1974 Pinzgauer 710K Radio Truck Find

front

These trucks are said to be a very capable off road vehicles and were used by the military forces of many countries. The engine is an air cooled 2.5 litre inline 4 designed specifically for these vehicles with features like a second oil pump to provide oil pressure in any altitude. The suspension is similar to the Mercedes Unimog. They are very popular in the civilian market today, as well, and many say they are superior to the Humvee. Their only weakness is their vulnerability to land mines and IEDs, but that shouldn’t be a concern to most of us. This one is for sale here on eBay in Piermont, New York, appears to be in exceptional condition. The $23,500 asking price is reasonable compared to others that have sold recently.

inside

There is lots of room inside this thing with seating for 10 in some configurations. This one appears to be setup to haul 4 passengers and should be more than enough seats for must of us.

under

The body and underside look great. The wooden trim could use a little work, but the rest looks rust free. The underside looks especially nice. Talk about a rugged suspension!

engine

I wish he had provided a picture of the engine, but here’s a picture of a typical engine, air cooled with twin Zenith carbs. There are also 5 and 6 cylinder diesel versions…

right rear

This beast would make a great camper wouldn’t it? I’m thinking there are lots of great uses for a rig like this. It would be great around ranch country for a large animal veterinarian or even as a portable smithy for the local farrier. It won’t quite do 70 mph, but would be a great driver. Parts actually appear easy to find. This thing looks like it’s ready for a new life. So how would you use it?

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Comments

  1. van

    We’ll have fun fun fun till daddy takes the Unimog away

  2. Rancho Bella

    It was a big deal for a while here in the States…….was

  3. MikeG

    If this could do better than my VW Vanagon synchro as a daily driver I’d do it in a second! What a great back country ski mobile!

    • Piloto Jim

      50 MPH tops on the highway, and that’s pushing the engine.

  4. Dave Wright

    The extra oil pump has nothing to do with altitude but attitude. It is so the engine does not starve of oil at an extreme incline or side slope. These are fun trucks but bear no comparison to a Hummvee. The only way I can think they are superior might be because they are narrower. They do have a wonderful suspension and 4X4 system but are underpowered compared to the 6.5 GM diesel of the Hummer. These days a good hummer can be bought for under 10,000 directly from the government with low mileage. Makes this price seem pretty silly.

    • MH

      Where do I get a hummer from the government for under 10K. I want to buy one.

      • George

        I haven’t really looked for one. But last year the government started selling surplus Hummers at auction with starting bids at $7500. Unlike the past practice of cutting jeeps in half to decommission them, the Hummers are complete and upon request come with a road worthiness certificate to enable the buyer to obtain a title for registration and road use. Since they are military used, most have very low miles.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      They have superior load rating and towing capabilities. They can carry more troops, and may perhaps have great range but I’m not certain of that one. They certainly do with the larger tank but I would imagine the ‘Hummer’ has an optional tank as well.

      Offroad abilities are quite similar the Hummer has a far better approach angle of 60 degrees vs 45, the Hummer can scale 22 inch walls the Pinz just over 14. Otherwise the two have nearly identical abilities offroad.

      For civilian use the Pinz is a far more useable size and platform.

      • Matt Tritt

        I agree… Hummers have much more limited interior space than Pinzgauers and use way more fuel. The real issue with a Humvee, though, is the tremendous width, which severely limits where you can go in the woods or on the trail. Steyr-Puch also made (or still makes) a 6 wheel drive Pinzgauer that’s longer and has even more load carrying ability.

      • Dave Wright

        Bobsmyuncle I have extensive experiance with both………you sound like a google expert. There is no comparison between the capabilities of the two. The Pinz has a much higher center of gravity, has 1/3rd the power and smaller tires. While in Austria last fall we saw one tipped on its side going down the freeway……at 55 MPH whitch is about as fast as you want to drive one. There were convoys of them, seldom driving over 45MPH. The Hummer was designed while I was in special ops, it was intended for desert warfare that Jimmy Carter was shure we were destine for. We used them in the mid 70’s and they do exactly what they were intended. Pinzgauers are more like the Volvo tactical vehicles used by Nordic troops. Capeable lightweight vehicles but you can not compare a 2.5 Ltr air cooled diesel powered vehicle to a 6.5 Ltr modern design V8. You can’t believe everything on WIKI. It just doesn’t make sense.

      • Dave Wright

        Hummers are designed more like a tractor, they are more of a tow vehicle than a cargo carrying vehicle, the load ratings being discussed for the Pinz are at something like 10MPH not any practical speed. This conversation reminds me of training with the Dutch troops in the 70’s. We were fascinated with there AR10 rifles, they were lighter than our 7.62 rifles and similar to our M16’s. We wanted to go to a live fire range with the guys……..the Dutch troops were terrified to shoot them because so many of there guys had been injured by the rifles exploding. Looked great on paper not so good in application.

  5. MountainMan

    Nice truck, I never realized these 4cyl were air cooled. Would make a great camping rig or bug out vehicle or even just fun to take to the woods. I think for the asking price of this truck I would rather have a Unimog or a Humvee. The smaller size of this truck would help maneuverability in the woods but the Humvee can do a good job of making room for itself in many cases

  6. Matt Tritt

    I really wanted one when they could be had for around 7 grand, FOB Switzerland. They WILL go many places a Hummer can’t because of the narrow track – but what they aren’t good at is at being a daily driver. Noisy! Noisy! Noisy! Not only the forced air cooling makes noise, but the transmission as well. The result is something like a 747 taking off in the cockpit. I know 2 people with these, both wear shooters headsets to keep their hearing intact. On the other hand, the quality, traction and load carrying ability is fantatic. They used to be called “the girls Unimog”. ;-)

  7. Alan (Michigan)

    Yet ANOTHER lazy seller.
    $23.5K, but the lister can’t be bothered to pull the vehicle away from a house and the trash pile around it, to get some decent photographs?
    Stupid.

  8. Matt Tritt

    Dave is (W)right about the Pinzis being top-heavy and vastly less powerful than a Hum-V. For those of you who’ve never had the chance to ride in either one of these vehicles, there are several things that become immediately apparent with both of them. The Pinzgauer was designed for Alpine conditions, not the desert, and is MUCH more nimble and agile in mountain conditions. It has better driver visibility and carries a lot more stuff, but the more you carry, the higher the CG becomes, so you have to pay attention to the angle of attack on steep slopes. The Pinzgauer is NOT designed as a tractor unless pulling heavy things slowly is OK under the circumstances. The Hummer has very limited interior space and is difficult to see out of in civilian driving conditions. It is also fast for a military vehicle, which can be good OR bad, depending. Remember that they were designed to replace both the disasterous M51-A1 1/4 ton and the M-38 3/4 ton truck in a single vehicle that could be used in many applications and, as such, are a compromise at both jobs. They “feel” too wide in city driving and are a pain in running around town. Both of these trucks need a motor pool mechanic to maintain them properly. :-)

    Of the two, the Humvee seems like the more practical one for exploring the desert – the Pinzgauer for “normal” driving. I’d choose a Unimog.

    • Piloto Jim

      A big difference between Hummers and Pinz, especially the 712 6×6, is try seating 16 in a Hummer. You can do it in the Pinz.

      • Dave Wright

        Hmmmmm, We have M923’s for that but I prefer an APC. Nothing worse than being in a huge thin skinned slow moving target with a bunch of guys in a combat zone. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. I bought a Saricin from a sheriffs department in Kansas a few years ago. That wasn’t bad.

      • Wm Lawrence

        Not sure what kind of Hummer you are thinking of,but all of them I ever saw had seating for 4 max. The mechanical systems and drive train take up so much space underneath and are raised into a huge central hump for ground clearance. Each occupant has about as much space as in an M151. If you find an example of the 16 passenger version please post it because I ain’t never seen NOTHIN like that… MSG US Army retired. MOS 63B.

  9. van

    The hummer is wide in order to follow a tank like an m1 Abrams

    Now if my Scout Master had one of these I’d have been inspired to become an Eagle Scout.
    Maybe someone should try that
    But with sound deadening head phones

  10. Matt Tritt

    Correct. The track width is the same as larger tactical vehicles to allow following in the same ruts. Not so sure about being as wide as an M1 though. It would make a cool scout vehicle for the whole troop!

  11. Per Eliasen

    What is better – Pinzgauer versus Hummer? It depends…..!! If towing is your thing and you have plenty of space where you go, get the Hummer. If you want an off-road truck which is as nimble on the mountain trails as a mountain goat, then the Pinzgauer is for you. Roomy, extremely capable and with more overall ground clearance side-to-side (the HUMMER has very little clearance next to the wheels – albeit plenty under the diff). As one of the original Pinzgauer owners in the US, I have owned a civilian, US-prototype, Pinzgauer 710K since 1997 and can say that this truck has been the most fun vehicle I have ever owned. Never left me stranded in the wilderness, always delivered the goods, and then some…..

    • Piloto Jim

      Per Eliasen used the perfect word on the Pinz, ‘Nimble’. It will go places where the Hummer could only dream about. Why? It’s very narrow and ‘nimble’. It’s comparing apples to oranges. I’ve never owned a Hummer and quite frankly never wanted to own one due to the limitations on seating and overall size for off road, especially in forested areas. Out of six Jeeps owned, a Scout, a military style ‘G’ Wagon diesel, and a diesel Power Wagon the highest ‘fun’ quotient was with the Pinz. Sorry I ever sold it a few years ago. To Dave Wright, it is a thin skinned 6×6 but that’s part of the beauty because I didn’t buy it for armored qualities, I bought it for being ‘nimble’.

      • Dave Wright

        If they are so nimble, why don’t you see them on the Rubacon or Baja? The one I saw rolled on the Autobahn last fall had blown a front tire……sounds like lots of fun.

      • Wm Lawrence

        Dave Wright, I’ve seen them Black Bear Trail. No Hummers though…

  12. Matt Tritt

    Right on, Per. US prototype????

  13. Per Eliasen

    Yes, Matt – I was extremely lucky to bag this one 20 years ago… .

  14. Dave

    I’ve owned a Pinzauger for 8 years and driven the crap outta it. I also have a brother in law who rebuilds hummer H1 alphas for resale (not so much rebuild, but return to new spec). Given that none of us are buying these to go to war in, let’s forgot all that. I’d take the pinz over the hummer all day long. And to those that think the military hummers that are on bid starting at $7500 actually sell for that???? Think again.
    Oh, and you don’t need a pool of mechanics to maintain a Pinzauger. It’s one of the most reliable vehicles I’ve owned and have performed all maintenance myself with a bit of help from a very strong group of Pinz fanatics.

  15. Dave

    Also, I don’t believe that seeing a Pinzauger on its side is an indication of a faulty vehicle. More likely faulty driver….

    • Dave Wright

      There are a lot of things I don’t like about the Hummer but that was the question we were discussing, comparing the Pinz to the Hummer. I had a late model Unimog that was very good, but I have seen many Pinz’s rolled over, where it takes an IED to roll a Hummer. Neither are a particularly tough vehicle and when the Hummers are armored up they are terrible drivers. The Pinz always reminded me of a King Midget car with a Wisconsin V4 engine……….Hummers sold last week for well under 10,000 at the auction. They are starting at 1500.00 this week. I buy at these auctions every week, mostly heavy equipment, but everything is getting cheeper these days. The market is getting saturated. I bought a M923 with 1200 miles on it last year for 1200.00 and drove it home, it didn’t even need batteries. It is now a dedicated bug out vehicle for a guy in eastern Oregon. Why do you think the Swiss sold all there Pinze’s off used in there front line troops? They were not the best.

      • Per Eliasen

        Dave,

        Clearly Hummers were build for a specific purpose. But so was Pinzgauers. For clarification purposes, the Pinzgauer was created in the early seventies with the Swiss Army’s specific requirements for an Alpine “go-anywhere” truck. 20+ years later, the Swiss Army decided to switch to diesel and that meant selling off all their gasoline powered trucks, including the Pinzgauers.

      • Dave Wright

        They have sold most of there diesels too…….there were few gas models built. The story does not hold up.

      • Dave

        RE : the sale of military hummers. It’s my understanding that they cannot be licensed for street use. That might explain the low bids.

      • Dave Wright

        Similar things happened with both M151’s and Gama Goats but for different reasons. The manufactures of 151’s lobbied congress to make sure they would not come back on the market to compete with there civilian products. At first you had to do a simple torch cut across the chassis……guys rewelded them…..then you had to,cut them in a big X across the frame……guys rewelded them, then they made you crush the body suspension parts……guys remade them, then the last ones the government cubed after you removed any parts that you wanted. They were selling by the dozen for 150-200 each. The excuse was that they were dangerous vehicles, but the military continued to use and buy them for decades. The Gama Goats were a little different. An old buddy of mine (Rayjack) bought a bunch of them as they started coming through the system. They started showing up being driven by bad guys in Central America so part way through the disposal they made them be destroyed after being striped of parts. I bought one a decade or so ago from the Fed that we did get a 97 for but it was only by typical government efficiency. It was before bidding was on like and there were no photos in the paper catalogs, it was advertised as a 1 1 1/4 ton Dodge 6X6 for sale by the Indian reservation at Chenlee Arizona. Well, Dodge hadn’t built a light duty 6×6 since the tandem drive weapons carriers in WW2. So…..I bought it and sold it to a big ranch owner in Colorado complete with it’s Dodge 6X6 title work. The idiots at the GSA in San Francisco had no clue. The office was manned by a bunch of little Chinese women that had never been out of the city.

    • Matt Tritt

      Probably texting. ;-)

      • Dave Wright

        Pretty clever…………

      • Dave Wright

        You are wrong Dave. The fed would not issue SF Form 97’s on them for many years…….I actually bought the first 3 that came through the surplus system…..and we did get 97’s on those but they change the rule just after I bought them. They were wrecked hulks that came from Ft. Roberts in California. I sold them all to a LAPD cop who rebuilt them with our help locating parts. There were a bunch of them that got out of the system maby 20 years ago. They were traded to a guy for Baily bridges he manufactured. The plan was for him to sell them to a Central American country for cash…….the deal fell through and they were auctioned at Brashier’s auto auctions. He sued the GSA to make them issue SF97’s but lost…….a buddy of mine at the GSA was the key player in that…….so they were sold without title. Most wound up with titles saying they were modified or custom Chevy pickups. Obama changed the rule a few years ago, SF97’s have been available for them since.

    • Piloto Jim

      I am sure you can find Hummers on their sides, but regardless if you would like to see a Pinz on its side take a look at videos on line where they were intentionally rolled by the factory. They did well. Again, apples to oranges on the comparison. I have seen them in use high in the Alps by the Swiss military and they were awesome there and are still awesome decades later. Agreed with Dave….it’s about off roading not going to war.

  16. van

    How much dynamat would it take to quiet the engine
    Or do you stick with ear protection head phones.

  17. Matt Tritt

    Headphones are what you see most driver’s use. I actually like the whine of gears and fans, but I suspect that most people don’t.

  18. Matt Tritt

    Good conversation. I’ve also owned a number of 4 wheel drives going back to the early 60’s. Let’s see: a 61 Scout, a 59 International Travelall (what a truck!), a 68 Land Rover 88 with tropical roof, a 70 Land Rover 109 Diesel outfited for crossing the Sahara, an 84 Chevy pickup, a 79 Chevy flatbed, a 51 Willys 4 cylinder wagon, an 84 Trooper, an 84 F-250 Diesel crewcab and two Mitsubishi Monteros. I’ve ridden in about anything you can imagine as well, but not owned them. Without a doubt, by FAR the best has been my 3 liter 94 Montero. I know that they’re not Rubicon material, but so what? Stock, they’ll go virtually anywhere, use reasonable amounts of fuel and not break your back in the process. I used my 109 Landy and both Monteros in wind resource exploration – and the Montero is everythingthing I expected from the Rover, but never got. I use it now as a truck, tractor and utility vehicle and an 03 Volvo Cross Country for trips. The whole Rubicon thing seems like a great way to ruin a perfectly good vehicle and pour money down the rabbit hole. Rather like owning a yacht that gets taken out once a year.

  19. Dave Wright

    I think I have 8 4X4’s in the yard right now, not including heavy equipment (just received a new 4X4 Case forklift yesterday bought from the government) and track vehicles. There is little magic to them with the exception of the Mercedes G wagon that has replaced the Pinz in most military units. A good powerful vehicle with limited slip works well nearly all the time. I love my GMC 3500 crew cab dually flatbed with the 350hp Duramax and Allison trans. But my 68 IHC is wonderful and I have loved every M715 I have ever owned. I have high hopes for my 74 Scout but my Land Rover Discovery has been an excellent vehicle. I am sure I have owned well over 100 of this type vehicle. My 1979 IHC Scout traveler I bought nearly new, it was disappointing because it didn’t like to go straight down the road. My dad spent a month with it in his (undercar) shop experimenting with everything imagine able to cure it but to no avail. But all my other Scouts have been really good. I bought my 93 chev 3500 crew cab 6.5 diesel flatbed from the State of Washington 11 years ago with 65,000 miles. It now has 410,000 miles and has had few problems, still runs great with just simple engine maintainence. The G Waggon has to be the best overall. With the correct engine, it is very versital, moves from the highway to extreme off road seamlessly. I find the engineering on the Hummer fascinating with the sleep shafts 10″ higher than the hubs and the radiator laid flat over the engine. But they are not the easiest vehicle to work on. They are designed for operators, not mechanics. We used to laugh trying to operate them on ancient European roads with the width, but they are the same as common trucks that operate the roads every day with little concern. I remember one of my military vehicle training courses (there were many) someone asked the instructor how to deal with narrow roads in the woods and a 5 ton truck………he simply started it up began driving through the woods at 20 mph. Firewood was flying everywhere. There were probably a dozen of us sitting on troop seats in the bed. It was pretty impressive.

    • Piloto Jim

      I agree with Dave on the G wagon. Mine was diesel and had the double roof which was the best invention ever for keeping the passenger area cool. It did have A/C too, however the roof made a huge difference. I believe that in most cases the Pinz 6×6 would go where the G would not. Why? Three locking axles instead of two. My other favorite 4×4 was the Jeep FC with the short wheel base. Okay you guys with so many 4×4’s under your belt, how many have owned a Seep?

      • Matt Tritt

        Never owned one by I did see one sink! When I was 17 I attempted buying a VW Schwimmwagen from a German guy who had driven it all the way from Argentina to Newport Beach, Ca. He wanted way more than my dad would allow me to spend – $600.00 – and he thought they were too ugly to be seen in. :( The owner did a lot of fishing out of it the harbor, and would drive in and out at a launching ramp. They worked very well in spite of the 25 HP engine and the 4X4 was amazing! Limited slip on both axles.

      • Dave Wright

        Matt, did you see the anfibious Land Rover the guy was promoting driving on and off the beach in Santa Barbera? Was probably the early 90’s…….he was doing a US tour trying to sell them. Pretty cool.

  20. Matt Tritt

    I was also in the Army in Germany – in the mid-60’s. At that time, if one of our vehicles was involved in damaging trees – even tiny sprouts – we had to pay for their replacement. German foresters REALLY know their patch of the woods! In one of our many M51-A1 accidents, it crashed through a guardrail on the Autobahn and rolled down an embankment full of newly planted baby trees. The Army had to pay for the rail, all of the damaged trees and restoring the enbankment…. nedless to say, nobody was keen on driving through a patch of forest to demo a truck.

    Sounds like a hell of a collection you’ve got! I came close to buying a Peugeot G-Wagen a few years ago… Much cheaper than the Daimler-Benz version, but the same exact car with a Peugeot turbo-Diesel engine. It turned out to be out of the registration window. :( Loved both my Rovers and was a fool to let em go.

    • Dave Wright

      Yep…….the Germans still get there pound of flesh. We lost a newly assigned wing commander in a F4 crash off the end of the runway. Had to cut a road through the woods to get to it……very expensive. The training class I was at was in Ft Rucker I think……I did not know Pugeot built G wagons but there are a lot of Steyr/Puch’s around. Off course I wouldn’t trust the French to do,anything but run……so, I would have to look at it pretty close. I know that there are some great Oriental SUV’s but don’t do Oriental in either vehicles or guns. My Rover was an excellent vehicle until my wife ran it out of water coming back from California. She Melted a piston……have not changed the engine out yet but will. It has a very balanced feel, plenty of power, handles great for what it is. The back seat is useless for adults but that is not uncommon with this type vehicle. My wife would divorce me if I ever sold her R500 we bought her as replacement for the Rover. It really is an incredible car.

    • Piloto Jim

      Matt, your story about the Australian with the Seep just might be the same guy that made the record book. If you Google the Seep and Australia you can find the story. He added freeboard (real boards) to the sides and went from the USA to Europe in it. Today the vehicle is in a museum in Australia. My Seep I found in Mexico, 90% buried in the ground for 50+ years, and still in surprising well condition for the hull. Had it been a Schwimmwagon I would have kept it, but the Seep didn’t tie to local history, although it was brought to Mexico in 1946.

      Okay Dave, I think you’ve got me beat on the number of vehicles…but maybe you are a dealer. We have had many of the same ones, but mine started with a pair of 1946 or ’47 Jeeps, a ’49 Ford pick-up, a ’70 Scout, ’70 Jeepster, ’70’s Chevy diesel pick-up (the fiasco one), ’71 Wagoneer, ’80 Wagoneer, ’60 or ’61 new FC-150 Jeep (Uncle Sam was the owner until it caught fire when I was driving it with only a few thousand miles on it), ’81 G Wagon diesel long wheel base, ’92 Wrangler (bought new still have it), ’99 Grand Cherokee, ’02 Excursion diesel (bought new still have it), ’05 Ford Van diesel (bought new still have it), ’02 Chevy 1/2 ton (bought new still have it) and one which didn’t ever hit the market in the US is the 2010 Ford Ranger luxury version which is a 1.5 ton rated truck with high clearance which I bought new.
      I am probably more a diesel fan than even 4×4, especially if it’s a good one. Have had the Cat 3208 and Detroit 8V92 in two different motorhomes and my prize is a 1909 Witte one cylinder diesel. Cars purchased in the past 55 years are in excess of 60…yes, I’m a vehicle junkie.

      • Matt Tritt

        An 09 Witte? Is that a stationary engine? I know a guy locally who has a Very early Otto Cycle stationary – single cylinder, a huge flywheel and flyball governor. Years ago it powered a water pump that supplied water to the Avila Beach Water Company here in San Luis Obispo County. If I’m not way off, I think it was built in Germany in the late 1800’s. I know it’s not a Diesel, but it’s still pretty cool. I also love Diesels but currently am fresh out.

        I DO have a pretty neat motorhome though, a ’73 Hall GTC. It’s built on a Dodge 1 ton cab/chassis but has a really well made fiberglass coach body and full inner liner. Lots of Teak trim inside – much like an early Revcon. We have a small owner’s group website at hallgtc.com

      • Dave Wright

        Being primarily a marine and industrial guy I love diesels too. I actually had a Witte diesel generator. Don’t remember where I got it but what a wonderful machine, it was a boxer 2 cylinder that made maby 3KW. It was like a little jewl, everything polished and perfect, it ran so quiet you had to pay attention to see if it was running or not. I studied them at the time. I think they were out of someplace like Texas or Oaklahoma, there were a lot of them in the oil field. There facility was taken over by lister or someone like that. I probably do have an advantage, have always had to sell something to eat. Some of my best diesels were large marine units. The Cooper Bessmeyer in one of my tugs weighed 68,000 lbs. it made 2000 hp at 320 RPM. It was direct reversing meaning if you wanted to back up, you would stop the engine flip the cams and restart it in reverse. It was something like 12 feet tall. I owned truck companies for many years too and love Detroit diesels. I have a 500KW gen set for sale right now that has 2 12-71’s, one mounted on each end of the of the gen set. Two of my tugs had Cleveland diesels, several EMD’s with 645 cubic inches per cylinder. One of the most interesting was a Fairbanks Morris diesel. It was another large engine. They have no cylinder head. The engine is called opposed piston (mine was a 38 1/2) it has a crankshaft on top and the bottom with Pistons that come together in the center of the engine. There are huge bull gears on the end of the engine that combine the power from both crankshafts to a single output. These big engines crossed over from industrial, marine and locomotive applications. I still have a lot of Detroits operating. They are poorly understood. Wonderful simple engines that will probably be the last Diesel engine operating on earth. Off course common stuff like Cat and Cummins, Perkins, White diesels were good, Allis Chalmers were stoutly built. Alco’s I have owned were OK…a bit of a tinker box……I use an Onan diesel as a back up generator here at the ranch. My forklift has a non turbo Version of the wonderful Cummins 4bt built for Case. Another one of the finest diesels I ever owned was a British Gardner……another engine built like a jewl. Listers have always been a favorite with there hand crank starters. I have one in one of my workboats that has to have 30,000 hours on it. It smokes a little but never misses a beat. Lots of fun and history. I have been blessed with a curious and an entrepreneurial mind. I love tools and equipment that illustrate how clever humans are and have always been.

      • Piloto Jim

        Dave W. thanks for all of that info on the various diesels. I can see that there’s a common thread in those who like the old, simple engines, maybe it’s just the ‘thunk-thunk’ that’s part of it. To visit the midwest and attend some of the ‘tractor days’ it seems there are always some showing and running their hundred year old diesel engines which add great music to the event.

  21. Matt Tritt

    Piloto – You do know that Mercedes “borrowed” the double roof design from Land Rover, right? Both of my Rovers had the “Tropical Roof”: outer roof shell painted off-white, 2″ clear space and the inner roof with scuttle vents to allow for circulation with the doors and windows closed. The Rovers didn’t have enough oomph to run an AC compressor but you somehow survive. As impractical as they are for the modern road, I still would like another Series IIA. Peugeot makes incredibly good turbo Diesels, and the G-Wagen is a NATO truck made by several companies. Actually, a Peugeot would make an interesting replacement for the stock Landy engine. Gobs of torque and great top end. With my thing for gross polluters you’d never know I was in the alternative energy biz for 35 years. Don’t tell.

    • Piloto Jim

      Matt, thanks for the reminder. Yes I did know that was a Land Rover design, however had forgotten. In about ’72 I had a chance to buy a gas Land Rover, 2 dr, for $1,100 and passed it up. It was like new. In the past few months I have wrestled with buying a new 110 diesel (I live in Mexico) since I think it will only go up in value and they are in the $60K range (and up) here, but with production stopped the supply will end quickly.

      • Matt Tritt

        Ooooh. If I were fortunate enough to be in your shoes, I’d definitley grab that 110. The Defender models have much better suspension than the Series Rovers did, and just seem more up to date for modern traffic. Can you get it with locking differentials???

      • Dave Wright

        I saw tons of them last fall in Europe, they were everywhere. I asked a young Mercedes salesman why there were so many even in Germany as opposed to GWagons. He explained they were 60K euros new and the Mercedes was 130,000. They do look like a good machine. I bet we could find an importable (over 25 years old) one reasonable in Europe.

      • Piloto Jim

        Matt, to get a new 110 today in Mexico it would depend upon what’s in stock. There are some on the market with low mileage too and one or two in the very expensive range due to so many modifications. As I said it is a real temptation, but to buy one and resell at a later date I am not sure that it would be the good investment it would appear to be since the US market will never be a possibility.

    • Piloto Jim

      Oops….I hit ‘Report’ in error. Nothing to ‘report’.
      Matt the Witte is a stationary engine with a large flywheel and this one has a 5K generator attached. Although American made, it is believed that this particular one was used to power a German military outpost in WWI. I have a photo of the huge German radio tower. They monitored the ship activity at San Diego and passed that information on to Germany. Some believe they were here too in WWII and that is one reason I was hoping that the nearly totally buried amphibious vehicle I found was a Schimmwagen to confirm they were here during both wars. We are talking about, as the crow flies, only 300 nm from the USA. That’s not even in the history books.

      • Matt Tritt

        Wow. Are you on the mainland or Baja? The German guy with the (white and blue) Schwimmwagen told me that it was one of their consular vehicles at the German embassy in Argentina, where he was attached as a military guard. He claims to have driven through the Darrien Gap in it! I don’t even know if that’s possible, but that was the story.

  22. Matt Tritt

    Dave – Nope. I missed that one! Have you seen the new Russian “ATV” that goes anywhere but up a vertical wall? If I had 46 Grand lying around, a way to get one in the country and a place to use it I’d buy one now. They are absolutely incredible.

    • Dave Wright

      Is that the one that drives on screws? The Russians play with a lot of cool stuff but little of it really makes it to proussion. They will make a few of them then revert back to aincent technology. Remember the cool looking Foxbat interceptor? We were terrified of it being able to shoot down our B52’s but when we got our hands on one through a defecting Korean pilot, it was made of steel and was a good design waisted by poor materials and build quality. We flew the crap out of it at Edwards then sent it back to them in boxes.

  23. Matt Tritt

    No – they have huge, low pressure flotation tires that skid-steer. There’s a good film clip of a couple driving through broken ice fields and water that’ll blow yer mind. They have a front door entry like a giant Isetta and a rear engine. Google Russian Sherp ATV.

    • Dave Wright

      I will look…….sounds like fun. I bought one of those huge tundra buggies built for the military at a sale in Pt Hueneme decades ago. It had 4 axles as I remember and 8 of those huge low pressure tires. They reminded me more of balloons than tires. Pt Hueneme was the support base for ant artic missions. The old ship the Norton Sound (the last black oil burning ship in the navy) made a yearly trip from there to the research stations to take new supplies and pick up surplus. I sold the machine to a Canadian company. They refit it for use somewhere in the artic. The machine was so big that we had to disassemble it for shipping. They sent 5 semis to pick it up. It wasn’t heavy, just huge.

  24. Matt Tritt

    Cool. I remember the goings-on at Hueneme . . . . So much stuff! Oddly enough, that whole area once belonged to my parent’s best friend’s wife’s family, the Bards. The officer’s club was the house she (Kitty Bard-Wollman) grew up in. Not sure how the Navy got their mitts on it, but it probably had something to do with taxes. ;-)

    • Dave Wright

      Probably had something to do with the war. It is the only deep water port between LA and San Francisco. The Sea Bees were headquartered there…….probably still are…..I have spent many hours there in the O club. I lived on one of my boats for a couple of years just outside the rear gate an leased a yard on the base for storage when we were supporting offshore operations. Must have been around 1986 and later. Did you know Martin Smith? He was a huge developer and busisness man in the area. He developed the Channel Islands Marina including the condos and restaurants, he had a converted 83 foot AVR he parked outside the Lobster Trap resturaunt near where he lived. He was one of those incredible old western guys that could do most anything.

  25. Matt Tritt

    Never met the guy. I lived in SB from 61 until 86, when we moved to San Luis Obispo. I had a yacht sales office at the breakwater and lived on my boat. I seldom ventured down to Ventura county because of the uphill return trip – except when I bought my little Dutch steel ketch on the hard in Ventura boat yard. It had an Albin parrafin engine, by the way. I’ve always steered clear of really big boats because of the very serious financial implications involved, but I just love going out on other people’s. :-) BTW, while I was working on my steel ketch in Ventura in 76 or thereabouts, my work car was a 52 VW van. It had a single back door (for the engine room), knee-action shocks and no “eyebrow”. It was the oldest one in the US.

  26. Piloto Jim

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a ’52 VW van. I remember the first bug imported to our area and I think it was a ’51 or ’52…maybe a little later but it had the split window and was the only one in our area of Illiniois.

    • Matt Tritt

      It was a great truck. It’s now worth around a hundred grand I’ve been told. Who Knew? I owned a 48 bug in Germany for a few minutes that had the Kubelwagen drivetrain – they were made for the Gestapo during the war!

  27. Dave Wright

    You left just as I got there. I cut boats in all the Ventura and Oxnard boatyards. One we cut in the Ventura point Marina had a pair of marinized 426 hemis in it……..sold those to, was it Don Black…….the guy that built aluminum Hemi race engines in Ventura? 52 Van……when did they build the first one? Must have been pretty close. The first Porsche’s were in 48 or 49 depending on how you count. We parked one of our workboats next to John Davidsons yacht the Principia. He and his family lived aboard her……she was a great old lake Union Cruser, maby 100 feet long. Jim Johnson was a good friend of mine, he owned the offshore support boat company Buccaneer Marine that were parked there in the big commercial slips. One of his boats was called the Jolly Roger. Large boats can be expensive but they have to be able to support themselves. I could not afford them as toys, they had to work. We had one of our 109 foot tugs hauled, power washed and bottom painted in the San Francisco dry dock about 10 years ago…….no repair work or even zincs installed ( my divers did all that under water) it cost 45,000. That is why my new 50 foot work boat we are bringing south from Alaska is going to a Canadian yard for work.

    • Matt Tritt

      Sure; I know the Principia! At one point we found a beautifulTuna clipper tender in Seattle that we planned on converterting to a dinner cruise boat for Santa Barbara, It was called the Starkissed, as I recall. Maybe 90′ on deck, fantail with a huge towing bit; huger foc’sl with many berths, long deckhouse, but the engine room. What a thing of beauty it was. Exposed connecting rods and all! Dad planned for me to be the engineer. Wonder how that would’ve worked out on the long run down the coast? We couldn’t get operating permits from the city of SB so it fell through.

  28. Piloto Jim

    The Darrien Gap, I had to take a look at Wikipedia, would probably be just about ideal for a Schwimmwagen or a Seep. While I had the Seep I learned a great deal from collectors on line and one site identified owners all over the world. Out of the 12,000 built for WWII not that many survived because most of them sunk due to such a low freeboard. There are many videos on line showing them in action which is downright scarely, but for smooth water it was an ok design. It had the same drive train as a Jeep so parts were simple, just have an extra prop or two. I am 30 miles west of the great Copper Canyon on mainland Mexico. Until a couple of years ago I was both off roading and flying (T206H) it with regularity. It’s an awesome canyon and the best way to see it, other than by air or Jeep, is by train.

    • Dave Wright

      Are they still running the train in Copper Canyon?

    • Matt Tritt

      The Seep had really a wee bit to little freeboard to go in the ocean with, I bet. It should have been great for exploring your part of the world! So are you near any kind of town? That’s a section of Mexico I’ve never seen at all, and man it sure is beautiful! How in the world did you end up in a place like that? My parents moved lock, stock and barrel to Jamaica in 1970, which turned out not so well for them. Thay had drive just about all over Mexico looking for an old colonial rancho of some kind, but had the witts scared out of them by a gang of mounted bandidos. Then dad ate some lovely oysters near a pristine mountain stream outlet to the sea and contracted hepatitis, which cut their trip and enthusiasm short. Long story.

  29. Dave Wright

    We cut a boat with an Albin engine……it was huge for the power it produced….I think it was the size of a 100 hp 3-71. I never ran it….was it a good engine?

    • Matt Tritt

      Well – – – It was a single with a hand crank start and compression release. As long as you planned ahead, it was fine, but not terribly powerful. The man I bought the boat from had, unbeknownst to me, misaligned the prop shaft, which caused the transmission tailshaft to fail. Since the tailshaft is rather important in keeping the prop shaft inside the boat, the shaft slid aft until the prop hit the (steel) rudder and I ended up having to do real fancy sailing to get ther into the slip. I found an Atomic 4 that needed a now home, which is the best thing I did for that boat. It would cruise at half throttle at hull speed and punch through waves without hesitating. For a gasoline engine it was the best. The Atomic weighed 50 lbs less than the Albin and put out 30 HP over the Albin’s 7. :-)

  30. Piloto Jim

    Two trains run in the Copper Canyon. One is more expensive and is worth the difference since the condition is about like new for the 1950’s. For those going from the west side of Mexico, you can board at either Los Mochis or El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa. One needs to allow four days minimum due to train times, etc, and that is with just two nights at canyon locations. Five or six nights is more ideal. You don’t stay on the train, but in various villages, etc.

    • Matt Tritt

      Just got a reply about the Pinzgauers in Mexico from Feb 24. I wonder where these messages go while they’re in limbo?

  31. LikelyYou.com

    If you hurry, you can still grab this 1971 Pinzgauer 710K off of ebay. It s a claimed 21,000-mile barn find. The seller writes that it was imported from Switzerland, upgraded, and put away, but not without being run once a month. Sounds ideal. Do the goods live up to the story? You won t even have to drive to Idaho to check. The seller says he ll drive it to you (up to 2,000 miles).

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