The Mercedes-Benz G-Class, also known as the G-Wagen, is one of the toughest vehicles money can buy. The angular 4×4 has been in continuous production for over four decades and remains one of the German marque’s most popular vehicles – even though most buyers these days are buying it for its intimidating street presence rather than its off-road performance.
Traditionally, the G-Wagen came with a variety of relatively small-displacement petrol and diesel engines (such as the legendary M102 inline-four) designed for grunt and reliability rather than pure straight-line performance. These days, most G-Wagens you’ll see on the road today are packing petrol V8s. The popular Mercedes-AMG G 63 variant’s 4.0L twin-turbo V8 is even capable of hurtling the over two-tonne monster from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.
But these are refined, fussy, European engines. If you’re a true-blue Aussie, what you really want is a fat, snarling donk in your 4×4 – and one crazy bastard in Victoria has done just that. We’ve written a lot about cool G-Wagens available Down Under here at DMARGE, but this 1983 300GD example might just be the most balls-to-the-wall boxy boy on the planet.
From the outside, it looks like just a regular four-door G-Class – albeit with a tasteful steel bull-bar and some tough-looking steelies clad in thick Hankook rubber, instead of the normal rapper-spec diamond-cut alloys you see on most of these cars. But it’s what’s inside that counts – both under the hood and in the cabin.
Let’s cut to the chase: this G-Wagen has had the LS1 5.7L V8 and gearbox from a WH Holden Statesman swapped into it. That alone is pretty bonkers but it doesn’t stop there. Not only does it have the engine and gearbox from a ‘Stato’, but it also has the dash cluster, gear shifter and even the keys from it, too.
Other Frankensteined items in the car’s interior include the steering wheel, which comes from a later-generation WK Statesman / VY Commodore, and the leather seats, which appear to be from a Mazda 3 (weird, but whatever). The LS1 also has Corvette intake covers on it, as well as a big ol’ dirty pod filter intake for maximum obnoxiousness.
What’s really cool is that the Stato automatic 4-speed is mated to the original Mercedes 4WD system, which remains fully functional. The quality of the conversion looks top-notch, and the car’s even got a Queensland engineering certificate. Mad.
Foreign car companies often make a big song and dance of tuning their vehicles for Australian conditions, but we reckon if Mercedes really wanted to tap the burgeoning 4×4 market, they’d pull their fingers out, get on the phone with General Motors, and start putting filthy LS donks in G-Wagens. They’d sell like hotcakes – but we reckon they’re just afraid of the sheer, unadulterated bogan energy that would unleash.
Luckily, this magnificent creation can be yours, as it’s currently up for auction on grays.com. There’s just over a day on the auction and at the time of publishing, the highest bid is only $23,400 – good luck finding a decent V8 sedan or off-road rig for any less.
It’s an absolute steal, but remember: with great bogan power comes great bogan responsibility.