Tough Texan: 1972 Steyr-Puch Haflinger 700AP

This is a 1972 Steyr-Puch Haflinger 700AP and it’s on eBay. Even in its somewhat incomplete and rugged condition the bids are up to just over $4,600 and there are still four days left on the auction! You can see the home made square stock frame that wouldn’t do much in the event of a rollover, but you could probably attach a canvas top to it. This one is located in beautiful, historic San Antonio, Texas.

This feisty 4×4 was purchased new in Brownsville, Texas and it’s been in south Texas ever since. It still has quite a bit of rust on it, that must be from the humid Gulf of Mexico air? I’d want to blast that rust to smithereens and treat it. I’ve never seen a red version of this truck, could this possibly be the original color? It sure looks like it from the dealership sticker. This is definitely a US spec model, you can tell by the “bug eye” headlights to meet regulations here. They also made a 700LP which was a two-wheel drive, but the 700AP four-wheel drive is the one to have.

There’s the engine and it’s probably unusual to most people, but it fits perfectly in my brain. It’s a 643cc Steyr two-cylinder boxer engine with a “split aluminum crankcase and  a Nitrided forged crankshaft.” It had around 30 hp. You can see the wacky camber on the front wheels, these very small (10-feet x 4-feet) vehicles can carry a half-ton of weight, although there isn’t much room to put it anywhere. This one looks like it has replacement tires and you’re talking about some nice clearance and traction with this mini-monster!

Here’s that unusual engine. It’s fairly easily accessible through the top hatch or the door in the rear of the vehicle. These are legendary off-road machines and you can shift between differentials front and rear and it has a fully-enclosed drivetrain so when (not if, when) you run over a log and it snaps in half and slams up and on to the driveshaft, it isn’t actually slamming on the driveshaft itself but the cover around it. This one runs and drives but it needs brake work.

The interior is about as exterior as an interior can be. You’re not going to want to make any sudden stops with this one in looking at that metal dash. The first thing I would want to do, after fixing the rust, is to get rid of the seat material, but that’s just me. I’m not sure if they were going for a Ted-Nugent-like-faux-zebra thing or what went through their minds when they reupholstered the seats. The seller shows some random, spare parts scattered on the grass, which is.. unusual, but it’ll be nice to have them come with the vehicle. I would love to have one of these, just to drive around town and haul small motorcycles to shows. I wouldn’t have any real heavy-duty off-road use for it but I’m sure I could find some trails to try it out on. Would you have any use for this tough l’il Texan?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Gesundheit. Never hoid of it. So many companies jumped on the “off road” schpiel, like, before the ’70’s, we had no reason to go “off road”. I agree on the home made ROPS, not much protection there, and a half ton capacity, a 60 mph speedo? There’s some optimism there, I wouldn’t go 10 mph with a potted plant in the back with this. And that’s probably all you could get with this setup. Still, cool find, but at this price, you could buy 2 decent used ATV’s AND a trailer.

  2. Jay M

    The name just rolls of the tongue…

    Like 1
  3. Mvm

    It’s base is Fiat and there are also steyr snow mobiles on a 500 bases. Very cool indeed. This looks like a Fiat 600 base.

  4. JW

    I could see this in use at large swapmeets hauling stuff to peoples trucks for a small fee.

  5. Dave Wright

    That is not correct……..Steyr is the GM of Austria, in business since 1864 and building vehicles since 1920. They started as a gun manufacturer. I was at one of there factories last year……..these are popular useful small vehicles with very high quality design and build. Nothing to do with a Fiat. The engine is a flat 4 more like a VW. Halflingers (the name of a small Austrian Draft Horse) are competitors Of our M151 light military vehicle and a smaller version of the Pintzgauer. There capabilities have surprised many American troops when on war games against troops equipped with them.

    Like 1
    • Scotty Staff

      Hi Dave, these have a two-cylinder boxer engine, the Pinzgauer has a four-cylinder, but I think you’re right about them not having a Fiat connection.

      • RayT Member

        If memory serves, Steyr-Puch did have a connection with Fiat. I believe they assembled Fiat 500s in Austria for a while, replacing the Fiat “twin” with their own flat-two. These apparently could be hot-rodded quite effectively.

      • Dave Wright

        Yes…..still not a Fiat water cooled in line engine…..

    • Howard A Member

      While I know nothing of these, I had to look this up,( I know, Dave hates that, but I want to know and maybe someone else too) and apparently the M274 military mule was the equivalent to this.
      https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e7/M274_drawing.jpg/300px-M274_drawing.jpg

      • Dave Wright

        I have experianced with mules (both mechanical and the flesh type) too…..these are more like a M151 for capability. But similar………they built many variants of the Halflinger, full bodied van types, radio vehicles, medical evacuation vehicles, I have seen them with large diesel generators mounted in them. I watched what looked like a dozen of them unloading from a C130 one time while at The reforger war games in Europe. Looked like babies being born live to an insect zooming out heading to the battle. They are pretty quick.

  6. Dave Wright

    I have Steyr diesel boat motors and some magnificent Steyr guns. They equipped the Hungarian and Austrian military along with others. Still a major weapons manufacturer. There connection to Mercedes is closer than anything Italian. Look up the Steyr Aug…..a James Bond type rifle.

    Like 1
  7. Dave Wright

    Fiat did build some similar styled vehicles but they are not the same and not nearly as sophisticated.

  8. Adam T45 Staff

    These were an amazing vehicle in their day. My father worked for the local electricity supplier here in Tasmania. One of their work vehicles was one of these. It was used exclusively for inspection of the pipeline for the Poatina Hydro Electric power station. That may not sound like a tough gig, but the pipeline was a 6 foot diameter pipe, and the picture below is of the terrain the little Haffy had to deal with. To this day the Haffy is the only 4-wheel drive to have travelled all the way from the bottom to the top of the pipeline. An amazing vehicle!

  9. BradL

    Those who think Texas vehicles don’t rust have never seen how fast it can happen along the Gulf Coast – and Brownsville is on the Gulf Coast.

  10. david parkin

    I owned one for a season when they were almost new. Incredible abilities, but max 39 mph downhill. That narrows its appeal somewhat.

    Like 1
  11. Mello

    I need side front doors for my Steyr Puch Haflinger. Can you help.

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