• Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
  • Lot number 
  • Condition 
  • Location
    United Kingdom
  • Exterior colour 


  • First series civilian delivery G-Wagen
  • Short-wheelbase version delivered new to Italy in May of 1980
  • Early painted dashboard and ‘barn door’ hatch
  • Powered by 2.4-litre diesel engine
  • Well optioned and highly original with “time capsule” interior
  • Showing just over 55,800 kilometers


Please note that this lot will need to be collected from Sant'agata, Italy.

Initially conceived and developed to be an off-road military “terrain” vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz Gelandewagen, or ‘G-wagen,’ has evolved over the past 40 years into both status symbol and cult classic amongst Mercedes aficionados worldwide. At the suggestion of the Shah of Iran, who was a significant Mercedes shareholder, the G-wagen was first developed and marketed as a 4x4 utility vehicle with a host of military applications. Armed forces the world over responded by outfitting their fleets with the rugged and boxy German “go-anywhere” machines. In most markets, Mercedes-Benz did not even brand the cars as their own, fearing the dilution of their ‘luxury’ brand identity—instead, most examples were emblazoned with Magna Steyr or Puch badges, both European firms contracted to assemble the G-wagen.

The W460 was first series of G-wagens introduced for civilian use and went on sale in September of 1979 in both short and long-wheelbase forms with five different body styles available. Delivered to Italy in May of 1980, this early short-wheelbase W460 is powered by its original 2.4-litre L4 diesel engine paired to a four-speed manual transmission with a two-speed transfer case. Nicely equipped from the factory, this 240 GD was finished in White (9001) with desirable options such as power steering, "upgraded version" interior, two-piece bumper, front towing coupling, swivel spare wheel carrier, folding seats and more. Showing just over 55,800 kilometers on the odometer, this highly original example still features its distinctive painted dashboard and ‘barn door’ rear hatch.

The consignor reports the 240 GD retains its factory original “time capsule” interior throughout, with the only addition being a period correct Suunto inclinometer. In 2017, a complete respray of the body was performed and the wheels were refinished to their correct factory finishes. In addition, the engine and brakes on this 240 GD were recently serviced, along with replacement of rubber suspension parts as needed to enhance ride quality. Similarly, a new bonnet insulation kit was installed, with the seller stating “this W460 is now ready to drive” having successfully passed Italian road inspection. Accompanied by a copy of its factory delivery specifications and Italian registration documents, this classic, rugged, and well-preserved W460 is a rare example of one of the earliest civilian delivery G-wagens that perfectly combine collectability, usability, and fun in one highly popular and retro-chic 4x4 utility vehicle.

Should you want more information on the condition of this lot and or discuss the possibility of an in-situ inspection, please contact our office at +44 (0) 20 7851 7070 or email Britta Buchmann at [email protected] view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/lf20.

RM Sotheby's
5 Heron Square
United Kingdom
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