This $93,000 vintage German military Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen has been fully restored and can be dropped from a helicopter — see inside

Expedition Motor Company's 1991 Mercedes-Benz 250GD Wolf restoration.

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Expedition Motor Company’s 1991 Mercedes-Benz 250GD Wolf restoration.
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Brittany Chang/Business Insider

New Jersey-based Expedition Motor Company is converting vintage Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens sourced from the German military and turning them into bespoke convertible vehicles, including a 1991 Mercedes-Benz 250GD Wolf which can be dropped from a helicopter.

Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens have become an iconic fixture on American streets and are owned by multiple celebrities, including Kylie Jenner and Matt Kemp, according to The News Wheel. It’s no surprise many celebrities love to show off their G-Wagens: at a starting price of $127,650, the large SUVs are definitely a luxury item not everyone can afford.

Expedition Motor Company takes vintage convertible G-Wagens formerly used by the German military and restored the vehicles to a luxurious bespoke quality with builds starting at $90,000. While this isn’t necessarily inexpensive, the EMC vehicles are significantly cheaper than the present-day built G-Wagens, now known as the G-Class.

“If I’m driving a Lamborghini through New York City, or driving this [G-Wagen] through New York City, I’ll get more comments on this [G-Wagen],” Expedition Motor Company founder Alex Levin told Business Insider.

EMC’s 1991 Mercedes-Benz 250GD Wolf build is especially unique: its side hooks allow it to be dropped from a helicopter with its side hooks.

“With the top on, maybe it’s a little conspicuous,” he continued. “But when the top is off, it’s a completely different environment. In the summertime, people are just so drawn to it because ‘there goes a convertible SUV and it’s a Mercedes and it’s a G-Wagen.'”

Keep scrolling to see the former air-lifted military G-Wagen that can be dropped from the sky:


The build that can be dropped from a helicopter is the 1991 Mercedes-Benz 250GD Wolf, pictured below.

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EMC invested around 1,000 hours into creating the build, according to its website.

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Source: Expedition Motor Company


The original G-Wagens were purchased in bulk from the German military…

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…and brought to a workshop in Poland for most of the restoration, which needs to be done because “[the] 18-year-old military service members [drive] the crap out of them,” Levin said.

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They are then shipped from Poland to the US for final touches before being sold to customers.

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“That’s really what the niche and the special sauce is: if you want [a vintage G-Wagen]…to be reliable and last year for 20 years, it has to be fully restored and that’s where Exhibition Motor Company comes in,” he continued.

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The build still retains some of its original parts and appearance.

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The only restoration parts that are outsourced are the injection pumps, which are made by Bosch.

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The bespoke G-Wagen has a OM602 diesel engine.

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Side hooks allow it to be dropped from a helicopter.

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The engine, transmission, axles, and transfer case were disassembled, inspected, rebuilt, and refinished after some parts were either cleaned or replaced.

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New brakes and rotors, among several other pieces, were installed.

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“You never feel like you’re out of control in the car,” Levin said.

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‘Wow, I turn and it turns!'” some customers have said to Levin during test drives, shocked by the easy handling of Expedition Motor Company’s restored G-Wagens.

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Customers have praised how well the car corners with its “confidence-inspiring drive,” Levin claimed.

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“This is what happens when you put in that much work,” he continued.

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The body and interior were taken apart from the frame during its restoration process.

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The body was then blasted down to only metal to make any metal-related issues more manageable before an anti-corrosive primer was applied to both the body and the frame.

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The interior of the G-Wagen is custom-made, although it still retains some of its original components.

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Levin selected the white exterior finish, which has also been wet-sanded and polished.

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This white finish contrasts the interior brown vinyl.

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When it comes to modifications like making the car automatic instead of manual or adding power windows, Levin — who claims he is known for saying “no” — refuses.

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“I want to respect the vehicle for what it was,” he said. “It’s restored, it’s refined so that a user like me or you can use it.”

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Levin took his pet dog and me for a test drive in the Wolf, and I was pleasantly surprised by the vehicle.

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He taught me how to drive the G-Wagen, which would also serve as my first time driving manual, something I thought I would never do as more and more cars are now being sold as automatic.

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And although I was terrified, I found the vehicle easy to handle.

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I found the steering and handling to be as responsive and smooth as Levin claimed, more so than other non-vintage cars that I’ve driven.

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According to Levin, most people’s first impressions when they ride in one of EMC’s G-Wagens is that “they’re amazed at how well the vehicle steers, so it’s responsive for a 25, 30-year-old vehicle.”

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“They’re expecting something that’s either very tough to turn or is going all over the place, like a Land Rover Defender,” he said.

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This model costs $93,000, although EMC currently has several other 250GD Wolf builds available for sale on its website.

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Brittany Chang/Business Insider