Nowadays, the G-Wagon is a status symbol, a part of pop culture, and the best-selling super-SUV on the market. As such, some might find it hard to imagine that, before the current second-generation model entered production in 2018, the G-Wagen was a heavily updated version of the 1979 original. The OG production model was born to serve the military and civilians whose elevated life involved regular trips to the mountains or perhaps their eccentric farms. It may be even more difficult to imagine a past for the Gelandewagen before the said point because that never existed… until now. Enter the 1969 Mercedes-Benz G-Class, an alternate history classic imagined by digital artist Abimelec Arellano.
Mercedes-Benz explains that the said form of the 1979 G-Class, which arguably ended up replicating the variety of military-civilian off-roaders the Germans had built throughout the 1930s, was a shift from the original plan, which had seen designers considering an effort for the civilian commercial vehicle segment in the early 1970s (people would’ve certainly turned the result into a splendid MB camper nowadays).
Well, with the exception of the serious rugged terrain abilities, the 3D rendering created by the artist (aka abimelecdesign) is nothing like that. Instead, the 1969 G-Class is portrayed as a vehicle aimed straight at the elites.
The legendary boxy styling, which the G-Wagon mostly kept for the current modern iteration, has made room for a more rounded approach rooted in MB’s sharp mid-century styling language.
The curvatures defining the rear pillars and tailgate, as well as the unusual-in-modern-times wheel arch shape, end up redefining the look of the vehicle. In fact, if you’re a fan of the three-pointed star and enjoy such pixel trips, we recommend studying all the little details—they’re a collection of some of the finest designs the carmaker offered back in the day.
Back in 1969, those who needed SUVs in their lives but preferred the finer things in life could choose between the original Jeep Wagoneer (the artist also has some standout ideas for the U.S. machine) and the first Range Rover. There’s also the Toyota Land Cruiser, but the era’s models sat noticeably closer to their utilitarian roots than the American and British models.
Well, buyers of this alternate-past G-Wagon would’ve been treated to the super-sized grille borrowed from the super-rich-targeting Mercedes 609 Grosser, so this would’ve been a vehicle for those who ran countries and economic empires. Of course, exclusivity would’ve also played a role in the equation.
As such, the cabin would’ve been second to none, which is why the pixel master transplanted (and supposedly stretched) a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing (what about a Gullwing from the future?) interior into his creation. Now just let that pre-Maybach atmosphere sink in for a moment.
Frankly, it’s difficult to set a limit when thinking about the value such a 1969 G-Class would reach at an auction in these times when Mercedes-Benz is preparing the 2024 introduction of an all-electric G-Class production model.
PS: Those of you looking for a less stratospheric imaginary Merc SUV may wish to check out this 1985 GLE that would’ve accompanied the actual G-Class back in the day.