As World War II broke out toward the end of the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz produced all kinds of vehicles for the war, namely trucks. However, German dictator Adolf Hitler had a unique request; he wanted to parade around in a Mercedes-Benz.
As a result, the carmaker came up with an open-top armored off-roading truck which six wheels. According to Autoevolution, it’s called the W31 Type G4, and it unsurprisingly started as a truck. However, the custom-built machine even featured a folding front seat so the dictator could stand during parades.
How did the Mercedes-Benz W31 Type G4 get its start?
The Mercedes-Benz W31 Type G4’s origin story is rather simple. During the late 1930s, the carmaker was busy building trucks. Once the request came in to built this unique new model, it took a popular truck platform and modified it.
According to Autoevolution, this included creating seating space for up to seven passengers. Additionally, since it carried a dictator during a major war, this Mercedes-Benz was also heavily armored. This included bulletproof front glass, reinforced bodywork, and even secret compartments for weapons.
While Hitler’s version featured six wheels, it was originally intended to feature 10 in total. The initial design used two sets of dual wheels on the rear end. However, since this new vehicle only had to carry passengers, there was no need for the extra wheels.
Aside from the lavish interior, the Mercedes-Benz W31 Type G4 also featured a folding front seat so the dictator could easily stand during parades. Multiple versions of the Type G4 exist. The carmaker developed them to tackle various terrains. Unfortunately, almost none exist.
Only three out of 57 are left in authentic condition
Mercedes-Benz built 57 examples of the W31 Type G4. Following the end of World War II, the allied forces destroyed most of the surviving trucks. As a result, Daimler estimates that only three of the remaining trucks are fully original. Additionally, since these have historical significance, at least one of the surviving trucks lives in a museum in California.
According to Autoevolution, the Type G4 was quite an imposing vehicle. This Mercedes-Benz is 6.2 ft high and almost 20 ft long thanks to its many wheels. Under the hood you got various engine choices. However, the most powerful option was a 5.2-liter inline-eight which produced 115 hp.
While we don’t know exactly how heavy this truck is, 115 hp means it certainly isn’t quick. That’s because the main purpose of this vehicle was to parade the dictator around and allow his supporters to see him.
How much is this truck worth today?
With just three surviving examples of this ultra-rare Mercedes-Benz out there, they don’t come up for sale very often. In fact, one of the last times these trucks sold was back in 2009. Back then, Autoblog reported that three examples were offered as a set for $9 million.
Since that was over a decade ago, chances are these trucks a far more valuable. Aside from being significant vehicles, these surviving examples serve as crucial historical artifacts that will likely become priceless.