Overview of the UNIMOG models made during the 1953-1962 period
The Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG is a four-wheel-drive, all-terrain vehicle with high ground clearance and a power take-off (PTO) at the front and rear. They are highly adaptable and can be customized to support any type of auxiliary equipment. The UNIMOG was developed after WWII as a specialized agricultural vehicle. Not quite tractor and not quite truck, it would be an aid to farmers who needed something that could plough the fields and bring their produce to market. In 1945, prototypes were built at a factory in southern Germany. In 1948, a 25 hp Daimler-Benz OM 636 diesel engine was added. In 1951, production moved to Gaggenau. In 1953, the UNIMOG was being developed and built by Daimler-Benz. Today, new UNIMOG models are still being built at the Gaggenau factory and are in public, private and government (military) service all over the world.
Between 1953-1962, there were three distinct UNIMOG body styles, which can be defined loosely as...
- Angular, with Soft Top (1951-1963)
- Streamlined, with Enclosed Cab (1953-1956)
- Military Specification, with more Power (1956-1980)
These models used diesel engines and traveled at speeds from 0.5 km/h (0.3 miles/h) in low gear up to 52 km/h (32 miles/h) in high gear.
|UNIMOG Type||Produced||Engine hp|
|U2010/1 to 8||6/1951-8/1953||25|
|U401.101 to 103||8/1953-8/1956||25|
|U402.101, 103, 105||11/1953-10/1956||25|
|U411.110, 112, 116||8/1956-10/1961||25/30/32|
|U411a (U411.110, 112)||10/1961-2/1963||32|
England, circa 1957: Demonstration of a Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG U401 hauling 3.5 tons of timber along a muddy forest road
Indonesia, circa 1957: A Mercedes-Benz Ponton sedan encounters a UNIMOG Type U401
Finland, circa 1957: UNIMOG shipment arrives in Helsinki
Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG Type U401.101 with a variety of implements at an agricultural exhibition in Madrid, Spain, circa 1957
Using the UNIMOG U401.101 as a fire fighting pump
Madeira, Portugal, circa 1957
Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG Type U411
owner: Josef Steiner / Germany / June, 2000
|UNIMOG Type||Year Built||Engine||Engine hp||Top Speed|
|U411.110||1961||OM 636||30||53 km/h (33 miles/h)|
In October, 1953 the second Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG body style began production. It was produced by Westfalia. The radiator grille and fully enclosed cabin were more streamlined than the 1946 UNIMOG prototype and included the following models.
|UNIMOG Type||Produced||Engine hp|
|U401.104 to 106||10/1953-9/1956||25|
|U401.111 and 113||?/1956-8/1957||30/32|
|U402.102 and 104||11/1953-8/1956||25|
Two streamlined Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG U401 models in Germany. The closed all-steel driver’s cabin, which was produced on commission by the Westfalia company, is affectionately nicknamed “Froschauge” (froggy eyes) by German UNIMOG enthusiasts.
Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG models introduced to members of the Texas agricultural community at the State Fair in Dallas, Texas, circa 1957. The streamlined U401 body is at the far left.
Denver, Colorado USA, circa 1957: A streamlined Type U401.111 (30 hp)
Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG-S Type U404 (left) and UNIMOG Type U401 in the Rocky Mountains of Vancouver, British Columbia, circa 1957
The third Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG body style of the 1953-1962 period was the Type U404. It was introduced in 1956, and production ran until 1980. Also known as the UNIMOG-S, it used a 24 volt electric system and had a 2.2 liter (134 cubic inch) 82 hp, 6-cylinder gasoline engine (that was also used in the Mercedes-Benz Type 220S Ponton sedan). Fuel consumption on the UNIMOG-S models ranged from 18.5 liters/100 km (12.7 miles/gallon US = 15.3 miles/gallon Imperial) to 60 liters/100 km (3.92 miles/gallon US = 4.7 miles/gallon Imperial).
An early (circa 1956) UNIMOG-S Type U404 during a demonstration for the media
Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG-S Type U404 (1956-1980) — a Swiss pattern vehicle used as a Belgian Army troop carrier
Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG Type U404 dashboard and cabin —
parked at Ron van Seventer's home in Palo Alto, California.
owner: Michael Smith / California
M180 engine for Type 404S Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG
There are differences between the M180 engine shown here and the M180 used in the Type 220S Ponton sedans, coupés and cabriolets. For instance, some early M180 engines have the large bolt-on side panels. All of them (like the one pictured) have the early 7.0:1 compression ratio. All of them have military grade flywheels, carburetors, generators, short water pumps (three hole), oil pans, and front end counterweights. This one has probably been overhauled by either of two very competent German concerns (FWN and IWS are the prominent ones) who routinely overhaul all sorts of equipment for the German military.
Dinky (France) model 804
Diecast (1:43 scale replica) of a UNIMOG Type 404S troop carrier
View more Mercedes-Benz Pontonobilia
Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG-S Type U404 airport crash tender — circa 1960
1964 Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG-S Type U404.113 fire truck
circa November, 2002 / Owner: Pat Potucek
The important thing to mention about this truck is that
it is a Metz van body style — one of about 20 made
Courtesy: Jeff Lenzner August 23, 2003
1966 Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG-S Type U404 "Radio Box"
owner: Martin Moerman (PD1AJE) / Scheveningen, Netherlands
Amateur ("HAM") radio operator, Martin Moerman (PD1AJE) works from the enclosed area of his 1966 Mercedes-Benz Type 404 UNIMOG, which affords ample protection from the outside elements. View more photos by following the link in the "References / Acknowledgements" section at the bottom of this page.
1968 Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG-S Type U404.113 with a Westfalia hard cab
Outside the strict 1953-1962 "Ponton era" range, this Type U404 UNIMOG was built in 1968. Recall the Type U404 was made from 1956-1980. This vehicle was converted from a single cab to a double cab by Lesonal Werke in Munich. It has an extra high windshield, heater in the rear cab, and better seating for the driver. The double cabs were all made for the German post office (Deutsche Bundespost) and this one retired from DBP in 1978 when the Berchtesgaden fire department picked it up. It is one of about sixteen that were produced. Courtesy: Jeff Lenzner August 23, 2003.
1970 Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG Type 404S
Factory fitted with a rare three-door double crew cab ("Doka") built for the civil defense organization in Scandinavia
Painted international blaze orange for easy identification (blue civil defense triangle still visible on the roof). Triangles on side were over-painted for sale on the civilian market. Rear cabin was originally constructed without rear seating, this was added later. It is just a bench seat, raised so it can double as a litter/bed. Although it does not have a raised ceiling, it is actually slightly longer than the Lesonal variant. Snorkel kit visible on the right with a dust pre filter. The snorkel bolts directly onto the air intake. Photos of this UNIMOG taken during the weekend of April 10-11, 2004 / Courtesy: Jeff Lenzner / April 18, 2004
Visit the Literature page to purchase books on Mercedes-Benz UNIMOG, Geländewagen, Trucks and Buses