G-Class Act: Around The World In 26 Years

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Some of us are known to use cars for 200,000 kilometres. But almost 900,000 kays? And that too on one spectacular road trip? Nope, that sure don't happen too often. It is, however, what a certain German national named Gunther Holtorf managed to accomplish in a round-the-world trip that spanned 215 countries.

The 76-year-old recently parked his Mercedes-Benz G-Class at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin for the last time.

The story continues on the next slide.

Holtorf's trip began way back in 1989 and covered more than 200 countries, finally coming to an end 26 years later. His wife, Christine, accompanied Holtorf for the majority of the trip, till she sadly passed away with cancer in 2010.

The couple spent five years touring Africa before heading over to South America. They continued their epic journey through North America, Asia and Australia as well as all the countries in Europe. Few countries saw Holtorf and Christine being the first foreign nationals allowed in with their own car.

Holtorf began the trip with money he had saved up working for Lufthansa, with him and Christine further financing their trip with their cartography. This included creating a detailed map of Jakarta during their regular visits to the Indonesian capital. Holtorf began the work on the map in 1977, and the pair updated the map regularly till 2005.

The 1988 sky-blue Mercedes G-Class, nicknamed "Otto", rarely broke down, but the SUV was kept running by Holtorf using parts stored in boxes on the roof. Amazingly, the G-Class is still running its original engine, despite being involved in a shunt that saw the SUV needing a new body shell.

Holtorf handed over the keys to Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche on October 11th, and the now-famous SUV will reside in the Daimler Museum in Stuttgart as the most travelled car in the world.

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Story first published: Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 17:10 [IST]
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