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This Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon Convertible is super rare and super expensive

It’s not a factory conversion, surprisingly

Mercedes-Benz never officially made an AMG convertible version, so Refined Marques decided to do it itself. PHOTO FROM REFINED MARQUES

It’s hard to believe that the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon actually started life as a military vehicle. These days, the rugged Benz is most popular with celebrities and the super-rich alike, who prefer the various AMG versions to cruise around town.

But while many soldiers still get to use the military convertible variants, Mercedes never officially built an al fresco AMG of the boxy 4×4. That left a gap in the market that supercar dealer Refined Marques decided to address. What started as a one-off conversion turned into a limited production run that has already sold out despite the insane price tag.

This G63 AMG has some thoughtful changes made for the people at the back. PHOTOS FROM REFINED MARQUES

The story goes that it was the then five-year-old son of company founder Ahmed Al Bakry who inspired the custom-built convertible you’re looking at here. Dad was driving a G-Wagon, and junior was apparently asking if the car could be turned into a convertible.

Al Bakry liked the idea so much that he bought an AMG G63 and spent 18 months converting it into a cabriolet. His main focus was on creating a car that was even better than the factory-built G convertible that had been for sale for some years.

The inside looks very factory-made, don't you think? PHOTOS FROM REFINED MARQUES

He also wanted to match the build quality of Mercedes, and the images would indicate that he probably succeeded. Two of the areas he improved over the factory-built convertible are legroom in the rear and access to it.

Not only can passengers now stretch out more while enjoying the sun in their preferred tax haven, but tiny suicide doors also make it easier to get into the back of the car. The original G Cabriolet was a three-door model with folding seats that could lead to distinctly inelegant scenes while passengers tried to get in and out.

It's just as good as the original G-Class cabriolet in terms of build quality. PHOTOS FROM REFINED MARQUES

Apparently, the creator of this admittedly good-looking machine wasn’t planning on building more than one, but friends who saw him working on it kept asking if they could have one, too. So he decided to build a total of 20 examples, all of which have already been sold according to the company.

And that’s despite the insane price tag of €1,200,000. That’s P72.73 million in local money. Being different and rare has its price, and some people are clearly still able and willing to pay it.

Frank Schuengel

Frank is a German e-commerce executive who loves his wife, a Filipina, so much he decided to base himself in Manila. He has interesting thoughts on Philippine motoring. He writes the aptly named ‘Frankly’ column.