A BMW or an Audi pick-up truck is a little hard to imagine, but Mercedes' long history with vans makes its imminent launch of the X-Class, a double-cab open-decked load-lugger, a less jarring thought. Mercedes has been there before, if on a limited scale.
In the 1940s it offered the 170V flatbed, based on a saloon that is an ancient ancestor of the E-Class, and there have been a couple of versions of the G-Wagen off-roader, one of them a six-wheeler, as well as a couple of later concepts.
But the most elegant of them all is this W115, stack-headlight saloon-derived version built in Argentina from 1972-76. Locally known as LaPickup, it’s a favourite of Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche. "I simply love LaPickup. I saw them when I worked in South America in the late 1980s. It was not the toughest pick-up and not the most economically successful, but it had a big fan base," he says.
This rather fetching 1972 220d single cab version in orange – there was a double-cab too, which must look weird – was on display at the unveiling of Mercedes X-Class concepts in Sweden. It looks just the job for a classy rancher with a couple of sheep to carry.