Lorinser rebuilds vintage G-Wagen as resto-modded camper

Ronan Glon


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German tuner Lorinser is whittling down its fleet of ex-Swiss army G-Classes by resto-modding them one at a time. Its latest build transforms a hardtop model into a fully-equipped, go-anywhere RV that blends vintage style with modern creature comforts. It's for sale, and it's old enough to be legally imported into the United States.

The company started the project with a Puch-badged 1993 230GE. We'll spare you a trip down this Austrian rabbit hole and simply point out the G-Class we know as a Mercedes-Benz once wore Puch emblems in Switzerland and Austria, among other markets. The two off-roaders were identical in every other way.

Back to the road: Lorinser fitted a hardtop decorated with maps drawn by Flemish cartographer Petrus Bertius during the 17th century, painted the body in a hue that blurs the line between green and gray, and blasted the underbody with dry ice to protect it from the elements. LED headlights replaced the G's surprisingly dim original units. Finally, aftermarket steel wheels wrapped by BF Goodrich tires add a finishing touch to the look.

The G-Class isn't as spacious as, say, a Winnebago, but Lorinser made the most of the space it had to work with. The tall rear door swings out to reveal a cleverly arranged sleeping quarter decked out with a microwave, a kitchenette, a sink, two folding tables, and two beds. There are as many storage bins as you can conceivably fit in such a small footprint and an outdoor shower but there's no bathroom. You'll need to plan ahead, then.

There are no major mechanical modifications. Power comes from the stock, 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine tuned to develop 125 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. It spins the four wheels via a four-speed automatic transmission. Lorinser pointed out the engine has covered about 55,000 miles and is in excellent condition. Don't expect to break speed records with it; older Gs are slow and wobbly in the most charming way possible.

Two batteries power the stock electrical system and equipment like the 220-volt outlets that keep devices topped up on-the-go. Explorers who plan to stay close to society can charge the batteries by plugging the G into an electrical outlet; those who want to go off the grid will need to rely on the roof-mounted solar panels.

Lorinser's G-based RV is not destined to remain a highly-Instagrammable one-off. The example pictured in our gallery is available for €69,000, which represents about $75,000, and the company has several unmodified Gs in stock for adventurers seeking to start a build from scratch. Pricing depends on how each 4x4 is configured. For context, Mercedes-Benz charges $130,900 for a 2020 G 550 or $156,450 for the 577-horsepower G 63.

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