By now we have all seen the Mercedes 6×6 G pickup, if not then you have not been on this off roading planet. The truck was only produced in a miniscule number of 30 units per year, predominantly aimed and shipped to our friends of the deserts with plenty of money.
However, Mercedes have produced 6 wheel executive vehicles in the past, here is the classic that some may have seen in old war films or actual war time video footage.
The model in question began life at the end of the thirties called the Mercedes G4 W conceived to show the world the German technological superiority of the time. Although 6 wheelers the drive configuration was actually 6×4. The model was produced in series and that was destined to the highest levels of the party of the German Reich Chancellery in Berlin and friendly countries.
On the eve of World War II Adolf Hitler gave one each to Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco as a sweetener, the unit models were specifically built to entertain their new owners.
It was designed to be able to review the troops and for this the passenger seat has a retractable base that allows the presidents more room to stand.
There were 57 units in total constructed, today only 4 are certified by Mercedes Benz as one hundred percent original.
The German manufacturer wanted to buy back the Spanish model, it is said with a blank check, but the vehicle at the time was owned by the Spanish National Heritage who refused the offer.
Today the model forms part of the collection of cars from the Spanish Royal family, the servicing and maintainence is managed by the Royal Guard at the Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid.
It was restored in the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center from September 2001 to December 2004.
For this, the model was dismantled completely and Mercedes specialists found that despite his 66 year age it was in perfect condition except for some small scratches on the bodywork. It is said that Franco used it for some hunting parties.
All mechanical components were disassembled, cleaned, repaired and refitted, the attention to detail was responsible for three years of restoration work.
Every screw, every bolt and sleeve was inspected carefully, re-machined and returned to its original position whenever possible.
Another example was the internal components of the exhaust system, which were still in operation and left in their original state, while the exterior components were replaced completely. Non-original components were replaced by components re-produced using the original plans.
In addition, the G4 needed new tires, eight of them, to be precise, including the spares. These tires were not easy to obtain, given therequired dimensions, stability to match the high vehicle weight plus the offroad tread. Experts finally found the right tires in the United States when it was thought they would have to order them specifically.
The G4 has four forward gears the higher two synchronized. A countershaft serves as a reduction gearing, making four additional available low gears.
For operation in difficult terrain, limited slip differentials were fitted, that was a first for these features being a design breakthrough at the time.
Powered by a M24 II eight-cylinder with a displacement of 5.4 liters – very similar to the engine that was also used in the 540 K sports car, but without a compressor (supercharger) to increase performance at high speeds. The designers of the G4 decided not to use it because the car, weighing about 3.7 tons, has a maximum speed of only 67 km/h – tires did not allow for higher speeds, so it was deemed unnecessary.
Another special feature of the model is that the driver has “smart” braking assistance, in order to decelerate the vehicle. A piston operated by a vacuum cylinder also acts on the brake pedal through a cable mechanism. Regarding the fuel supply designers of the G4 were meticulous giving the car two electric fuel pumps, plus an additional mechanical pump and if all three fail, the motor would receive fuel from a gravity fed spare fuel tank.
Technical data: Mercedes-Benz G4 W series 31, 1934-1939;
Wheelbase: 3100 + 950 mm
Front / Rear track: 1620/1570/1570 mm
Dimensions (length x width x height): 5360 up 5720 x 1870 x 1900 mm (with hood)
Turning radius: 17 m
Weight: approx. 3.700 kg
Admissible gross weight: 4,400 kg
The maximum speed allowed by the tires: 67 km/h
Fuel consumption: 28 liters / 100 km (city), 38 liters / 100 km (offroad)
Fuel tank capacity: 90 liters or Long range tanks of 140 liters Engine; Daimler-Benz M24 or M24 II inline engine eight – cylinder
Displacement: 5018 cc initially, then 5401 cc bore x stroke: 86 x 108 mm / 88 x 111 mm Output: 100 hp / 110 hp at 3400 /
Transmission; Four wheel drive rear two locking differentials four – speed manual
Chassis; Ladder box like
Suspension front wheel: rigid axle, springs semi-elliptic suspension of the rear wheel: two rigid axles, a semi-elliptical spring two wheels on each side
Brakes: System dual hydraulic circuit vacuum assistance, acting on the front and rear wheels, mechanical parking brake manually operated, acting on the front wheels
Tyres: steel disc wheels with drop center rims, LF size 4.00 x 17, self-sealing tyres: size 6.00 F x 17 tyres: 7.5 to 17 with offroad tread (normal or self-sealing).
Check out the video of this museum owned one running off road …