50 State Legal: 1997 G300td

It’s not every day that one picture pretty much sums up a classified ad, but this beautiful beachside shot sure does it for us. This is a 50-state legal 1997 G300 with the legendary OM606 turbo diesel motor in short wheelbase (SWB) form currently located in Portland, Oregon. This Tourmaline Green on Black leather Gelandewagen was imported from Germany in 2017 by the seller via a registered importer, which also brought the vehicle up to compliance with NHTSA and DOT at significant cost. The Craigslist listing can be seen here with an asking price of $55,000.

It sports all the standard features of a modern G-class including all three locking differentials, manual two speed transfer case, factory air conditioning, ABS, cruise control, and possibly the best miles per gallon of any G-class you will find in the States today. Enthusiast owned with only 132,000 miles on the odometer, this truck seems to be all but rust free with nearly all factory equipment in place.

This truck is not just enthusiast owned, but G-class enthusiast owned. Attention to all aspects make this truck as clean and well-maintained while still being used regularly. The 5-speed transmission was rebuilt due to slipping between 2nd and 3rd, an under-dash OBD-2 port was added to reprogram the speedometer to miles and a new speedometer face for miles per hour added by a specialist. The radio has been upgraded but the original is included, a color matched spare tire cover was added along with a 2” US trailer hitch and black stainless running boards.

A walk-on hood was added and painted to body color by an MB dealer in Germany prior to importation and the truck is also equipped with a webasto auxiliary heater for those cold nights camping out on the beach.

The seller claims that everything on the truck works as it did when it rolled off the factory floor in Graz, Austria where the G-class has been produced since inception in 1979. The interior shows light wear on the seats to be expected at this age and mileage, but the wood trim looks to be in great shape with no visible cracks or significant fading.

Under the hood shows well, with the mechanically fuel injected double overhead cam in-line six cylinder turbodiesel OM606 engine representing the pinnacle of diesel reliability from Mercedes-Benz. These motors are highly sought after in aftermarket and tuning applications for how overbuilt they are and for the possibility of switching the electronically governed mechanical fuel injection pump to a mechanically governed version. Although these came with 177 HP, tuners have demonstrated north of 400HP without compromising reliability and without any modification to engine internals or manifolds. That is how over-engineered this particular engine is.

The truck comes with two key fobs, extensive documentation, and for the right price, a LeTech SWB roof rack and ORC rear ladder. Available in Portland or California, this understated (by G-class standards anyways) G300 checks nearly all the boxes and thankfully has seen more than the inside of a garage and the outside of a local shopping mall. Although this model can be had for much less than the $55k asking in Germany, its condition, the care its received, and the hassle to import and address any issues really puts this in a category by itself for those in the US market. And for our California readers, did we mention its smog exempt?




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