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Oct 11, 2016

DAIMLER CELEBRATES * Germany: Unimog's 70th anniversary

* Stuttgart - The post-war vehicle that continues working to this day

--- Daimler is celebrating the 70th birthday of the Unimog by looking back at the original model that came into being after World War II... According to the truck maker, it was October 9, 1946 when the Unimog Prototype 1 completed its first test drive... Travelling on rough forest roads in the post-war period, the original bonnet-free truck was the result of German supply shortages at the time... In June, 1945, former aircraft engine development head at Daimler-Benz AG Albert Friedrich, came up with the idea of creating an agricultural motorised vehicle that could help increase agricultural productivity and took it to Stuttgart-Untertürkheim to speak with the company... On August 4 a blueprint for the vehicle was developed by a Daimler-Benz AG engineer and on September 7 it was presented to the company’s board of directors. Despite receiving little interest from those in charge, the blueprint was submitted to the Production Control Commission of the responsible American military authority, with an application to manufacture ten test vehicles... Gaining approval on November 20 from the Food and Agricultural Group of the British and American occupied zone, Friedrich enlisted the work of metalwork company Erhard & Söhne in nearby Schwäbisch Gmünd to create the vehicles... 
(Photo 2: The new Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4023 und U 5023)
... On January 2, 1946 the project was handed onto Friedrich’s employee, designer Heinrich Rößler... Creating a design that is still used in the U 4023 / U 5023 Series Unimog trucks today, the original models featured an engine and gearbox positioned to the right of the middle line of the vehicle... In March, a member of the team, Hans Zabel, came up with the Unimog name by shortening Universal-Motor-Gerät (universally applicable motorised machine)... 70 years later, it has been released in 30 different models and been sold almost 400,000 times... 
(Photo 1: The first driveable prototype in December 1946 with a Diesel engine and truck tyres) -- Stuttgart, Germany - Trade Trucks (Australia) - 10 Oct 2016

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