This One-Off G-Class Mercedes Made to Celebrate a Milestone Is the Only Kind We Need

This One-Off G-Class Mercedes Made to Celebrate a Milestone Is the Only Kind We Need

Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class has been venturing boldly off the beaten path with its trademark stoic demeanor for 44 years now. After building exactly 499,999 of the rough-and-tumble boxes on wheels, Merc decided to do something special for the big 500K: Make the only G-Class I was ever sad I couldn’t afford.

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See, No. 500,000 is specially built with a number of options you can’t get on a modern example of the SUV, all inspired by one of the earliest models: the 1986 280 GE. Agave Green was part of the initial run of paint colors available for the first G-Wagen, so it’s been applied here. The front bumper, and headlight/grille surround is all black, like it would’ve been back then. Even the turn signals above the round headlights have been tinted amber on this one-off, which Mercedes notes in its press release is “a shade of orange no longer used today, i.e., the look typical of 1970s automobiles.” It’s a look that should be typical today; amber turn signals make every car look better, fact.

That green is sublime, isn’t it?Image: Mercedes-Benz

The manufacturer’s press release walks us through other nostalgic touches, particularly inside the cabin. Mercedes didn’t provide images of the interior though, so you’ll have to imagine those aspects all with your mind’s eye, ideally with a VHS filter overlaid:

The historic spare wheel cover with the Mercedes star, which is significantly larger than on today’s models, the brand badge on the rear door and the 5-spoke sterling silver wheel also evoke the early days of the G-Class. The interior of the 500,000th vehicle is also inspired by the 280 GE. For example, the middle section of the seat is upholstered in the chequered fabric typical of the time, while the grab handle on the passenger side features the lettering “No. 500,000” in agave green. The “Schöckl” door sill trim, on the other hand, is an integral part of the G manufaktur’s current customisation range. This also applies to the door knob with logo embossing: in the logo package available today, however, this is available in silver — in the anniversary model it is black.

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The wheels are perfect too. Not attention-grabbing yet also modern enough, the five-spokes straddle the line between past and present perfectly, just like the rest of the car.

Mercedes’ G-Class team poses with No. 500,000 at the vehicle’s production line at Magna Steyr’s Graz, Austria plant.

Mercedes’ G-Class team poses with No. 500,000 at the vehicle’s production line at Magna Steyr’s Graz, Austria plant.Image: Mercedes-Benz

Under the sheet metal, this G Class is of course all modern, which means it’s driven by a twin-turbocharged V8 developing at least 416 horsepower. At launch back in 1979, Mercedes’ base engine on offer provided less than a fifth of that — 72 hp. When the all-electric EQG hits the market next year, it stands to reason one of its quad electric motors will be more powerful than an entire G-Class from 45 years ago.