35 years of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class

Stuttgart.  One man, one G, one life’s work. That sums up the essence of an unprecedented global adventure. When Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set out in their Mercedes-Benz 300 GD to visit as many of the countries around the world as possible, the G-Class was just ten years old. Today, some 26 years, just under 900,000 kilometres (559,000 miles), and 215 visited countries later, Gunther Holtorf drove his cherished G – christened ‘Otto’ – back home to Swabia. The marathon vehicle will take pride of place in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, where it will go on show to visitors in the Classic Cars section from 21 October.

2011: Otto at the Mount Everest

2011: Otto at the Mount Everest

For 77-year-old Gunther Holtorf, his Mercedes-Benz 300 GD, which his wife Christine affectionately christened ‘Otto,’ is quite simply the expedition vehicle par excellence for this kind of (torturous) tour. “In 1988, when I bought the car I was a bit more sceptical about the promise made by Mercedes-Benz, namely “Where there’s a G, there’s a way.” After all, I’d already seen something of the world beforehand and had a rough idea of what the vehicle would have to endure on this kind of world tour!” This initial scepticism gave way though to an unreserved trust in Otto’s capabilities as the years went by. Especially in precarious situations, the symbiosis between the Holtorfs and the G-Class grew.

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