HISTORY OF UNIMOG AND MUSEUM OF GAGGENAU

Originally from the Daimler-Benz AG factories in the immediate post-war period, Albert Friedrich began in 1945 the development of a compact and universal agricultural vehicle which he already had in mind during the war.
Very different from conventional agricultural tractors, this one had to be universal : integral 4x4 transmission with differential locks, four equal wheels, 25 hp, which must act as a tractor with front, back and side tool holders, standardized thereafter, load space and front, rear and center power take-offs. It had to be able to move at a speed of 50 km /h, relatively high, to transport on its board various products, which already made it a small truck. It will therefore be equipped with helical springs long travel suspension and portal axels ensuring a good ground clearance. Metal casing enclosing the transmission shafts were integral with the axles and articulated by ball joints at the output of the power take-off. The vehicle was modest but really stood out from the traditional agricultural tractors of the time and bought transport solutions with very good off-road capabilities, its strong point. It will later be used more as a forestry tractor than as a farm tractor, when true agricultural tractors will be improved with driving front axles.
Erhard & Söhne, a manufacturer of gold and silver products in Schwäbisch-Gmünd, has been involved in the development and production of the first U1 prototype, which began with Heinrich Rossler, also of Daimler-Benz AG, as production manager in January 1946. The U1 proto had an M 135 petrol engine, a four-speed ZF gearbox. Engineers like Karl Rank, Hans Zabel were then hired. The first prototype rolled on October 9, 1946.
The three following prototypes with petrol engines were also built in Schwäbisch Gmünd in 1946-1947. In 1946 Hans Zabel named UNIMOG : ‘Universal-Motor-Gerät’, universal motorized vehicle. After a few tests and a public presentation in the spring of 1947, a new OM 636 diesel engine developed by Daimler-Benz's Julius Witzky marine engine designer was suitable for the vehicle and the last two U5 and U6 prototypes with this diesel engine and a specially designed 6-speed gearbox, were gradually built in the Boehringer Brothers machine-tools factory in Göppingen. In 1948, Unimog was presented to the public at the Frankfurt Agricultural Fair, which registered 150 orders. The production started in August 1948 in Göppingen and 600 vehicles ‘70200’ were built in two years. Not only the farmers but also foresters, municipalities and administrations, contractors, firemen, armies were interested.
Daimler-Benz including interest of this vehicle took over the entire project, including the newly created patents, designers and distribution department and moved manufacturing to Gaggenau in the former Mercedes truck factory. Consequently, the large investments needed to increase production were possible.
The small vehicle with its typical silhouette, its plunging hood, high on legs, big wheels and very off-road, began to spread in Germany and later in many countries.

In 1972, a new truly agricultural tractor, the MB-Trac, combined Unimog technology (equal wheels 4x4) with a tractor silhouette : the long, tapered engine hood precedes a square driver's cab that rises in height and, unlike traditional tractors, was installed between the axles and completely closed. The MB-Trac was the car among the tractors.
On the basis of the original MB-Trac 65 and MB-Trac 70 (later 700), a wide range of tractors extended to the very powerful MB-Trac 1800 in a few years. However, this model did not meet the expected success and Daimler-Benz later added MB-Trac to the farm machinery business of Deutz. The reduction of the number of farms and a somewhat higher price compared to the competitors will overcome this concept. The MB-Trac production stopped in 1991.
To return to Unimog, after many years, the manufacture was transferred from Gaggeneau to Wörth am Rhein in 2002, about forty kilometers North of Gaggeneau.
Nowadays (December 2016), only the light series 405 : U 216, U 218, U 318, U423, U427, U 430, U 247, U 530 and the heavy series 437,4 : U 4023, U 5023 are manufactured. The new diesel engines meet Euro VI standards. Apart from agriculture where they are relatively few, Unimog are used in forestry, armies, rescue organizations, maintenance of roads, expeditions, fighting forest fires, work in the energy sector. It is always said that the Unimog move forward where its competitors abandon.

 

 

Unimog albert friedrich 1

The inventor of the Unimog, Albert Friedrich and his daughter Ursula at an exhibition.

 


 
Unimog proto 8

The first prototype Unimog U1 on October 9, 1946, without cabin or bodywork. Behind the wheel, Heinrich Rössler, responsible of the technical side of the project. To the right, Hans Zabel, which gave the name : 'Unimog'. At the center is probably Albert Friedrich, father of the Unimog. Built by Erhard & Söhne / Schwäbisch-Gmünd.

Unimog proto 6

Right, the first prototype with cabin finished in December 1946. Gasoline engine and truck tires. Built by Erhard & Söhne / Schwäbisch-Gmünd.

Unimog proto 7
Unimog 4Unimog U 6

The prototype U6 belonging to Daimler AG is loaned to Gaggenau Museum

Unimog u5 2

In the summer of 1947, the move to Boehringer GmbH in Göppingen is initiated and the prototypes U5 (above) and U6 (left) are fitted with an OM 636.192 diesel engine and a specially designed 6-speed transmission until the end of 1948. The prototype U5 is now at the Museum of Agriculture in Stuttgart-Hohenheim.

 
Unimog 70202

Unimog 70200 from the Boehringer Company in Göppingen built from August 1948 to January 1951 to 600 units, much for the Swiss Army, with the diesel engine 25 hp. This model is in the Museum of Gaggenau.

 

Unimog 7200 chassis 2Chassis of the model 70200. Engine OM636.912. Long travel suspension by helical springs.

 

 

Unimog 2012

On 4 June 1951, the first Unimog series 2010 U 25 (06-1951 to 07.1953, 5813 copies). In 1953, the 2010 / U 401, U 402 (1953-1956, 11446 copies, LWB) comes out of the Gaggenau chains with the Mercedes star.

Unimog 2010 u 404

The 2010 U 402 series receives an enclosed cab.

 

 

 

Unimog 404 S

Unimog 404 S

Unimog S series 404/405 built from May 1955 to 1980. It is a small elongated wheelbase truck intended for military use. The Bundeswehr and other armies, such as the French Army, in addition to civilians, have made it a bestseller at 64,242 copies. Gasoline engine 82 then 110 hp.

Unimog 404 S 1 unimog u 404 S
   

 

Unimog 411

Unimog 411 U25, U30, U35, U34, U36, built at 40,000 copies from 1956 to 1974. It comes from the basic series 401/402 with a power of 25 hp, then 30, 32, 34 and 36 hp. Above: Unimog 411.119U30, 34PS, 1966 and the 411.20 Westfalia Type B enclosed cabin built from August 1956 to October 1961 to 5,000 units.

Unimog 411Unimog 411

Unimog 406New medium series 406 with the models U 65, U 70, U 80, U 84, U 100, U 900, U 406. (Produced to 37000 copies from 1963 to 1989) with for the first time in diesel engine 6 cyl of 65 hp then 110 hp. For many, this series are the typical Unimog.  Series 416 created in parallel with 2900 mm wheelbase, U 80, U 90,  U 100/416, U 110, U 1100, UR 416,  U 125. About 45,300 units built from 1965 to 1990.

Unimog 406

Unimog 416. http://www.unimog-mania.com/t1245p50-mon-416-trial-boulo-en-cours-de-fabrication

3a tracked unimog from u 406 1968Tracked Unimog, 1968. The conversion was made by the Company Schmidt in St Blasien on the base of U 406. http://www.benzworld.org/forum/attachment.php?s=9335f6 

Unimog U 421

The series 421 U 40, U 45, U 52, U 55, U 60, U 600 (1965-1989 to 19000 units) range from 40 to 60 hp, based on the series 411. Above, Unimog 421.140.

Unimog 421.122 U40 open cab and 421.123 closed cab, 1967

U 421.123 model U40 with an enclosed cab issued from the U 406, 1966

Unimog 421 124 u52 with open cab 1969 Unimog U 421
Unimog 421 124 U52

Unimog 421 122 U40 open cab and 421 123 closed cab, 1967Unimog 421.122 U40 open cab and 421.123 closed cab, 1966

 

Unimog 425 U 1300

Series 425 U 1300 and U 1500 (1975-1988 to 3.135 copies) is a complementary heavy series for demanding work. The 425 series starts with 120 hp (soon after, 125 hp on the U 125), a wheelbase of 2,810 mm and a P.T.A.C. of 9 t. It is characterized by a new cabin of square shape which opens on a large front part painted in black and accompanied by a dipping hood. The basic features of the exterior design of the cab remain basically the same until today, more than a quarter of a century later. In October 1974, the series U 411, 34 hp is no longer built after 39.000 copies produced. http: //soulsteer.blogspot.fr/2016/01/rare-black-white-pictures-of-4wd-truck.html

Unimog 6x6 from U 424

Unimog 6x6 was based on the U 1200 of the 424 series, short wheelbase. It was built by Sulzer Company. The cab was modified because of the third axle. Used in a strawberry plantation in Tirol, Austria, the third axle reduced strawberry ground pressure, so impact on plants was not important. http://www.unimog-mania.com/t18-au-boulot-les-unimog, http://www.benzworld.org/forums/unimog/1547046-monster-fire-mog-2.html#post4376584

Unimog 424

Séries 424 (1976-89 to 11,233 units), is a light series of the series 425 with 6 models : U 1000, U 1200, U 1250, U 1250 L,  U 1550, U 1550 L.

Series U 435, based on the U 425 series, U 1300 L, U 1300 L/37, U 1500 L/37, U 1700, U 1750 L / 38, U 1750, U 1750 L, U 1750 L / 38, 8 models built from 1975 to 1993 to 30.726 copies including the U 1300 L, delivered in large numbers to the German Army, firemen and civilians.

The production of the series 435, 1975-1993 to 30.726 units, U 1700, U 1700 L, U 1300 L, for the army is the successor to the Mercedes-Benz Unimog S and is characterized by a long wheelbase of 3,250, 3,700 or even 3,850 mm. The 424 series, U 1000, 1976-1989, positioned in a lower category.

 

 

Unimog 414

Series 408/U 90 and 418 U 140, 416 U 110 from 1992 to 2001). Fully redesigned larger cab, simple controls and user-friendly working environment, tire pressure control, anti-lock braking system, the U 90 is increasingly appreciated by municipal services.

Unimog 408

Series 408 U 90 turbo at Retro Classics, Stuttgart 2014.

Unimog U 90

Unimog U 90 http://www.benzworld.org/forums/unimog/1474044-u90-u140-series-4.html

   

3 Mercedes Benz Unimog U 90 funmog

Mercedes series 408 U 90 (and 418 U 140) Funmog, 1994. Recreational vehicle with chrome, leather, air-conditioned, hands free phone, improved sound. It was elected 'Offroader of 1994 year'.

Unimog U 600

On left : Unimog U 407 U 600, U 650, U 650 L, to 789 copies, 52 and 60 hp / U 417 to 2275 copies, 7 models U 800, U 900, U 1100, U 1150, U 1150 L, U 1150 L / 34 (1988-1993), 75 and 110 hp. It have a round shape that has become classic. The Unimog with a rounded cabin belong to the light range, while the new series with an angular cabin are classified in the middle range or the heavy range, according to their P.T.A.C. Some engines overlap, the Unimog nomenclature is not easy to understand.
The Unimog benefits from the disc brakes long before the other trucks.

Unimog 600 4

 

Unimog U 500

Global Expedition Vehicles Freightliner Unimog U 500 at the Overland Expo in 2009

Unimog U 405 Unimog U 423

Second generation series 405 U 218, U 423 above, U 430, U 300, 2013 to present.

Unimog U 530

UNIMOG series 405, U 216, 156 hp to U 530, 299 hp (on left), 13 models. Off-road but differential locks on demand. 90 km/h. Light and heavy actual Unimog (December 2016), are here :

http://www.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/unitedkingdom/mpc/mpc_unitedkingdom_website/en/home_mpc/Unimog/home/unimog_overview/applications.html, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikealaska/21733533768/in/photostream/

 

Unimog serie 427 u1200

Unimog series 427 U 1200 (on left), U 1600, U 1650, 1980-2000.

 

Unimog series 437 U 2100

Unimog series 437 U 2100/U 2150/U 2450, 1980-2000, U 4000, U 5000, 2000-2013. On left is a U 2100. https://en.wheelsage.org/mercedes-benz/unimog/23438/pictures/316923/

Mercedes Unimog U 2100Unimog series 437 U 2100.  https://en.wheelsage.org/mercedes-benz/unimog/23438/pictures/316923/

Unimog u 2450 L 6x6

Unimog series 437 U 2450 L 6X6. http://www.unimog-mania.com/t1527-unimog-6x6-de-francis-le-scoop

Unimog U 530 6x6

U 530 6x6 (2016)

Unimog U 2450 L 6x6

Unicat Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 2450 L 6x6 launched 1993. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9Yy_yIbC9U

Unimog U 2450 L 6x6Unicat Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 2450 L 6x6 launched 1993.

Unimog 4000

Series 437.4, U 4023 (2015 to present) are camping cars issued from U 435, U 5023, (above), 2013 to present.

Mercedes-Benz concept from U 5000, 2011

Mercedes-Benz Concept, the U5000-based design, 2011. The concept that celebrates these 60 years resumes the principle of the original model, a discoverable all-terrain truck. Created in cooperation between the MBS teams and the Sindelfingen style studio, this concept particularly emphasizes the capabilities of the machine with its structure and its apparent suspensions. http://www.autobild.de/bilder/bilder-mercedes-unimog-designstudie-1796499.html#bild1

 

UNIMOG MUSEUM AT GAGGENEAU

The Unimog Museum was created in 2006 in Gaggenau, the city where Unimog was produced before 2002. About 600,000 people have seen the museum since its opening.
It runs without public support, thanks to dues, entrance fees, donations and sponsors, of which Daimler is the main. The work of many volunteers with the Unimog Foundation is also helped by the Unimog Club. Http://www.unimog-museum.com/

The following pictures, royalty free, were taken by J. M. Maclou on November 3, 2016, at Gaggenau.

1 unimog museum gaggeneau

Unimog Museum at Gaggenau

Unimog 1st prototype, octobrer 1946

Unimog, 1st prototype, Octobrer 1946. Albert Friedrich, Heinrich Roessler and shortly after Karl Plank and Hans Zabel will be the artisans of the program. Already in October 1946, this prototype petrol engine from Erhard & Söhne in Schwäbisch Gmünd is built.

Unimog U6 prototype, 1948

Unimog prototype U6, 1948. The first four prototypes were built by Erhard & Söhne in October 1946 and 1947 with petrol engine, the latter two by Boehringer in 1948 with diesel engine. Truck tires were mounted because they were the only ones available. The chains are there to increase the traction of these unsuitable tires. The Continental SR1 and Dunlop T 49 were subsequently fitted.

Unimog 2010 1951-53 from Swiss Army

Unimog 2010, 1951-53, from Swiss Army. The vehicle can unwind 9.6 kilometers of telephone wire.

3 burst transmission of model u 2010 19511952

Burst transmission of model U 2010, 1951/1952, delivered to the Swiss Army. The transmission shafts to the axles are enclosed in articulated casings with a ball joint at the output of the reduction gear and help to position the axles. The portal axles increase the ground clearance and torque to the wheels. The final reduction preserves the mechanical components upstream and reduces their dimensions. They are always made on modern Unimog. They seem to be the first ones made in 1946 ? Who knows more ?

Mercedes 170 assistance car with trailer 1949 1953

Mercedes 170 D assistance truck with trailer, 1949-1953. This one is from January 1952, 43 hp. Designed for the Unimog customer, the trailer included tools, technical repair brochures.

Unimog 401.104 or 2010 U 402 with cabin Westfalia type b 1955

Unimog U 401.104 or 2010 U 402, with cabin Westfalia type B, 1955, with engine OM 636, 25 hp, used by the municipality of Berlin for cleaning streets.

Unimog 2010 U 401, 1954

Unimog 2010 U 401, 1954. Pink Panther by Bernadette Oertig-Grob, Pfäffikon, Switzerland. Ex Swiss Army, without Mercedes star. 10.928 built from August 1953 to August 1956.

Unimog special for forestry, home made

Unimog special for forestry, homemade, April 24, 2016, by mike Wessel
Thorsten Weigand with his daughter Astrid in their exotic Unimog.
On 9 October 2016, the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau shows some exotic Unimog which is a Unimog 401 - if ever you are still able to call it that - with a VW Golf engine, which has been used by its owner for forestry work. It is equipped with twin rear tires. https://www.unimog-community.de/2016/04/24/unimog-museum-sonderausstellung-unimog-exoten/

Unimog U 404 1 type S, 1962

Unimog U 404 type S, 1955-1980, sold to civilians and to different armies. This one belonged to the Swiss Army and dates from 1962 of which 2100 were bought. In 1962, some were stationed in an Army park near Zurich to transport cables next to the older Unimog. In 1984, it was equipped with spares parts of armored vehicles.

 

Unimog U 404 type S transmission 1955-1980

Unimog U 404 type S transmission,1955-1980

Unimog 411 U 30 with Westfalia type B cabin 1957

Unimog 411 U 30 with  Westfalia Type B Cabin, 1957

Unimog 411 with snow blower, 1961

Unimog 411 with snow blower, 1961, of the Company Schmidt. It was used on airports. 32 hp.

Unimog series 411 with Schwing concrete mixer, 1965

Unimog series 411 with Schwing concrete mixer, 1965. Westfalia Cabin.

Unimog Unitrac UT 90

Unimog Unitrac UT 90 HDLC of the Tractortecnic Company (now Titan Intertractor) of Gevelsberg, 1974. 90 hp, 25-30 l / 100 km, used in forestry, soft grounds and mountains. The cab, engine and transmission come from the Unimog U 416. 10 UT 90 vehicles were built and before 4  UT 45, based on U 421.

Unimog 406 120 U 84, 1971 to 1989

Unimog 406.120 U 84 built from 1971 to 1989 at 21.577 units. Speed 70-80 km/h. Empty mass 3500 kg, Payload 2.300 kg.

Unimog 406 with dumper, 1975

Unimog 406 with dumper, 1975, 70 hp. One could buy only the front of the Unimog and adapt the rear on demand. There is an LESA bucket, Stolberg, for mining in the Bülten Adenstedt pit for a steelworks until 1984

Unimog U 416, 1979, with double cabin

Unimog U416, 1979, with extension of chassis of 1,20 m for double cabin and additional tank, 110 hp, according to the wishes of the University of Cologne for a series of archaeological expeditions and environmental history in Africa.

Unimog armored UR 416

Unimog, armored, UR 416 from Unimog and Thyssen Henschel (witch changed name), built from 1969 at 1030 units to export to African, Middle East, and Europe. 120 hp, 81 km / h

Unimog 421 Uniknick, 1972

Unimog 421 Uniknick, 1972. Built from 1968 to 1972 at 52 units (photo) for UK 52 (52 hp) and 23 units for UK 60 (60 hp) by Werner Company of Trier. This articulated vehicle was designed for working in forests.

 

Unimog 435 U 1700 L, 1979

Unimog 435, U 1700 L, 1979. Built from 1976 to 1988 with 1180 specimens, it represented the new heavy series. Power 168 hp, next to the light series U 406/416, U421.

MB Trac 1800 Intercooler, 1990

MB-Trac 1800 Intercooler agricultural tractor. 1990. From 1972 to 1991, a tractor with 4 equal wheels is produced with the technic of transmission Unimog. The reduction of the number of farms and a somewhat higher price compared to the competitors, will overcome this concept.

Overview

Overview

Overview

Overview

Overview

Overview

Unimog U 421

Unimog U 421 (1965-89) in the courtyard of the museum

Homemade 4x4 from unimog

Homemade 4x4 from Unimog manufactured by AHD Allradhaus GmbH in Oy-Mittelberg. Today, this garage sells Japanese vehicles.

Unimog U 90 and U 4023

Unimog U 90 et U 4023. Series 408/U 90 built from 1992 to 2001.

Unimog U 4023

Unimog U 4023

Unimog U 5023

Unimog U 5023 of the series 4023/5023.

Mercedes Zetros

Mercèdes Zetros, from 2008.

Off road track of the museum

Outside of the museum, there is an off-road track for visitors.

Books on Unimog

Books on Unimog. In the site Amazon, there are 70 books apparently different on this subject.

 

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