Earlier this week, the hotly anticipated - well, hotly anticipated in the Top Gear office, at least – Mercedes-Benz X-Class pick-up was revealed. It’s a posh take on the load-lugger, and looks rather excellent. You can read all about the new Mercedes-Benz X-Class concept (we’ll see the final production car in 2017) here.
But before you do, you need to see this. At the reveal of the X-Class, Mercedes very rightly pointed out it wasn’t the first truck it had built. Nope. Way back in the early 1970s, Mercedes used a version of its ‘new generation’ mid-size saloon - that’s the W115, chassis nerds - and produced a small run of pick-up trucks, all officially sold in Merc dealerships across the globe. Just not in great numbers.
The one you’re currently ogling above was affectionately named ‘La pick-up’, and was built in 1972 in Argentina (production ran from ‘72 to ‘76), based on that supremely cool W115, which was essentially an E-Class from the 70s. You could order one in either single or double-cab variant, each sporting that enormous load capacity. This specific pick-up is a diesel-powered 220 D, and was actually imported into Germany by railway company Stuttgart SSB (not many of these trucks made it to Europe, which is a shame).
Its primary use? Carrying the equipment used to lubricate railway points.
Of course, this was just a converted saloon car, not a purpose-built pick-up truck like the new X-Class, but whatever: it’s orange, it looks fantastic, and it is actually very practical. Would probably last until the end of time, too…