Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

Truckin' Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

Well, “Truck”... It’s more like a tractor, especially since it’s one of the first UNIMOGs built. And this one was the first Mercedes-Benz “starred” UNIMOG as Mercedes wasn’t allowed to build 4WD’s in the late ‘40's. That had something to do with Mercedes supplying stuff to Nazi Germany. It all changed in 1951 with this one though...

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Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

As in the title, UNIMOG is for UNIversal MOtor Gerät, a “machine”. And not just for the road, it was actually meant for farmers. The track width was just wide enough to cover two potato rows so you would not destroy the crops when hoonin’ on your premises.

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Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

The development actually was all work of Albert Friedrich, engineer. He used to work for both BMW and Mercedes-Benz but, again due to the war, wasn’t allowed to work for Mercedes anymore. But being just an engineer didn’t mean he had production capacity so he teamed up with the Erhard & Söhne firm at first to have these produced (1947) and after two years moved to the Gebr. Boehringer GmbH, before finally returning to Daimler AG in 1951.

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Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

And that truly was the start of an amazing career. The Unimog was used by all kinds of organizations, not just farmers. Army, Feuerwehr, it even was used intensively as a Zweiwegefahrzeug for the German train company Deutsche Bahn. For use on both road and rail tracks.

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Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

Being grown up in Europe I saw a lot of UNIMOGs in my life, especially the later type 406 with the more “rounded” nose (highly on my want-list!). And it’s still a thing, the UNIMOG, although the current line up really has nothing to do anymore with this one obviously. The ultimate UNIMOG will always be the MB Trac to me but that one is probably too big for anyone’s garage anyway.

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Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

And for another time. The 401 for today’s TT was only around for 4 years. Being German the little engine that could was always in development. Longer wheelbase, not just a softtop, those were the first improvements to get a little more comfort. Enginewise there was only one option at that time: the Mercedes-Benz OM636. You might know that one as it was built from 1947 all the way up until... 1990! Mainly in machines like forklifts though later in it’s life.

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Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

Back to the model. It’s Minichamps 1/43. And it came with a Seilwinde. Don’t leave home without a winch. It’s wheels didn’t really roll great, otherwise I would have tracked it to the limit. The orange tells you it’s at least a 401 or later model anyway because the pre-Benz UNIMOGS were all Tannenbaum grün.

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Illustration for article titled Truckin Teutonic Tuesday: UNIversal MOtor Gerät!

And with only 750 pcs made it’s actually pretty rare for a Minichamps. Most of the Minichamps I’ve got are over 1000 pcs. produced. Next time I’m getting a 406. Sure of that. So Aufwiedersehen and keep on Trucking!

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