The Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen only recently saw a meaningful evolution. For decades, its roots as a military vehicle were barely disguised, but in America, we only saw a small sliver of the G-Wagen’s potential. Abroad, do-work short-wheelbase models roamed the European countryside, much as contractor-grade pickups do here. And yes, there were even convertible versions, which offered the charming possible combination of austere interior fittings, open-air motoring, and a clattery diesel—and uncompromised off-road prowess, of course.
Enter Expedition Motor Company, which sources G-Wagens such as the one above, and subjects these Benzes to the sort of intense restoration and modification regimen we’ve seen Land Rovers and Land Cruisers put through. This particular G-Wagen, a 1991 250GD “Wolf,” is one of Expedition Motor Co. ‘s creations that’s currently available, rocking a five-cylinder diesel engine and a spate of mechanical and cosmetic upgrades.
Its engine is stock, albeit inspected and revitalized, and breathing through a newly-fitted snorkel. The suspension consists of Bilstein shocks and ORC lift springs, and a full serving of polyurethane bushings. BFGoodrich KO2 tires round out the mechanical side of the build. The result, we’d gather from the parts installed, should give the G-Wagen some additional go-anywhere abilities.
And then we come to the cosmetic side, where an outfit like Expedition Motor Co. has a chance to remix the original in a unique way. The bar in this area can be extremely high: think of Icon or Singer. But Expedition’s route is a little more subtle. After taking the SUV down to its frame fore a refreshing, the company fit custom taillights and unique grille guards. There’s no extensive cosmetic reimagining, but little details abound—note the color-matched shovel nestled under the hood! Inside, handsome upholstery is custom-done in-house, and wood planking in the rear cargo area is custom-stained.
After all, this isn’t the G-Wagen we’d later come to know, lavishly adorned and aimed at an urban and suburban clientele. It’s an extremely clean build, lightly modernized, appropriately functional, and true to the vehicle’s roots.
Expedition Motor Co. puts a $102,150 price tag on this one, but there are others for sale. Plus, there’s even a configurator to customize your own Wolf.