Mercedes was toying with how to mix luxury and utility in a pickup in the '70s, at least in Argentina.
The Mercedes-Benz X-Class will be the German brand’s first serious stab at taking on the international truck market, but it won’t be the first time the company will offer a model with a bed in the back. The G63 AMG 6x6 was capable of a little hauling in the rear, but the massive price made them a toy only for the ultra-wealthy. However, Mercedes-Benz Argentina made a more mass-market attempt at the segment in the ‘70s when it built a pickup around the W114/W115 generation of vehicles.
At the time, Mercedes delivered complete-knock-down kits of its vehicle for reassembly in Latin America. The company’s division was among the places building these models, and someone there decided to create a car-based truck. The automaker's official dealers there even sold them with the less-than-creative name "La Pickup."
The truck’s bed looks to be just a few wood panels and the way that the tailgate dips down, there doesn’t appear to be a way to open the back. Otherwise, the presentation here is impressive. The front end is indistinguishable from any other member of this Mercedes model family. There’s also still lots of shiny chrome that makes the truck look quite luxurious by the standards of the time. The interior's material quality seems especially posh for a pickup in the ‘70s, too.
This old truck seems to be doing the same thing that Mercedes is trying with the new X-Class by blending premium components with pickup utility. The company promises that the new pickup offers many of the high-tech amenities that customers are used to in the brand’s sedans and crossovers, but it comes with a bed in the back for extra hauling ability.
The intriguing idea of a Mercedes car-based truck inspired at least one owner in South Africa to create a custom version. The right-hand drive pickup came up for sale in 2014 with a Lexus-sourced V8 under the hood for a big increase in power.