Mercedes-Benz built the W140-generation S-Class from 1991 through 1998. During that time, we’d estimate that approximately zero of the engineers involved in the project ever envisioned a jacked-up, off-road version sitting atop a former military truck chassis. Someone out there figured that this would be a smart play, however, and they were right. This is the best, and only, off-road W140-era S-Class you’re going to find.
That’s not a G-class chassis. The builders of this monster S-Class went right past the G and on to a GAZ. More specifically, this S-Class sits atop the chassis of the mighty GAZ-66 military truck, which was a workhorse of Russia until production ceased in 1999.
This insane project took over three years to complete. As you’d imagine, it’s not easy to meld a flagship Benz sedan with a Russian off-road behemoth. Still, the build team made proper use of the Benz powertrain. This GAZ-Class, as we’ve just dubbed it, is powered by the 5.0-liter V-8 from the Benz and produces 320 horsepower. Braking is improved through the use of Volkswagen Touareg calipers adapted to work with DAF truck brakes, and it brings the GAZ-66 from drums to discs. A set of Mickey Thompson 38-inch tires keep the rig rolling through pretty much anything.
All of the other bits and pieces found on the truck sedan are custom. There’s a large bumper up front and there’s enough lighting to illuminate small nations, which we assume this truck is capable of conquering.
The video above does a great job of sharing parts of the build process around some solid driving footage. Dirt, water, and snow have no chance of stopping the toughest Mercedes-Benz S-Class ever built. This custom truck joins other great Benz mashups built over the years, including a SLK adapted to fit on a G-Class chassis, and the supremely awesome E-Class wagon also mated to a G-Class platform.
Still, using a GAZ-66 as your platform immediately vaults you over those other two builds. Heck, you could probably just drive right over them and keep on trucking.