This Mercedes S-Class On A Russian 'GAZ' Frame Is The Off-Road Frankenstein The World Needs

Screenshot: DIY Garage (YouTube)

A diamond plating-covered, Mercedes S-Class sitting tall on a Russian GAZ frame would be a total abomination if it weren’t so damn cool. Just watch this off-road beast—made up of a smorgasbord of parts from various cars—make Jeeps look downright pathetic.

YouTube channel DIY Garage recently posted a video of “the only Mercedes S500 Offroad ever built.” Called the “W140-66,” the crossbreed between a Mercedes W140 luxury sedan and a GAZ-66 military vehicle is the work of a genius named Ilya Nikolaevich Belyakov, who apparently spent three years putting the rig together.

The thing is a frankenstein of epic proportions. It’s got a ~320 horsepower 5.0-liter Mercedes V8 under the hood mated to a Daimler-sourced automatic transmission, sending power through an apparently stock GAZ-66 dual-solid axle drivetrain and finally to giant Mickey Thompson 38s. The rotors are from a DAF truck and the calipers are customized units off a VW Touareg.


The video shows the enormous extent of all the custom fabrication work (especially in the steering linkages and bumpers), as well as the outcome: a genuine off-road monster that can ford deep streams, rip up and down dirt roads and handle ice and snow without issue.

A fine Mercedes Benz conjoined with a course old Russian military truck: It sounds like it shouldn’t work, and yet it somehow does.

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David Tracy

Writer, Jalopnik. 1979 Jeep Cherokee Golden Eagle, 1985 Jeep J10, 1948 Willys CJ-2A, 1995 Jeep Cherokee, 1992 Jeep Cherokee auto, 1991 Jeep Cherokee 5spd, 1976 Jeep DJ-5D, totaled 2003 Kia Rio