The Mercedes-Benz G-Classi is, by many standards, a bit excessive. . The SUV’s power and build quality are exceptional and unrivaled, but so is its price tag: The entry point for a new base-model G550 SUV is a stunning $124,500. Perhaps you’d like to hear about a used model instead? Well, check out this vintage 1986 Mercedes 280GE up for auction right now on Bring a Trailer.
The 280GE is from the first G-Wagen generation. It had the largest gasoline engine available at the time, a 2.8-liter inline-six. This model pairs that with a four-speed automatic. This particular example model was imported, as Gelandewagens of its era were never officially sold here; however, it comes with records dating back to 2006 from the current owner.
The good? Mercedes has kept the G-Wagen’s boxy styling over the years. This SUV, though dated, still looks quite similar to the modern G-Class. It comes ready for off-roading with a dual-range transfer case, locking differentials, Hella off-road lights and a Warn winch. It has modern amenities like air conditioning and power locks and windows, though you may want to swap out the cassette deck.
One drawback with this SUV is that is you’re getting 1980s-era power output. Even the best engine at the time only put out 155 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque when new, and this SUV has likely lost a few horses since. That can’t compare to the modern G-Class, which has a 4.0-liter V8 putting out 416 hp and 450lb-ft in base form. But then again, you won’t find the modern G-Class for less than $20,000 (as of this writing).
(We should also note the silver and blue plaid seats, while charming in isolation, may wreak havoc by clashing with your fall wardrobe. Plan your plaid shirts accordingly.)
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