1988 Mercedes G Wagen 280GE (W460) *SOLD*

MODELG Wagen 280GE (W460)
INTERIORBlue & Black

1988 Mercedes G Wagen 280GE (W460) *SOLD*

  • Only three previous owners
  • Sought after 3 door SWB version
  • Four speed Auto
  • Very sensible reserve
  • Large document pack
  • This 1988 Mercedes G Wagen 280GE (W460) sold for £8,500
  • Please scroll down the page past the video to read a full description for this lot

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  • Only three previous owners
  • Sought after 3 door SWB version
  • Four speed Auto
  • Very sensible reserve
  • Large document pack

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class or G-Wagen, short for Geländewagen, (cross-country vehicle), is characterised by it’s boxy styling and body-on-frame construction. It uses three fully locking differentials, one of the few vehicles to have such a feature. The G-Class is still in production and is one of the longest produced Mercedes-Benz in Daimler’s history with a span of 32 years.

The G-class was developed as a military vehicle from a suggestion by the Shah of Iran and offered as a civilian version in 1979. The first major refinements were introduced in 1981, including automatic transmission, air conditioning, an auxiliary fuel tank, protective headlamp grilles and a cable winch. Fuel injection became available in 1982 when the 230GE was introduced in Turin, along with more comfortable and supportive front seats, auxiliary heating, wider tyres and fender flares. From 1985, differential locks, central door locking and a tachometer become standard.

Purchased by our vendor in 2007, he has therefore owned this rare 3 door SWB Mercedes G Wagen for 15 years and it has only three former owners. Bought from the renowned London Mercedes specialist Klasse of Fulham, who knew the G Wagen intimately as they had serviced and maintained the vehicle during its previous ownership.  In fact, the previous owner documented its life, journeys and mileage across a twenty-five-page log.  Being sold with two keys, all manuals, 17 MOTs, with the current one expiring in June 2023, and service records confirming the mileage shown.  There is also a file of invoices since our vendor took ownership, the latter showing a regular service and maintenance spend of nearly seven thousand pounds.  The very last invoice dated in June this year shows a spend of nearly two thousand pounds checking, servicing or replacing the suspension, brake pipes, wheel bearings, exhaust and among other bits and bobs the fuel injection system.


As you can see from the images, this iconic and very sought after three door short wheelbase version of this G Wagen is not perfect. The Astral Silver Metallic bodywork is mostly solid with the four corners suffering from some rust areas that could do with a little attention, the bonnet, on close inspection, is showing a crease but the underneath of the vehicle is, as described by our vendor’s garage, “Rock Solid”.

Our vendor has been very forthright in advising that if he was to have kept the vehicle he would have had the body issues resolved but was torn with leaving this honest and unmolested vehicle as it is or getting the rust sorted or risk potential suiters believing it to be a less than honest vehicle.  Either way you know what you are getting, a very honest and straight version of these spectacular all-wheel drive vehicles.

The images show the areas needing attention but to add to the four corners needing tidying up, the rear panel and lower tailgate section could also do with some attention. There is also a dent to the offside side step chrome, the offside fog lamp was previously damaged whilst in for servicing and has been glued but unfortunately the glue has failed.  There is also some random bubbling in the paint here and there on the wheel arch’s edges.  Our vendor has rightly suggested that it would look fantastic with a “bottom half” respray.  Suffice to say the top half is as solid as the underside with everywhere above the side mouldings being very good with it being notable that all the rain drains are running clear and showing no issues.

As previously alluded to, this Mercedes G Wagen does have some cosmetic issues but they are all relatively easy fixes, if rectified, they will bring the bodywork up to the standard of the rest of the vehicle.


The interior is a real delight, offering the driver and passengers an interesting environment that will only make you smile time and time again no matter the adventure.  From factory build, this example was opted with the beautifully presented black & light grey patterned fabric seating, the squared dark grey plastic dash that wraps around the internal space. Light grey carpets, black & light grey patterned door cards match the seats, the four spoke leather steering wheel embossed with the signature Mercedes Benz motif and finished with the black & grey speckled fabric roof lining.

The seats are in good condition but are not perfect with some slight sagging on the front seats with the usual wear causing a slight tear on the outside vinyl section on the drivers seat but we would struggle to find any other issues.  Mercedes of this era were massively over engineered at production so everything else is in great condition, the rear seats look like they have hardly been used and the dash, doorpads and consuls are all in great nick.  Our vendor has shared that everything works as it should bar the rear washer and fan, he was at pains to say that the rear wiper works it is just the washer that doesn’t, also the cabin heater works and it warms the cabin as it should but the fan does not seem to be operative, we suspect the three-setting switch needs some attention.

The original carpets, although look stained in the images are much cleaner in the flesh, or should that be cloth? They are also showing no obvious signs of damage of wear and tear.  There are even the original over mats that will be supplied with the vehicle.

The original Blaupunkt stereo is still in place and the radio works as it should, although our vendor explained he has not used the tape player for many years.


G-Wagen 460 models were offered with a range of engine options. In 1980 the 280GE model, which we have here, was introduced which was fitted with a six cylinder fuel injected petrol engine producing a rather respectable 150hp in its low-compression ratio version.  With 108,000 miles currently on the clock (see below*) our vendor was at pains to explain that although it is likely to be very close it is slightly out, as in 2017 he found that the car had developed an overheating problem. On further inspection he was advised that the head gasket had blown, looking at all the options the most cost-effective way of rectifying the issue was to source another engine.

He found a reliable source who had a 72k mileage engine that had been compression tested and in fantastic running order, he has the emails and correspondence within the document pack that shows the purchase and discussion around its condition and history.  Our vendor believes that the replacement engine had less than the original mileage so believes the true mileage to be around 106k.

His garage was then tasked to replace the overheating one and subsequently gave it a clean bill of health, even stating that it was a very strong and better engine than the one removed, even before the head gasket had failed.

In fact, this area of the car is where it excels, it runs extremely smoothly and has no issues whatsoever, being chain driven these six-cylinder engines really do impress.  With great provenance and a history of never breaking down or causing any trouble our vendor is extremely confident in the new engine and expects it to keep on going for another 100k miles.

Wheels Tyres Suspension and other

This G Wagen has options from build to include front & rear differential locks, two piece rear bumpers, single socket tow bar, the Mercedes Benz short range suspension, head lamp power wash, the speedo adapter, heated rear window, halogen front fog lamps, the blackened protective grilles for the front lights, central locking, the leather bound four spoke steering wheel with the chromed three spoke star, over mats and the rear spare wheel with cover that has unfortunately lost its elasticity but will be supplied with the vehicle.

The factory fit silver finished 15″ five Spoke alloy wheels, although showing some small signs of paint peel have no evidence of kerb damage and are wrapped in rubber that are full of tread.

There are no signs of wear and tear within the differentials or suspension, predominantly due to the two thousand pounds worth of service work to the running gear that we previously mentioned and the fantastic build quality of these rugged machines, as such our vendor reports that it runs wonderfully.

Our view 

If you’re after a utilitarian, hard-core off-roader, pre-1990 Mercedes G-Wagens are a fantastic choice.   Not only are they capable, they’re mostly mechanical with fewer electronics that can fail thus making them an extremely popular choice for anyone looking for a reliable all-wheel drive vehicle that can do virtually anything.  Becoming incredibly sought after, especially in this SWB and three door guise, now is a good time to invest in one.

Although not perfect, the important mechanicals are in impeccable condition and offer a fantastic starting point into G Wagen ownership.  A little love and attention during the winter months spent on the bodywork will deliver a superb example of these rugged machines, with a very sensible reserve we advise early bidding.

Good luck! Please remember, our site uses anti-sniping software which ensures fairness to all bidders. So, if a bid for a lot is received in the last minute, the auction will go into a 2-minute overtime period for each subsequent bid.

Vehicle Location: Northampton NN7 – it’s the responsibility of the buyer to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor.

Have a question about this Mercedes G Wagen? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

Guide Prices?

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Tedious but it’s vital you read this, please.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
a*******k £7,500.00 2022-11-28 13:41:42
e************2 £7,000.00 2022-11-26 10:38:40
w******2 £6,500.00 2022-11-22 09:13:04
a*******k £6,000.00 2022-11-21 18:21:53
w******2 £5,500.00 2022-11-15 13:38:44
n*********h £5,000.00 2022-11-11 00:33:55
k*************5 £4,750.00 2022-11-13 19:20:43
g******n £3,750.00 2022-11-13 18:12:58
k**************************m £2,750.00 2022-11-09 12:50:22
Start auction £2,750.00 07/11/2022 12:00 AM


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