Visited 215 countries using the same engine.
The word epic is often overused, but there is no other way to describe this 26-year odyssey that saw Gunther Holtorf visit 215 countries and clock up 890,000 km in his Mercedes G-Class. A testament to both man’s love of adventure and the longevity of Germany’s Gelandewagen, the journey ended last week having started back in 1989. For 22 of the 26 years, Holtorf was accompanied by his wife Christine, who died in 2010. They wed just two weeks before her death.
The pair spent five years in Africa before heading to South America, North America, Asia, Australia, and every country in Europe. The entire trip was completed in Holtorf’s 1988 Mercedes 300GD called “Otto,” which is still running on its original engine. On the rare occasion the G-Class broke down, the intrepid explorer had around 400 spare parts he stored in boxes on the roof. As the best-travelled vehicle in the world, Otto will take pride and place in the Daimler Museum in Stuttgart after Holtorf handed the key to his trusted G-Wagen to Daimler chairman Dieter Zetsche.