For a luxury brand, Mercedes has made quite a few pickup trucks. Blurring the line between white- and blue-collar was the Funmog, a luxurious Unimog. The original G-Wagen could be had as a pickup, and right before the updated G-Class debuted, Mercedes brought the pickup back. Albeit with 6 wheels. There was also the X-Class, based on the VW Amarok. But while BMW has made car-based pickup one-offs, and Porsche theoretically could, Mercedes hasn’t. At least, not officially. Because Arizona’s Hubbard Auto Center has a Mercedes E-Class pickup. And it’s got a heck of a story.
What exactly is this Mercedes E-Class pickup?
According to Jalopnik and the Hubbard Auto Center, this Mercedes pickup is based on a 2000 E320 Wagon. Like other E320 Wagons, it has a 3.2-liter V6 and 5-speed automatic. But this particular wagon was stretched by 29” to accommodate the pickup bed.
Part of the conversion required repositioning the rear doors and tailgate, as well as extending and modifying the rear bodywork. The bed also features a steel diamond-plate floor, spray-in bed liner, stainless steel rails, and LED lighting. And to help passengers access their cargo, the rear window is hinged.
The rest of the Mercedes E-Class pickup is fairly stock. The leather interior comes with a functional navigation and infotainment system, as well as Bluetooth, automatic climate control, and Mercedes’ Parktronic automatic parking system. The pickup even retains the E320’s roof rails. The wheels aren’t original E20 stock, but they are 18” AMG Monoblocks.
However, there are some interior modifications. The rear seats have been replaced with leather bucket seats which appear to have a built-in loading function. They can be folded flat to increase luggage space. But if you do have rear passengers, they can at least keep their drinks cold with the center-console cooling compartment. Or at least, they could—it is allegedly non-functional.
But as interesting as the Mercedes E-Class pickup is, its history might be even more interesting.
This Mercedes pickup may have been made by a hearse company
Hubbard Auto Center claims that this Mercedes E-Class pickup is one of only 3 made. But while custom car-based pickups aren’t new—the Tesla Truckla being an excellent example—this truck’s credentials place it on another level.
The Hubbard Auto Center claims the truck was commissioned by an Atlanta-area Mercedes-Benz dealer. The E320 Wagon left the Mercedes factory, then was converted into a pickup by another German company before arriving in the US. Since then, it appears to have only done 21,000 miles. While the Hubbard Auto Center didn’t post any documentation, these claims appear to be verifiable by another source: Bring a Trailer.
Last year, the website tried to auction what The Drive claims is the exact same Mercedes E-Class pickup. And amongst the files and photos, BaT included were scans of the original invoice. The invoice lists Atlanta Classic Cars as the recipient, which is a real Mercedes-Benz dealer that has since moved from the Decatur, GA address on the invoice to Duluth, GA. But it’s the company that performed the pickup conversion that’s even more intriguing.
The company is called Binz, and that name reveals two separate companies operating in Germany. One is Binz Ambulance, which turns ordinary vans and buses (some of them Mercedes Sprinters) into emergency-service vehicles: fire trucks, ambulances, etc. But the other is Binz International, based in Stuttgart, where Mercedes-Benz is also headquartered.
The companies’ names are similar enough for even official sources to get confused, and it’s unclear exactly how the two are related. But their products definitely aren’t. While Binz Ambulance makes rescue vehicles, Binz International makes hearses.
There’s the Tesla Model S-based BINZ.E, and the Mercedes-based BINZ.H2.
Could someone still get one?
Binz International doesn’t list pickups on their website. However, the company is owned by UK coachbuilders Woodall Nicholson. So, in addition to the hearses and (allegedly) limousines, converting a Mercedes wagon into a pickup should be theoretically possible. After all, a coachbuilder turned a classic Bentley into a pickup truck.
But it would be rather expensive. There’s no guarantee a converted Mercedes pickup would pass US crash tests, even one based on a brand-new Mercedes E-Class. That kind of verification and testing adds even more cost onto an already fairly pricey procedure. BaT’s invoice scan reveals the Binz conversion cost $19,064 in 2000. The donor E320 Wagon’s MSRP was $25,696. In other words, you could have almost bought two E320 Wagons for the price of this one pickup.
That being said, there’s no reason why you couldn’t convert a Mercedes wagon already in the US into a pickup. Be warned, though, a brand-new E-Class Wagon starts at $66,100. It would most likely be cheaper to search for a used E-Class Wagon donor.
Or, instead, buying this exact Mercedes pickup. How it ended up in Arizona isn’t clear, but it’s most likely because of the failed BaT auction. It failed to meet reserve at $20,250. But it’s being sold without at reserve through Hubbard Auto Center.