The 300GD Gelandewagen four wheel drive model was
Mercedes answer to the Range Rover. Nobody had anticipated
the demand for a luxury four wheel drive, however the
"Rangie" was to prove far more successful
in the showroom.
Why?, perhaps that the 300GD was such a good off-road
performer but lacked a little of the on road finesse
of the Range Rover says more about the type of people
buying these cars than the cars themselves.
The Gelandewagen was designed in 1979 for Mercedes by
Steyr-Daimler-Puch (SDP) and was available with a vast
array of engine variations including a 2.4 liter 4cyl diesel
, a 3 liter 5cyl diesel
, a 2.3 liter 4cyl petrol
and 2.8 liter 6cyl petrol.
The design followed the successful and very rugged H
series 4 wheel drives manufactured between 1972 and
1978 - which were a favored military vehicle in Europe.
The 300GD was equipped with a 3 liter 6 cylinder diesel
engine that produced a very healthy 143bhp, and featured
a full four wheel drive system with selectable 2 or
4 wheel drive and selectable front and rear axle differential