This fleet of 20 ex-Australian Army Unimogs is currently for sale online, they’re each being listed individually and at the time of writing the bidding on the cheapest is at $1,200 while the most expensive is up to $39,000.
The Australian Army first started using Unimogs in 1986 as a midway point between the Land Rover Defender based Perentie and the larger 6×6 Mack trucks. As these Unimogs approach the end of their service life they’re publicly auctioned off to the highest bidder, usually for between $20,000 – $50,000.
Fast Facts – The Australian Army Unimog
- Since 1986 well over 1,000 Mercedes-Benz Unimogs have been put into service by the Australian Armed forces. Each was individually modified at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mulgrave, Victoria before being shipped out for service.
- Australian soldiers have taken their Unimogs with them on both military and peacekeeping missions as far afield as Afghanistan and Iraq, and right next door to Papua New Guinea.
- A wide variety of Unimogs have been used by the Australian Defense Force (ADF) but the most common is the Unimog U1700L with a tray back and a canvas top over the load area.
- The 20 Unimogs currently being offered for sale include many U1700L examples as well as an interesting six-wheel drive Unimog UL2450L.
The Unimog – A Glorified Potato Tractor
The Unimog was developed in Germany in the years immediately after WWII. Its development followed a similar path to that of the first Land Rovers in that both were designed as utilitarian 4×4 vehicles that could be driven on the road but still fulfill all the tasks usually performed by a tractor.
The first Unimog had a track width exactly equal to that of two rows of potatoes, so it could be used as a plow tractor. It was also fitted with a power takeoff, just like a tractor, for powering mechanical equipment around the farm like potatoes harvesters (pictured above).
Of course, stylistically the Unimog looks vastly different to the Land Rover, and to the Willys Jeep from WWII that had a significant hand in inspiring both vehicles.
Since its original introduction in 1948 the Unimog has remained in constant production, Daimler-Benz took over in 1951 and has regularly updated the vehicle over time to continually improve it.
The Australian Army Unimogs Shown Here
The Unimogs shown here have all been retired from service with the Australian Defense Force, they’re now being offered for sale with the Australian auction house Pickles.
A few times a year the vehicles being retired from military service are offered for sale in this way, almost all are bought by enthusiasts who intend to use the Unimogs, Land Rover Perenties, and 6×6 Mack trucks for off-road adventures – or even off-road recovery work.
As a result of this there’s a growing number of private Unimog owners in Australia. Some have been converted into overland campers while others are kept close to their original military specification and used for four-wheeling on weekends.
Each of the 20 Unimogs here is a little different to the last, so before biddings it’s important to carefully read the listing. The vehicles are located in Thurgoona, NSW, Australia and representatives from Pickles can be contacted online with additional questions.
If you’d like to read more about these Unimogs or register to bid you can visit the listing for all of them here.
Images courtesy of Pickles.
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