So as many of you know, my 1980 300GD "RadioFlyer" found a loving home with new friends in Seattle (W123 Mercedes and FJ60 Cruiser aficionados). It was sitting in my garage too often, and I couldn't bring myself to put a 606A in it (617A is still too slow for me), so I decided to sell my 3 vehicles and just purchase 1 newer G500. I had really hee'd and haw'd over this decision(vs finding a late Europa truck), but thanks to the advice of many G veterans here, it made more sense to pick up a well-loved MBUSA W463 and just build it up.
Pics of RadioFlyer, I do miss it!
After searching and searching and searching for a Pewter G500, I gave in and went with my 2nd color choice, Tectite Grey(I had this on my '03 E55 and loved it, but I was aiming for Pewter to show less dust/dirt. Oh well). I got very lucky and found an original Oregon '03 G500, which had spent only the last 2yrs garaged in New Jersey. It had been impeccably maintained, lowered with Brabus dampers/springs so that it'd fit into the owner's garage.
Pics of when I found it;
Coming off the transporter;
The first order of business, besides re-inspecting the truck maintenance-wise, was to de-bling it. This was my biggest gripe with an MBUSA truck--too much wood, chrome, shiny stuff.
I had the G500/V8 badges removed, removed the factory stainless/polished brush guard, disassembled it, removed the horizontal light grilles for good, had the brush guard blasted and powdercoated in satin black.
As I did on RadioFlyer, I had one of the body shops lightly smoke the front turn signals, rear signals, reverse light, and mirror blinker lights(don't try that one at home kids. The cheap ***** plastic that MB uses allows the securing clips on the back of the $400/ea mirror glass to break, and then even pro-grade glue doesn't keep them on and allow them to be clipped back onto the mirror, so I had to glue the glass right onto the mirror motors, eeeek!).
I had the chrome strips sandblasted off the front grille and front grille repainted Tectite, the front star blasted and painted satin black, the 4 side reflectors painted Tectite(bulbs removed--I was going to use resistors to emulate the bulbs, but since they'd get hot, I'd rather not catch the truck on fire, so I'll just disregard the front bulb errors as the car doesn't care about the rear bulbs for some reason).