Expedition Motor completes ultra-cool Mercedes-Benz 250 GD restoration

How’s this for the ultimate summer explorer vehicle? It’s the latest project by Expedition Motor Company in the USA, taking a rare 1991 Mercedes-Benz 250 GD two-door and transforming it into a modernised and refurbished open-top, go-anywhere bush-basher.

The 250 GD ‘Wolf’ is already known as a unique SUV, featuring a fold-down windscreen and convertible soft-top roof. Expedition Motor has undergone a complete restoration on one such example, including a frame-off rebuild and improvement process to make the classic SUV feel brand new again.

Starting with an ex-military vehicle sourced from overseas, Expedition stripped it all down to the frame, and then inspected and rebuilt, refinished or replaced every part. Media-blasting techniques were applied to core components, down to the metal to remove any possible corrosion, with rust-inhibiting primer applied to ensure long-lasting quality.

Various unique touches were applied to the exterior for an exclusive look, with modern LED headlights, guard-mounted indicators with special protectors, a snorkel, and optional jerry-can holder added on. The iconic ‘air lift’ hooks, designed so helicopters could easily transport the 250 GD, were reconditioned and reinforced.

Inside, the upholstery comprises of marine-grade brown vinyl for that classy yet durable theme, while custom diamond-pattern floor mats add some elegance. Expedition Motor also installed oak wood slats for the cargo area, with matching rear side panels, while a Vintage Air climate control panel was installed with retro-style controls. A VDO media system provides Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

Under the bonnet the famously-reliable 2.5-litre diesel ‘OM602’ five-cylinder engine was completely rebuilt, with new pumps, seals, and internals installed where needed. The engine was then tested in the workshop and on the road for a final check. Matched up to it is a five-speed manual transmission which also underwent a similar rebuild, with a new clutch and bearings thrown in. In its day the engine produced 69kW and 158Nm.

This latest ‘White Wolf’ project demonstrates the restoration capabilities of Expedition Motor Company. Customers can of course put together their own bespoke package and have Expedition build it for them, or customers can follow a common plan. This example has a total cost of US$92,150.

We don’t know about you but we’d love to take this beast for a summer getaway, exploring hidden beaches with the roof down. If only Mercedes still made this body style.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.