German adventurers complete 556,000-mile, quarter-century odyssey by SUV
It was 1988 when Gunther Holtorf and his wife Christine set off in a Mercedes Benz G-Wagen to travel around Africa. After completing the planned 18-month tour, they decided to keep going... and going... and going.
The end result was an epic, 25-year adventure which saw the Mercedes--nicknamed Otto by Christine--driven 556,000 miles through 215 countries and into the record books.
Christine passed away in 2010, but Gunther kept going on her behalf, traveling to even more countries with a photo of his late wife hanging from his rearview mirror.
Now 77, the former airline CEO recently returned home to Bavaria and donated Otto to the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart. Apart from reinforced suspension, Otto is completely standard and still has the original engine, gearbox and axles.
"The more you travel, the more you realize how little you’ve seen," Gunther told Outside. "And the more you’ve seen and experienced, the more you want to continue seeing and continue experiencing."