The very first Unimog: no Mercedes yet

In 1945, shortly after the war ended, the German engineer Albert Friedrich became preoccupied with the development of a universal car for household purposes. His car was supposed to serve as a dump truck and a “watering wheel”, an “ambulance” and an aerial platform, in general - to everything in the world. In a short time, he developed a platform, design and patented the development as a “universal machine for agriculture”.

But Frederick had no money for the organization of production, and he signed a contract with a small firm Erhard & Söhne. On January 1, 1946, the first Allzwecktraktor (the name was given to the car) rolled out of the gates of the assembly shop. It was truly unique - a hybrid of a tractor and a truck with a track gauge of 1270 mm - it was a typical width of two potato rows and allowed you to drive through the fields without disturbing the plantings. Four-wheel drive, independent suspension, differentials - the car had insane cross-country ability.

By the end of the year, it received the familiar name Unimog (from Universal-Motor-Gerät). Erhard & Söhne engines were purchased from Daimler-Benz AG (first pre-war, and then, from 1949, the new OM636). Until 1951, 600 Unimogs, typical for the company in dark green color, were built. They are known as the 70200 series.

But in 1951, seeing the success of small production, the giant Daimler-Benz AG corny offered the owners an amount that they could not refuse. The brand came under the control of Mercedes, and instead of the stylized letter U, a three-beam star appeared on the front of the Unimogs. What is most striking is that Frederick’s development, which recently celebrated its 70th anniversary, is still being produced, if in a different design, then in exactly the same form factor. He really was a brilliant engineer.

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