1981 Mercedes-Benz U3100 Unimog with HIAB Crane

The thing I love about the Unimog is that it makes any arduous task look easy and even stylish.

Need to cross a shallow river? Scale a mountainside? Trek the Sahara? No problem.

Add one more thing to that list: need a portable crane to lift something really, really heavy? This particular one can do it no problem.

The first Unimog prototype was created in 1946 and to the present day Mercedes is still offering some variation of this vehicle. In 1955, the classic Unimog 404 was created, and is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing, along with the 406 from the 60s.

This is a later '81 424 series launched in 1976 and features more angular and modern styling. It's no less macho and cool looking however. Note the headlights have been moved to the bumper for an ultra-utilitarian look.

The seller says this example has a diesel engine that is mated to a 12-speed transmission, with front and rear locking differentials, and a Pintal hitch with standard ball as well.

This version has a three-way tilting rear bed. The seller says it just needs a piston to fully function. In between the bed and cabin is a PTO-driven HIAB crane with outriggers for extra stability.

The seller mentions the flat jaybird blue paint is "beautiful" and there is no rust. Inside, they say the seats are perfect, gauges function, and the dome lights turn on correctly.

The crane might seem to limit functionality, but I bet it folds up neat, and, along with the bed, will find itself useful one way or another. Tough guys would rather have it than not.

Available here on craigslist in Bedford, New Hampshire for $35,000.

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