On a recent bike trip, my girlfriend and I had some long climbs up the foothills of the Bay Area on tree-lined, one-lane switchbacks. On one particularly gorgeous but hidden stretch, she yelled “look at the cool Unimog down there!” Thankful as I am that my partner knows what a Mog is, it was actually a fascinating Pinzgauer 4×4 that looked like it was prepared to be an RV for the zombie apocalypse. While that particular model looked prepared to keep people out, today’s 6×6 model looks like it wants to let anyone and anything crawl in while it dominates terrain. With heated seats, a huge truck bed, and one of the most stout external rollcages I’ve seen, I’m not sure what it’s for other than what the dudes are doing in the photo – but just riding in it looks pretty fun.
For some amazing and unknown reason, there is a student at the university I work for who has a 6-wheeled Pinzgauer 712M. It is a refreshingly absurd choice in the mass of A4s, Jettas, and tuned BMWs. Yeah, it’s a rich kid making a crazy choice, but I appreciate the creativity.
You know what could make it even cooler? Tracks. Big-ass, go-anywhere, drive-over-Jettas tank tracks. The seller claims they cost $35k new, helping alleviate the fact that the $27k asking price is significantly higher than most of the old military vehicles we feature here. With or without them it’s going to need some love, as the interior is pretty beat. Luckily, the 4-cylinder was made to run on the lowest possible octane, meaning you could pretty much pee in the gas tank and it’d still climb a tree.
I have to admit, I’m not an SUV fan. For my purposes, at least, these vehicles are of little use. That being said, there are a few I admire for their capability and design. The original Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen come to mind. Oh yeah, and this thing, the Pinzgauer. While this vehicle isn’t German, it’s made in Austria by the same folks who had a hand in developing the Geländewagen, Steyr-Puch. Production of the first generation Pinzgauer ran from 1971 through 2000 in both 4×4 and 6×6 models. Powered by an air cooled inline four cylinder engine with dual carburetors, these vehicles are noted for their durability. Other features include a two speed transfer case, hydraulically actuated locking differential hubs and a 24 volt electrical system. While they don’t have a huge following in this country, you do see them around from time to time. Incidentally, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger owns two of them.
If you are familiar with the 712 Pinzgauer, you know it is a “go anywhere” vehicle! With three driving axles and dash lock-in hubs on all axles and high ground clearance, it truly will go anywhere. I purchase it in 2006, have added 100 miles and always stored inside. Includes tool kit, space tire and English manuals. The vehicle is in very good condition, everything works. Vehicle is” for sale” local, Seller reserves right to end sale at any time. Thanks for looking.
During the last blizzard here in Arlington, Virginia, a 4×4 Pinzgauer passed me on the street. I instantly knew what it was but had to do a double take because I had never seen one in person in the US that I can remember. This beast didn’t miss a beat through snow drifts measuring several feet high. This particular Pinzgauer is the 712, or 6×6 model. I can only imagine what it is capable of. Bidding is currently under $10,000, but there is a reserve. I recently saw a 4×4 for sale at $18,000, so I’m guessing the reserve would be in the $20k range somewhere, at the least. Not too bad for a vehicle that could conquer just about anything you throw at it.
Pinzgauer’s are awesome. They take the S out of SUV, but sure emphasize the U.