For decades, a pickup has been the norm for customers of Asian off-road vehicle manufacturers, but it has always been withheld from the majority of G fans – even after a construction time of 35 years.
No can do is not an acceptable answer, at least not for the GfG crew around G visionary Daniel Wiesel from the Thuringian city of Gotha. Wiesel has been a “star-man of the first hour“, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that he is indeed familiar with the pickup problem and is promptly able to provide solutions for every fancy.
The well-travelled G fan is surprised – well travelled in search of one of the extremely rare and sought-after Mercedes G pickups. Despite their extensive military use, there really have been only very few original pickup trucks that finally ended up in civilian life. He who is lucky enough to own one protects it like it were the Holy Grail, he who is looking for one would betray his home country for it.
During my on-site visit I reverently wander around the imposing appearance. It is stark black, has four doors and behind the rear window there really is a truck bed. As is usual, the star is in front on the radiator grille. What now? Is it a “real” Swabian from Graz or simply a cheap Asian rip-off?
Wiesel helps us out and saves us from this emotional dilemma: “This is a Mercedes G pickup.“ Thank you Mr. Wiesel, this statement is less than helpful!
In fact, the secret is hidden in Graz. Wiesel is a resourceful mechanic, who knows exactly what’s in the Mercedes warehouse. “Although basically all parts needed to build a pickup are available ex factory, only the 461 has been offered as a load carrier, mostly for military and to some extent for communal usage.
Nevertheless, the amazed observer asks himself where the hell the crew cab of the Wiesel creation comes from. Who would have thought that, again, the master’s answer is more than succinct: “You either take a single cab directly from the Mercedes product range or you shorten a standard four-door body with the help of a pickup rear panel.“
Now I have caught the master! I smugly ask how this can actually fit on a standard, long chassis, since the fully coated truck bed has a stately length of 2100 millimetres (82.5 inches) without featuring an ugly overhang. Wiesel reveals that this was accomplished by using a longer Danish military chassis (wheelbase 3428 mm / 137 inches), which also features the wide axles with a gear ratio of 4.375. Kudos to you, master Wiesel.