Winter Proof: 1980 Mercedes-Benz Unimog

Ah, the Unimog. No other vehicle can make a driver fearless against cold and harsh winters. And look good doing it, too.

There are the classic 404/406 series of the 1950s, and then there are the more angular and industrial-techno 424 series introduced in 1976. This is one such 424. In some ways, it's every bit as classic as the 406, and even slightly cooler, with the big grille and headlights mounted in the bumpers. It's got this ultra-stern, almost minimalist look that the Mercedes designers reserved for their most capable truck.

It also helps this one looks terrific in orange with everything below the belt line in black. It practically begs to be driven in a blizzard. The bed is huge and provides versatility and use.

The seller says they bought it from Volkswagen AG and it was owned by them as a track patrol vehicle. They then swapped the old bed for a better unit, welded some rust and re-painted the exterior, no crimes on a big truck, where function and and overall appearance matter more than details. Besides, it's a German guy doing it. He must know what he's doing.

Underneath the hood is a 6-cylinder diesel engine producing just 95 horsepower, but you can bet it has a lot of low end torque for overtaking the worst inclines and terrain.

The seller says it is equipped with power steering and brakes, and runs, drives and starts fine, even on cold days.

Although the vehicle is in Germany, the seller says they used to export vehicles and have friends in the US who have imported, so they can offer some assistance.

These can be found in the US, but they are expensive and in varying condition. If you're going to plunk down the chunk of change they command, why not just import the right one straight for Europe? This is one time where importing does make more sense. And this example looks great and seems to have been cared for, with some interesting ownership history to boot.

Available here on ebay with bidding at $15.5 and less than a day left.

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