The Mercedes-Benz Unimog division is most likely producing the best and most absolute off-road machines that mankind has cooked up until now – and has been doing it for the past seven decades.
We have countless stories about the prowess of these machines, but we now have to remember how it all came to life. It happened 70 years ago when it was just a regular, meager, tractor, that got the breaking point due to the World War Two. Daimler engineer Albert Friedrich started work on the Unimog concept in October 1944, as allied forces were rushing to end the war in Germany – and the blueprints were out in August 1945, three months after the conflict officially ended. It was designed as an agricultural vehicle that could work in the fields and forests and would help the country get back on its feet. On October 9, 1946 Unimog Prototype 1- a simple chassis – was already loading its first pile of wood.
The innovative thinking included the idea of placing the engine and gearbox to the right of the center-line of the chassis, with the driveshaft protecting-torque tubes mounted at the right angles to the axle, giving huge wheel articulation – and this was so effective that its strategy is still in use today. The first Unimogs entered series production back in 1947, with more than 400,000 Unimogs produced ever since.