1974 Mercedes-Benz Unimog
Year of manufacture1974
1974 Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406 Doppel Kabine 4x4 Utility
Chassis no. 406.145-10-022884
Designed in the aftermath of WW2 and still in production today, the Unimog 4x4 was intended to serve the needs of the agricultural community but, like the contemporary Land Rover, ended up filling an almost limitless variety of other roles. One of the Unimog's more unusual design features was a flexible chassis frame, effectively part of the suspension, while the equal-sized wheels meant that it was better suited for highway use than a conventional tractor. Power take-offs were provided to enable the Unimog to operate a wide variety of machinery: brush mowers, snow blowers, etc. Manufactured by Mercedes-Benz since 1951, the versatile Unimog has seen service with fire departments, municipal authorities, aid agencies and armies worldwide, and has won the truck class of the Dakar Rally more than once.
The vehicle offered here is an example of the 406 series, which was introduced in 1963 together with the long-wheelbase 416 and produced until 1988. It is a relatively rare 406.145 Doppel Kabine (dual cabin) model, 353 of which were built between 1974 and 1986. All types were powered by diesel engines of varying outputs, this six-cylinder Unimog having the OM32 5.7-litre unit installed.
The vendor advises us that 353 of the 406 Doppel Kabine type were built at the Gaggenau plant, mainly for the German armed forces; of these 353 units, it is estimated that around 140 still exist, although at least 100 of them are no longer in their original condition, having been rebuilt. Delivered to the German Army in 1974, this particular vehicle was used occasionally as an aircraft tug until 1980 when it was put into storage in a hangar and seemingly forgotten about. The fact that it saw limited service and then for only six years explains its remarkable state of preservation.
In 2017 the Unimog was rediscovered and the vendor was fortunate enough to become its owner. All necessary measures were taken to ensure that the Unimog would be roadworthy, and in 2019 a TÜV acceptance and a vintage car certificate from TÜV Nord were obtained. Copies of all documents are available. Noteworthy features include a six-speed transmission with torque converter for smooth starting; NATO towing hitches front and rear; a dual circuit braking system; and a civil towing hitch (22,000kg capacity). A rare opportunity to acquire one of these most practical of classic vehicles, which is highly unusual in being original and unmodified.