To the Mercedes Unimog (just a couple of days late, the actual happy event was Sunday).
Seventy years ago almost today two engineers, former employees of Daimler Benz who were involuntarily removed from their employ by the occupying forces in post WW2 Germany, built something new. The Universal Motor Gerät (Universal Motorised Equipment carrier or thereabouts) was designed for agricultural use and was based on a wartime design for an artillery towing vehicle. It came with equal sized wheels, a track chosen to cover two rows of potatoes and portal axles. The production of road going trucks was banned by the occupying forces who had to be convinced that the Unimog was a creature of the field only. That done, the first prototype was built.
Series production started at the premises of the Gebrüder Boehringer in 1948 and as demand soon exceeded their ability to supply Daimler Benz took over in 1951, giving rise to the unusual news that the Mercedes Unimog celebrated its 60th birthday five years ago.
Have a contemporary Mog in its load carrying variant.
Despite the Unimog being well known, it doesn’t sell in big numbers. Number 200,000 arrived in 1977 after thirty odd years of production and after another forty years they’re only up to about 400,000.
Want to buy one? At a Merc commercial dealer near you, although for most of you there won’t actually be one. Bring lots of money if you find yourself in the right location.
Want to know more? Older Mogs have lots of levers.
They were also available with low gearing. Not just low, but really, really low.