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Did you know a G-Wagon participated and won the 1983 Paris-Dakar Rally?

It was a modified version of the 1980 Mercedes Benz 280GE

6w ago

In 1983,Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur won the 1983 Paris-Dakar Rally in a modified version of the 280 GE. The race took place through the off road terrain between Paris,in France, and Dakar in Senegal.

Quick history of the 280 GE

Originally,the G wagon (Geländewagon) was developed as a military vehicle. It was a request from the Shah of Iran, who at the time was a significant shareholder in Mercedes Benz. Later in 1979, road legal production versions were made,with the 1st gen. W460 featuring three engines: a 2.3 liter Inline 4 petrol engine, 2.4 liter diesel engine and 2.4 liter Inline 5 diesel engine. It was not until 1980 when the 280 GE was made,featuring the famous Inline 6 cylinder engine that made 150hp. Automatic transmission was an option too.

So,what was different about the rally spec 280GE?

The 280GE Rally Spec was lighter than the production spec, mainly due to the use of aluminium on most of the body panels. The body panels also had to be easily detachable for easy replacement in the event of an accident. The aero of the car(believe it or not) was optimized in a wind tunnel to help reduce drag,and the Inline 6 engine also made more power,220 horsepower going to all four wheels. The front axle was also modified to cope with the stronger springs,new rally spec shock absorbers and the all terrain tires.

What the car had to go through.

The car had to go through approximately 7,500 miles (12,070 kilometers) of some of the most unforgiving terrain that Paris(France) and Dakar(Senegal) had to offer. Most notably would be the massive sand dunes that North Africa is famous for,which could easily get a car stuck,or even fall over if one is driving at the limit. Below is a map of how the race took place.



The car not only had to battle the ridiculous terrain,but also had to battle the intense heat that the Sahara Desert is also famous for. None the less,Jacky Ickx and Claude Brasseur were able to pilot the 280GE to victory, winning the 1983 Paris Dakar Rally. The car had also set two podium finishes the previous year(2nd and 3rd)with Jean-Pierre Jaussaud being the one who took 3rd place.

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