Tastefully modified by the team at SnorCity Speed Shop, this classic Mercedes-Benz G-Class is one pukka off-roader
A Mercedes-Benz G-Class is not on the shortlist of most teenagers as a first-time vehicle, as it is out of reach for most budgets. But classic G-Wagons can be found for less than the price of a new Renault Kwid; really, they can. And when you think about it, the G-Wagon is a perfect first car: it’s safe, spacious and has a commanding driving position – with great visibility thanks to lots of glass. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class in question, a 1984 model, was in great condition when it arrived at SnorCity Speed Shop in Pretoria but it looked fairly utilitarian and lacked the cool factor that most 18-year-olds desire.
The team quickly set about rectifying that. On the outside they did a few rust repairs and touch-ups and painted the roof black for a premium look. The steel rims were swapped for a set of alloys from a newer G-Wagon and powdercoated black before being wrapped in a set of Cooper Discoverer STT Pro tyres in 31-inch diameter. All the badges and metal accessories were treated to a black Ferro grain powder coating. The cherry on the top is a set of LED headlights that have been crafted into the original headlight bowls to ensure it looks like this G-Wagon just left the factory. Up top is a roof rack that can be accessed by a ladder on the rear. A custom spare-wheel bracket was crafted to mount the spare wheel on the rear door. A Bravo snorkel helps the engine breathe in dusty conditions and the windows were tinted to minimise the effects of the African sun.
Under the hood is a 3.0-litre diesel engine that was left standard but given a major service to ensure the legendary Mercedes-Benz reliability remains intact. The engine in this 300 GD is sure to go forever, when new it produced 65 kW and 226 Nm and gets to 100km/h from a standstill… eventually… in 27 seconds, whichever comes first on its way to a top speed of 127 km/h. You see, perfect for a teenager’s first car.
The youngster travelling in this G-Class might not be able to get anywhere in a hurry but they will be traveling in style. The plastic dashboard has been covered in alcantara while the seats and door panels have been recovered in a cream leather that beautifully complements the exterior hue. An air conditioner was fitted and integrated into the standard fan system. The party never ends in this G-Wagon thanks to a comprehensive sound system. Kids and their sound. Upfront is an Alpine touchscreen head unit complete with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay that sends the tunes to a proper Kicker sound system with speakers throughout the cabin and a neatly integrated subwoofer in the boot.
A few subtle upgrades have transformed this fairly utilitarian Mercedes-Benz G-Class into a very cool run-around that is sure to help this youngster create motoring memories that will last a lifetime.
Can I get one, too!?
SnorCity Speed Shop in conjunction with Watswaaijy is a bespoke workshop in the Menlyn area of Pretoria that specialises in classic vehicles. They are equipped and trained to do everything from general repairs to nut and bolt restorations.
Contact: Leon 072 379 9368
Text and photographs: Reuben van Niekerk