Unimog, 60 Years of an Ugly, Extreme Machine

Indestructible. This is the term that is commonly associated with Unimog, a type of vehicle that has given new definitions for the words “extreme” and “versatility.” On this planet for 60 years now, the strangely-named, weird-looking workhorse is one of the lesser-known Daimler brands, but equally as potent as any other three-pointed star machine. This year, Daimler is getting ready to properly mark the 60th anniversary of the model, with an entire calendar filled with events being developed. Fans, club members, owners of classic vehicles, drivers and owners will take part this June in a series of celebrations that range from the Unimog rally to book-signings by famous authors of books on the Unimog. A proper time, we reckon, to give you a closer insight into the model that has shaped activities as diverse as agriculture and road maintenance. HISTORY
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The story of the Unimog began in the autumn of 1945, when Albert Friedrich, the former head of Daimler-Benz's Aeroengine Design decided to shift his attention towards the creation of an agricultural vehicle. These type of machines were about to be in high demand in the war-devastated countries of Europe, so anyone with a head start would have benefited greatly from a new, revolutionary machine.

Together with several partners, Friedrich completed his drafts in 1948, sending the model into production at the Messrs Boehringer plant in Schwabisch Gmund. The project proved to be far beyond the capabilities of its creators, so a company the size of Daimler-Benz had to step in and take charge of the development and financing operations. This happened in 1950, and one year later Daimler kicked off production at its own plant in Gaggenau. (In August 2002, Unimog production moved from Gaggenau to Worth).

The term Unimog, which stands for Universal-Motor-Gerat (loosely translated, a universal motorized machine), was paired with the Mercedes distinct logo in 1953, the same year when the second version of the model, one with a fully enclosed cab, was launched.

The first people to see the opportunities the Unimog had to offer were, of course, the military, who quickly adopted the model for use in various tasks. Strangely enough, what was initially meant as a civilian machine turned into a mechanized warrior, helping armed forces do anything from transporting troops to working as radio trucks. Soon after, however, the model begun catching the eye of farmers and city authorities, slowly moving into the civilian life it was originally intended for. Now, the Unimog can be seen doing just about anything, from servicing the Autobahn to clearing up the snow and ice on mountain roads all over the world.

The Unimogs are currently used for a huge variety of tasks, most of which take place on such a harsh terrain that would kill any other vehicle. It also features attachment points for a large variety of implements, giving it almost limitless applicability.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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