4 WORK OR PLAY

WEL­COME TO OUR SEC­OND NEW FEATURE FOR 2017, 4 WORK OR PLAY. EACH OTHER MONTH WE WILL PRO­FILE AN IN­TER­EST­ING 4WD AND ITS OWNER. THIS MONTH IT IS WANAKA-BASED PHO­TOG­RA­PHER SEAN CRAIG AND HIS COOL, OLD-SKOOL MERCEDES-BENZ G-WAGEN.

NZ4WD - - CONTENTS -

Q) That’s an in­ter­est­ing look­ing G-Wagen Sean. Let’s start this off with the ba­sics like spe­cific model, year of man­u­fac­ture, spec, etc.

A) Thanks. It’s a 1983 280GE with ba­si­cally only two op­tions from the fac­tory, one be­ing the rev counter and the other be­ing the ex­tra seat in the back. Other than that, no air­con or elec­tric win­dows, etc. Hav­ing said that, the stan­dard op­tions in­clude diff locks, and that’s what re­ally mat­ters. Un­der the hood is the rather bul­let-proof Mercedes M110 2.8 litre six-cylin­der petrol mo­tor. This one has done over half a mil­lion kms and is still go­ing strong. This ver­sion for the G Wagen has lower com­pres­sion ra­tio than the sa­loon ver­sion, so on a good day you’ll see a mighty 150hp (11kWs). Need­less to say I won’t be break­ing any speed records on the road…

Q2) Now, a bit about you. You’re a pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher liv­ing and work­ing out of Wanaka, is that right?

A) Yes that’s right. Al­though since the move down this way I’m tend­ing to do more in the world of video.

Q4) What was the at­trac­tion of the G-Wagen? And where did you find this one?

A) I’ve al­ways been a huge Mercedes fan but had never con­sid­ered a G Wagen due to cost and try­ing to find one here in NZ. How­ever I had sold my SJ and was look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent when my brother-in-law said I should look for a G. So I jumped on Trade Me and there was one listed! It was a 1981 280GE. I rang the chap up and it turned out he had seven of them! Af­ter chat­ting for a while he said he had an­other one that I might also like. Af­ter de­scrib­ing my 280GE I bought it with­out even see­ing a sin­gle photo. And my brother-in-law bought the 1981! The at­trac­tion? Well the fac­tory diff locks, fully syn­cro’d trans­fer case ( shift into 4WD at any speed with­out putting the clutch in), hand built in Aus­tria… the list goes on. Plus I have a friend who im­ports Mercedes parts so the cost of own­er­ship isn’t too bad at all.

Q5) With so much ac­ces­si­ble land avail­able down your way I bet you spend half your life ex­plor­ing? What sort of trips have you done into the back coun­try? And which – so far – is your favourite?

A) It’s a huge at­trac­tion to liv­ing down this way. So many op­tions. I love to take land­scape pho­tos so hav­ing the G Wagen opens up so many more op­tions. Very hard to pin down a favourite. Of­ten it’s the im­promptu off-road ex­cur­sions that are the most ex­cit­ing. Chas­ing a sun­set and find­ing a track not trav­elled be­fore, there’s noth­ing like it.

Sounds like a lot of fun. Thanks for your time Sean.

If you have an in­ter­est­ing new, old or in­be­tween 4WD and thinks it war­rant a spot on this page con­tact Editor Ross MacKay on editor@ nz4wd.co.nz

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