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This short-wheelbase Mercedes-Benz 280GE Wagen is a timeless 4x4, fitted with a bespoke hand-built interior and with low mileage from new. Under the bonnet is the 2.7-litre inline-six engine, which sends 156bhp and 166lb ft of torque to all four wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. Designed to take the path less trodden, it features locking differentials and selectable low-range gearing for superb off-road performance.

Hand-built in Graz Austria, this early right-hand-drive W460 Geländewagen was first registered on 18 August 1982. Its interior was then extensively reworked by coachbuilders Wood & Pickett of London, who are perhaps best known for their luxurious Mini conversions. A true one-off, this G-Class’s cabin is far less utilitarian than most, with leather and wood veneers covering most of its surfaces.

The HPI report shows that there have been four previous keepers from new, and the car is now being sold by its current owner, who has tended to it for the past two years, driving it sparingly in that time.

Designed with rugged practicality in mind, the G-Class has become a design icon. This example’s bodywork is described as being in excellent condition and has been fully resprayed in gloss black paint, which presents excellently and is smooth and even across the entire body.

The side trims and badges are all present and correct, although the ‘280 GE’ door badges are showing some signs of wear, with their silver-coloured finish rubbing through. The original protective headlight grilles are still in place and have kept the headlight lenses clear, bright and free of cracks or scratches.

This G280E still rides on its original five-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels, which are in good shape with only minor signs of wear, including bubbling beneath their silver paint.

Opening the doors, it becomes clear that this G-Class’s interior is a cut above the rest. Fully customised in period by coachbuilders Wood & Pickett, its front seats, rear bench and two folding jump seats have all been upholstered in cream leather with black piping, while the door cards are finished in the same quilted cream leather.

All of the seats present well; although, there are general signs of wear and blemishes present throughout, commensurate with the car’s age and mileage.

Further enhancing the luxury atmosphere, walnut-veneered surrounds have been applied to the upper door trims, gauge cluster, radio and heater controls, and appear to be in very smart condition. The glovebox lid has been given the same treatment, but its veneer appears to have cracked and been repaired in the past, with some glue and filler still being visible.

The seller notes that the majority of the car’s buttons, switches and electrical items are functioning correctly; however, the radio’s ignition live wire needs to be replaced to bring it back to working order. The fuel sender unit is also currently malfunctioning, causing the fuel gauge to read incorrectly, and needs to be replaced with a new unit.

Mechanically, this classic 4x4 is in excellent condition, with no noted faults. Having spent 10 years resting in its previous keeper’s garage, it was bought by the seller, who had it fully overhauled by an ex-Mercedes mechanic and a rally prep team. In addition to a full service, it was fitted with a new fuel tank and the injectors were overhauled. The cam belt is also believed to have been replaced recently.

The car’s last annual MOT test was held on 18 December 2019 at 49,070 miles. Initially, it was found that the brake pipes were corroded, the front service brakes were binding, and the fuel hose, pump and filter were not correctly secured. Once this was corrected, the car passed cleanly with no advisories.

Its wheels are fitted with 31x10.50 R15 General Grabber off-road tyres, which are described as being in good condition, and have plenty of chunky tread remaining. Accompanying this 280GE Wagen are an extensive range of receipts, its original handbooks and documentation of its interior refit by Wood & Pickett.

This Mercedes-Benz SWB 280GE Wagen is a capable and uniquely appointed example of the classic 4x4. Believed to be a one-off, it features a luxurious, hand-crafted interior by famed coachbuilders Wood & Pickett, long before the concept of a luxury 4x4 was widely adopted. Presented in very smart condition and mechanically sound, it would make a unique addition to any collection and is ready to drive and enjoy immediately.

All cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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