This 1988 Mercedes-Benz 280GE LWB is a well-loved example of the original and iconic W460-series ‘Geländewagen’, with single family ownership from new. It is powered by the M110.994 engine, a bespoke 154bhp 2.8-litre straight-six petrol unit with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection; and is driven through the four-speed W4A018 automatic transmission to all four wheels, with differential locks on both axles. The odometer indicates it has covered 101,356 miles over the last 31 years.
Built at the Steyr factory in Austria, as all G-Glass models have been, this 280GE was delivered to the Mercedes-Benz main dealer in Chichester and sold new to the UK to the family of the current owner. The registered keeper has changed four times, but this has only been swapped between father and daughter. This is the first time that this G-Wagen has ever been offered for sale.
Understood to be finished in the Beige Grey metallic factory colour, the paintwork is in serviceable condition, with numerous rust spots and patches of bubbling around the car as shown in the photo gallery below. There are also large scratches and a dent in the roof, which is also pictured. The last MOT test noted that the sills were very rusty, though with no holes, and that there was corrosion near the body mounts.
This 280GE features the enlarged wheel arches in tough black plastic, which house the wider track and wheels. It sits on the original set of 16-inch five-spoke alloys made for Mercedes-Benz by ATS. At the front of the car, there is a protective grille over the headlamps, while at the back of the car is a heated rear window and a ball-type trailer hitch.
Inside, the cabin is trimmed with Rodeo Brown plaid fabric and brown vinyl. The upholstery is in generally good order, though there is a tear in the material on the driver’s seat base near the door, and various small snags in the fabric elsewhere.
The front seats and second row all have belts, while the folding seats in the boot can accommodate an extra two adults or four children. The vendor notes that the rear window winders are missing, as is the bolt for rear door stop plate.
Mechanically, the car is reported to be in serviceable condition, but with a few items that need attention. Its last MOT test was on 10 June 2019 at 101,337 miles, which resulted in a pass with a number of advisories. The exhaust was reported to be noisy and with a minor leak, while there was also a minor (“not excessive”) oil leak. Its steering system also has some wear and play that will need addressing in due course. Finally, the tester noted that the rear brakes were binding and that they should be the first item to be repaired.
The alloy wheels are shod in a set of Goodyear Wrangler HP M+S rated tyres in size 225/75 R16 all round. They are date-coded to 2014 and all tyres are in good condition with around 8mm of tread remaining.
This Mercedes-Benz 280GE LWB is a highly capable off-road vehicle, which is honestly presented as a well-loved classic that would now benefit from some cosmetic and mechanical refurbishment. The early W460-series Geländewagen is where it all started for this iconic Mercedes-Benz, taking a design conceived for military use and developing it into a civilian vehicle that now has a cult following around the world.