Photo: Bryan McCarthy

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

Photo: Johnny Miles

1983 Mercedes-Benz 280GE Paris-Dakar

Amelia Island Concours 2019

Mar 28, 2019 | On Show

Introduced in 1979, the Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen was originally designed as a military vehicle with no thought of it ever going racing. However, the Paris-Dakar rally suited the off-road capability of the 4×4, and this example is a re-creation of the vehicle that competed in the 1983 race with Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur behind the wheel.

The competition version of the 280GE was fitted with detachable aerodynamic pieces at the rear and incorporated various aluminum components to lower its weight. The front axle was also upgraded, and the engine produced 220 horsepower, which was an increase of 64 horsepower over the standard version.

Ickx and Brasseur covered a total of 7,500 miles of harsh off-road terrain on their way to a class win in the 1983 race, which also happened to be the first and only time that a manufacturer has won the Paris-Dakar in two separate classes, as Mercedes also won the larger truck class.

 

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