-anniversary year.
Images: Expedition Motor Company/Daimler AG