As some of you know, I was in Europe last week, cruising around The Netherlands and Belgium on my "farewell to life" tour before my wife and I someday have children and inevitably are confined to our home, wiping up drool.
I saw many cool cars in Europe, some of which I’m going to tell you about in the coming weeks, but the coolest was this one. It’s a 1999 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, and it’s a bit different from every other 1999 Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen in the sense that it’s been converted into a pickup truck. Not by Mercedes-Benz, mind you, but by some guy. He contacted me on Facebook.
Let’s start from the beginning. I saw this thing in Amsterdam, when I was just walking down a street otherwise filled with Volkswagens and Saabs, and there it was in all its glory: a G-Wagen pickup. It appeared to be a standard G-Wagen that had been added on to, though it has some really cool touches that make it look factory. For instance: Those rear doors are custom-made, as the regular G-Wagen’s rear doors angle forward to accommodate the wheel arch. The rear end looks well done — and not like it was created in a backyard shop. And the roof-mounted light bar is straight off the real G-Wagen 6×6 pickup.
But indeed this is no 6×6, as it only has four wheels — so I was mystified by exactly what this was. Someone converted a G-Wagen to a pickup? Further inspection only confused me more, as it appears the rear cargo door was left in place at the back of the bed, where the truck’s cab meets the bed. A hilarious detail to make this thing into a German Chevy Avalanche.
So I posted pictures of it on Twitter, and on Facebook, and I went about my day, and eventually I checked my Facebook to see what people were saying. Naturally, many were as excited as I was, except one post stood out from the others: A guy who replied, "I made two of these G-Wagens in 2011; one went to Amsterdam, the other to Los Angeles. This blue one (G300TD, 1999) has a wheelbase of 3,600 [millimeters] and the second one (G500, 2006, flintgrau coloured) a 3,750-mm wheel base." That’s right: the guy who created this thing found my post and replied to it!
I asked him to make me one, but I suspect it’s well out of my price range. For now, I’ll just have to marvel at the fact that this thing exists, and that I could, if I wanted to, pay a man in The Netherlands to build me a pickup truck G-Wagen. Or I could track down the one in Los Angeles and buy it.
Either way, this is the coolest car I saw when I was in Europe, and quite possibly one of the coolest cars I’ve seen all year. You will tell me this can’t possibly be true. You are wrong, and I will fall asleep tonight dreaming of the wondrous G-Wagen pickup truck. Find a Mercedes-Benz G-Class for sale
Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.