CUSTOM geländewagen (g-wagon)
AT A GLANCE
TRANSMISSION: Manual or automatic, with 4WD transfer case and locking differentials
BODY STYLE: Short or Long Wheelbase
EXTERIOR: Your choice of color and wheels
INTERIOR: Your choice of color and materials
PRICE: from $29,500 plus shipping.
WHAT IS A GELändewagen?
If you know anything about Autology Motors you know we’re unabashed Land Rover lovers, but there is a special place in our hearts for the w460 and w461 chassis G-wagens also. With their own unique and fascinating history, and with their own special blend of toughness, ease-of-use, on-road comfort and legendary off-road prowess, the Geländewagen (German for “all-terrain car”) is - in the eyes of many - the best all-around adventure vehicle ever made.
Designed and engineered by Mercedes-Benz in Germany, built by Steyr-Puch in Austria, and put into long-term service by militaries all over the globe, the G-wagen is typically Teutonic in both form and function. The styling is an angular and perhaps even severe counterpoint to the Defender’s softer, more organic contours. Its engineering a ceaselessly competent and beautifully executed organism of cohesion. If the Defender is charming and loveable, the plucky British bulldog, with a wry smile, a stiff upper lip and a “can-do” attitude in the face of adversity, the G-wagen is something else entirely. Ruthlessly efficient, searingly competent, and a vehicle which fills you with wonder, day in an day out, for the sheer ease with which it casually dispatches any duty. On road it is as comfortable and accommodating as any 1980’s Mercedes-Benz luxury sedan. Off road it is nearly unstoppable. And in between it is quiet, reliable, easy to service and maintain, and entirely undramatic. This is, in most ways, a carefully hand-built Mercedes-Benz, from a time when Mercedes-Benz built the best vehicles on the planet. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Similar to comparable Defenders, the w460 and w461 chassis G-wagens came in two different wheelbases, several different body styles, and with a handful of available engines. But we tend to focus on our favorite, the w461 chassis 230GE automatic. A long-wheelbase, soft top, 8-passenger package with a potent and quiet Mercedes-Benz petrol engine, precise power steering, and a slick-shifting four-speed automatic transmission, the 230GE is as quick as a 200Tdi Defender, as quiet and refined as a Range Rover Classic, and as tough off road as anything we can think of. It makes a very good case for being all-things to all people, and is the perfect adventure rig if an automatic transmission is item number one on your “must have” list.
what WILL it look like?
What you see in the gallery above are just a few of the bespoke G-wagens we have built recently for clients, but how yours looks is totally up to you. Choose your body style, choose your paint color, choose what type of interior you want, and choose your tires and other details, and we get to work. Starting with a rust free, low mileage, and fully functioning donor, the exterior and interior are stripped for the color change, and the interior handcrafted in whatever combination of materials you'd like. Body is stripped and any flaws attended to, and the respray is done inside and out to a high standard. Then the vehicle is reassembled, detailed precisely how you ordered it, fully serviced and sorted, and test driven extensively to sort any niggles. Then we deliver it you, anywhere in the world, ready for daily use on road or trail.
So the finished truck is fully restored?
The word “restored” is a loaded one, and everyone has their own definition. In our minds? Absolutely not, it is not “restored.” We are starting from a rust free, mechanically excellent donor, and we are refurbishing it cosmetically to your chosen specifications. We fully check the mechanical condition of the truck, attend to any serious issues, and fully service it. Paint is new, seats and carpeting are new, wheels and tires are new, compression is excellent, brakes are checked, fluids are changed, electricals are sorted, and when it leaves our shop it’s ready to be driven daily without issue. But we are not disassembling the truck down to every nut and bolt. We are not replacing every subsystem with new components. It is a used truck when we start, and it is a used truck when we’re finished, but it looks spectacular inside and out and runs and drives beautifully.
WHAT COMES ‘STANDARD’ ON THE BUILD?
The following items are included in all our builds at no additional cost:
- Complete strip and respray of the bodywork in your choice of color(s)
- Your choice of upholstery colors for seats, using high-quality German-made synthetic leather and/or available cloth
- For the 230GE, a complete soft top in your choice of black or NATO olive, with all new plastic windows
- Full hand-cut carpeting throughout the interior, front and rear, in your choice of available colors
- (5) New all-terrain tires, size 235/85R-16, usually Kumho or Toyo
- New LED lighting front and rear (headlamps themselves remain H4’s with LED “halo” ring)
- Full mechanical check over and full service
- Starting price: $29,500
Are there any optional extras?
This is a bespoke build, and many things are possible, but below are some of the common optional extras people ask for, including pricing for each:
- Custom-color soft top conversion ($4,000 - entirely made by hand in mohair canvas, color of your choice)
- Matte-finish paint on bodywork ($850)
- Full leather upholstery ($750)
- Heated front seats for driver and passenger ($370)
- Sound deadening/anti-vibration panels underneath interior carpeting ($400)
- Flip-up side steps under front doors and/or rear door ($100 each, installed)
- High-build, rust-deterring undercoating spray on chassis rails and crossmembers ($450)
- Two 6'“ round auxiliary LED auxiliary lights mounted on front bumper ($500)
- Twin 12 volt charging ports in rear cargo compartment ($200)
Is there anything you cannot do?
Yes. We cannot change engines or transmissions here, as doing so would make the vehicle illegal for import into the USA. The same applies to suspension lifts, which complicate transportation and importation. We also do not offer stereo, speaker or navigation installations, as these are best handled with an installer local to you.
ANY ADDITIONAL COSTS?
Just shipping, which is currently $2,500, all-included, to the available east coast ports in the USA, or $4600, all-included, to west coast ports. Port-to-port cargo insurance is also available to protect your investment during shipping, and it is $400.
How long does it take?
About 14-16 weeks, give or take, but but build times always vary a little depending on the availability of suitable donors, and how much work we have underway at the time of your order.
What are the terms, and how do I pay?
Typical terms are 50% of the price of the vehicle as a deposit to get started, with the balance due, plus shipping, when the vehicle is completed and ready to ship to you. In some builds with a large number of expensive front-loaded options (such as air conditioning, “Loc n’ Fold seating, exotic wheels and tires, etc) the deposit to get started may be slightly higher in order to cover the costs of ordering those parts. All payments are by bank transfer in US dollars.
Do you finance? Can I pay by credit card or PayPal?
No, I am sorry. We do not offer financing and we do not accept credit cards or PayPal for payment.