This 1968 Mercedes-Benz Unimog 404 (U82) is an instantly-recognisable classic utility vehicle, presented in good order and ready to enjoy on or off road. It is equipped with the 2.2-litre M180 straight-six petrol engine and Zenith carburettor, coupled to a manual transmission with six forward gears and two reverse gears. The odometer shows just 2,520 km (1,565 miles), which is understood to be the genuine mileage from new.
It is a type 404.114 version of the Unimog U82 model, and features the longer wheelbase of 2900mm. In on-road mode, the Unimog is a rear-wheel drive vehicle, but it has switchable all-wheel drive when needed for off-road work, as well as a locking differential. This particular truck is a soft-top model, so the canopy can be lowered if desired for a superb open-air, high-riding experience.
Like all U82 Unimog’s this vehicle is left-hand drive and is understood to have first been in service with the German ‘Bundeswehr’ as a military transporter. It was exported to the UK and re-registered on plate ‘KFL 174G’ in May 2000. The truck has had three previous British owners.
The green paintwork is described by the vendor as being in fair condition. As a former military vehicle, much of it is hand-painted, and it certainly looks the part. There is some corrosion on the bottom edge of the front panel above the bumper, but it has not spread during the vendor’s ownership. A replacement panel is also included in the sale. While the vehicle could be professionally resprayed in the future, it would certainly lose some of its rugged character.
Pull yourself up into the cabin and you find a very serviceable interior. The front seats have mismatched covers, but the vinyl upholstery is in good condition. Ahead of the driver, a delicate three-spoke steering wheel belies the presence and capability of the car it is attached to. The metal dashboard is in sound order, with inset VDO instrument gauges and rotary switches.
A new roof canvas for the cab has been fitted in recent years, and there is also a separate frame and canvas cover for the load bay. Its wooden floor is original, and two rear benches accompany the truck that can slot into place in the back. A pair of door tops are also included, which can help to isolate the driver and front passenger from poor weather conditions.
Photographs of the chassis and suspension in the media gallery show that they are in solid, rust-free condition. The driveline is also in very good order, and the vehicle was subject of a light mechanical restoration after it was imported.
The Unimog is an extremely capable vehicle, with this 404 model able to overcome substantial obstacles with its remarkable approach and departure angles, and ford shallow rivers thanks to its portal axles and 16 inches of ground clearance. The vendor reports that it is a rewarding challenge to master all of the levers and switches in the cab, to be able to fully explore the Unimog’s capabilities. The truck will sit comfortably at around 60 km/h (37 mph) on a flat road.
It is in mechanically sound condition, and is accompanied by a vast workshop manual split across two folders. A competent individual could certainly take care of most maintenance tasks on the Unimog if they wished. The truck is currently fitted with a set of Uniroyal Monoply T9 tyres in size 10.5 R20, which have plenty of tread remaining.
Sold with the car are the original Mercedes-Benz handbooks, the workshop manual, two keys and a detailed account of the mechanical restoration by the first owner - including two folders of receipts and invoices for all of the work.
The next owner can enjoy this Unimog straight away, whether attempting challenging off-road routes, or simply as leftfield transport to the local pub on a warm summer’s evening. It would make a great foundation for a more extensive project, such as a camper or expedition car conversion.
This Mercedes-Benz Unimog 404 is a terrific historic truck that is now exempt from vehicle tax as well as the annual MOT. It is unusual to find an example from this era offered for sale in the UK - especially in such good condition - and being taxes-paid and road-registered makes it a real rarity.