There’s never been a better time to be in the market for an off-roader. Not only are carmakers cranking out new and improved rock-crawling, sand-smashing, trail-crushing rigs by the day — your Jeep Gladiator, your Toyota Land Cruiser Heritage Edition, your Ford Raptor and its forthcoming competitors from Chevy and Ram — but thanks to the plethora of online used car shopping tools and sites, it’s easier to find a pre-owned off-road rig than ever, as well.
Scour those sites all day long, however, and you still probably won’t find an off-road truck as badass as this modified Unimog currently listed on Bring a Trailer.
The 1987 Freightliner Unimog 419 seen here may technically be 32 years old, but you wouldn’t know it to look at it, thanks to a comprehensive set of modifications performed by North Carolina’s Combat Iron Conversions. That 6’10”-by-6’3″ pickup bed in back? That’s new, as are the beefy roof rack, custom bumpers and olive drab bed liner exterior coating that all add up to make it look ready to run through the Fulda Gap (or run away from an Indominus rex). A Warn winch rated for 15,000 pounds sits on that front bumper, while LED headlights and driving lights help you avoid obstacles once night falls.
Inside, the Unimog has had its seats and other trim redone by Combat Iron Conversions in green and reptile-print cloth, adding a delicious touch of Ducks Unlimited style to the militaristic attitude. Additions include 12-volt power plugs for your radar detector (rimshot!), a set of accessory switches, and a level gauge snapped into place above the speedo and tach, so you know just how close you are to turtling over.
The 5.7-liter turbodiesel inline-six under the hood is sourced from Mercedes-Benz, as you’d expect given the Unimog’s provenance. Eight forward speeds — four low, four high — and a two-speed transfer case mean this ‘Mog offers a gear ratio for every off-road occasion. (Including backing up; it also has four reverse gears.) Portal axles and 43-inch Michelin off-road tires provide the height needed to help make this big machine capable of clambering over obstacles that would leave Wranglers and 4Runners broken and bent.
Sure, it might not be the best fit if you’re looking for an overlander that can double as a daily driver; a three-decade-old, Austrian-built two-seater truck with a bed above chest height ain’t exactly ideal for commuting down I-95. But if you’re looking for a machine to conquer terrain most rides fear to tread — or just one that’ll show up the other folks at the local off-road meetup — you’d be hard-pressed to beat this Unimog. As of now, the bidding sits at $12,000 with six days remaining; while it’s sure to rise a bit from there, used ‘Mogs have generally been selling in the $10,000–$25,000 range on BaT this year, so you might well be able to score this baby for less than the price of a nice FJ Cruiser.
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