If you’re looking for an on-brand car hauler to tote your classic Mercedes-Benz around town, look no further. This 1966 Unimog has been customized by Ruthmann with a unique hydraulic lifting system to create an eye-catching flatbed truck, and it's headed for the Bonhams Amelia Island Auction in just a couple of weeks.
In the video above, we can see the unusual way that the ‘Mog’s flatbed is lowered to the ground. There’s a hydraulic lift that lowers to the ground, and the rear wheels slide out to allow the bed to tilt down. From there, the vehicle being carried can be lowered off of the platform. Because of this complex system, there was no room for the Unimog’s typical 4x4 setup. Instead, this Unimog is one of just a few front-wheel-drive only examples in the world. The exhaust system and most other components on the truck’s underside have been customized to make room for the extra gear.
Under the stubby hood lies a 5.7-liter six-cylinder diesel engine that makes just 80 horses and sends that power to the front wheels via a four-speed transmission. The gearbox has both a high and low range, and there are drum brakes at all four corners.
Like most Unimogs that surface for sale here in the States, this one has made its way across a few continents over the course of its life. However, unlike the others, this one has an extensively documented history. It was sent to Belgium after it was built and eventually made its way stateside in 2001 before being acquired by the Schnuerer collection in 2008. Mr. Schnuerer, who is an acclaimed Mercedes-Benz collector, commissioned a full restoration of the truck after taking ownership that cost over $50,000.
Though we don’t know exactly how many of these custom Unimogs were built, we do know that Ruthmann’s engineers called their contraption “Niederflurhubwagen," which translates to “low floor elevating truck.” Creative names aside, this Unimog won’t be outrageously expensive when it crosses the auction block. Bonhams estimates that the Benz will eventually sell for $25,000 to $30,000, which isn’t all that bad for a legit classic car hauler.
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