COOL RIDE 2018 WEST GRAND PRIZE WINNER!


Left to Right: Cool Ride Grand Prize Winner Blue Nelson, Volunteer Coordinator Cyan Samone and Traffic & Campground Manager Isaac Barley

Left to Right: Cool Ride Grand Prize Winner Blue Nelson, Volunteer Coordinator Cyan Samone and Traffic & Campground Manager Isaac Barley

BLUE NELSON’S 1982 MERCEDES DIESEL THE “BRAUNER BENZ”

Jett Scott and Blue Nelson recently rescued this lost, but not forgotten 1982 Mercedes 200 Diesel behind a shipping container near Long Beach, California where it sat languishing in the open for more than a decade. It was slated to be parted out then scrapped but Blue decided to try to get the well-travelled Diesel back on the road again in as close to its “as found” condition as possible, complete with the camping gear, maps, Saharan sand ladders and bullet holes. Blue delivered the car to the Mercedes Classic Center in Southern California, where much to the surprise and delight of the staff, it was verified and officially high-mileage-awarded as, indeed, the missing “Brauner Benz” driven by Markus Besold for nearly 600,000 kms throughout Europe, Africa, South, Central and North America and beyond. Markus chronicled his arduous and high stakes adventures in a very detailed journal online as far back as 1994 as well as in a published book. 

When asked how he would spend his $500 Overland Expo Cash, Blue surprised everyone by stating he had everything he needed to travel comfortably already in the trunk of the car and proceeded to give his winnings to the other finalists present. Thank you Blue for bringing us this artifact of overlanding history and for showing everyone you don’t need the biggest or fanciest rig to have the coolest ride!


Isaac applies an Overland Expo decal at Blue's request. This will be the final addition before the Benz is entombed in a museum.

Isaac applies an Overland Expo decal at Blue’s request. This will be the final addition before the Benz is entombed in a museum.

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