WHY CHANGE A GOOD THING: There's hardly any visible difference between the G-Class edition 35 and Gunther Holtorf 'Otto' (inset) that's done a 26-year, 900 000km, world tour. Image: Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz has created special - and very exclusive - versions of its G-Class off-roader wagons to commemorate 35 years of the model... and to honour one of their forebears which has completed a 26-year, 900 000km tour of Earth.
That's to Earth to Moon, back to Earth and back to the Moon - with 80 000km in reserve.
FEATURE: Read ALL about 'Otto's' mega-global marathon
Back in 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out on what was meant to be an 18-month tour of Africa in their Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon. Sadly, Christine is now dead but Gunther is still going, and so is his G-Class wagon with nearly 900 000km on its clock.
The G-Class body is unchanged after 35 years except for cosmetic tweaks to keep up with the times. As Merceds says: "It consistently demonstrates that its own lines are the only path from which the G-Class never deviates."
'MYSTIC BRIGHT WHITE'
"To illustrate this once more, the exclusive Edition 35 special treatment is available for the G 350 BlueTEC and G 500 models to coincide with the anniversary (and the journey). The 18", five-spoked, light-alloy rims sparkle in bright black, the front and rear bumpers, wheel-arch linings, exterior mirrors and roof sparkle in obsidian black metallic."
Together with the Designo mystic white bright or palladium silver metallic paint finishes, the automaker explains,this adds up to an extremely exciting contrast. Anybody looking for something a little more subtle can also opt for the obsidian black metallic paint finish for the body.
The standard-fit Sports package, including AMG wheel-arch flaring and on the G 500 a sports exhaust system as well as a Chrome package with chromed highlights in the radiator grille, chromed surround on the seat adjustment switch panel and speakers and the door sill panel in the luggage compartment with "Mercedes-Benz" lettering make the vehicle even more attractive.
...AND THE CABIN
The interior of the Edition 35 offers two high-grade leather upholstery and appointments options in two-tone Designo porcelain/black or single-tone Designo black. "In either case," Mercedes says, "contrasting red stitching underscores the sporty touch of the special model."
Together with the Exclusive package with leather-covered facia, AMG performance steering wheel and Designo trim in piano lacquer as well as the roof liner in Designo black Dinamica microfibre "make the result a luxurious interior".
The adjustable multi-contour seats with climate control guarantee the hallmark feel-good atmosphere on board.
Sadly, the G35 Special edition will not make its way to South Africa. Mercedes-Benz SA says: "We will not be getting the G35 special edition in SA as our G63 AMG, G500 and G350 BlueTEC are highly specced."