• Mercedes Displays 1983 Dakar Rally-Winning 280 GE at 2018 Detroit Auto Show

A taste of the G-Wagen’s long and winning heritage

The Mercedes-Benz booth at the 2018 North American International Auto Show proved to be a busy place thanks to the all-new 2019 G-Class. Part of the fun was historic G-Class vehicles from Mercedes’ storied past. One of them was this, the 1983 Mercedes 280 GE built to run the Paris–Dakar Rally. Its driver was Jacky Ickx and co-driver Claude Brasseur. The duo battled the 6,200 miles over grueling, off-road terrain between Paris, France and Dakar, Senegal – a town on the westernmost tip of Africa.

The G-Wagen was mostly stock but came with a few extras to help win the rally. Meatier all-terrain tires, an off-road bumper, and extra lights were added, while the rear glass was painted over with sponsor logos. A large spoiler hangs off the G-Wagen’s rear, perhaps helping control dust.

The win proved extremely important for Mercedes. The G-Wagen was only four years old in 1983 and the Dakar Rally was only five. Both Mercedes and the rally have become legendary over the decades and into modern times. The 1983 race was also the first and only time an automaker to win the Dakar overall with two vehicle classes. Mercedes other contender was a 1936 AK-series medium-duty truck.


Mercedes-Benz G-Class

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit!
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2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit!

2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class Blitzkriegs Detroit!
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Mark McNabb
Mark McNabb was a contributor at TopSpeed from 2013 to 2018. Growing up, Mark always had a mind for tinkering on random items throughout his home and dad’s garage, including a 1953 Ford Mainline and 1971 Corvette Stingray.  Read full bio
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