Worth Restoring? Wrecked Mercedes Unimog

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

This classic Mercedes-Benz Unimog had an unfortunate encounter of either the roll-over or low-hanging branch kind, resulting in an abrubt decapitation of its cabin. Hopefully, there was no one in the passegner seat or the bed, as there’s a fair amount of damage all over. Is it worth rebuilding? Find it here on eBay with an opening bid of $6,500 and just over a day left in the auction. 

Given the huge tires, front winch and what looks like a lift kit, this Unimog clearly lived a life off-road. Along with some branding along the bed that indicates the ‘Mog was used for “Logistical Support,” you start to wonder if this was a rescue gone bad or some hot-dogging on company time. The entire front clip will likely need replacing; whether those body panels still exist is a question left for the experts.

When it comes to rebuilding exotics or historically significant vehicles, this Unimog presents a quandary: they are still desirable trucks, but are they so rare that the amount of money needed to rebuild this example should be spent? If you simply wanted to hammer out the nose as much as you could in your garage and go muddin’, I could make an argument for that approach – but the listing doesn’t even confirm if the motor still turns over.

Surprisingly, there’s no floor to the Unimog’s rear bed, so hauling loads up and down the mountain won’t be happening until new floors are welded in. The future of the Unimog is uncertain, as it likely has lots of pricey parts left to offer anyone rebuilding or restoring one of these military-grade trucks. But if the price were a touch lower, could you make the argument for rebuilding this one in hopes of a profitable flip?

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Comments

  1. geomechs

    Looks pretty far gone but it could be brought back. Don’t be surprised if it costs you $20K for the bits and pieces. You’ll have to replace the cab. Hopefully the frame will have stood up. Only way to go with this one is a complete teardown and build up. Good luck to the buyer.

    5+
  2. Derek

    That’s not wrecked. Slightly distressed, perhaps… Cosmetic damage. D.

    8+
  3. Jermey

    You can check out the Anchorage Craigslist for a seller out of Eagle River. He built a custom cab for his Unimog. Here’s the link:
    https://anchorage.craigslist.org/cto/d/custom-1965-mercedes-unimog/6307867088.html

    3+
    • redwagon

      That looks pretty good. May not be 4 season vehicle anymore ( at least not in Alaska) but for a custom cab it would get the job done.

      0
  4. tyler

    do a body swap like a f150 or a blazer or some thing else.

    2+
  5. TR

    LS Swap?

    1+
  6. Alex

    Worth rebuilding but not at 6500…..

    0
  7. Lounge

    It’s dead – save the axles and move on.

    0
  8. hearsetrax

    nothing is impossible when it comes to “cult classics” like your classic old school air cooled VW beetle and buses

    specially if one has the resources & time

    but I agree the owner is asking for a bit too much money

    0
  9. whmracer99

    Marry your Mack truck cab from the other day to this frame?

    2+
  10. Joe Nose

    remove body from frame and build a new body over it, using a smart car. Plate should be OXYMRN.

    5+
  11. whippeteer

    The front suspension looks okay in the pictures. To me, it looks like a tree fell on it rather than being rolled.

    3+
  12. Techmogogy

    Way too much for what’s left

    0
  13. Clinton

    There is most likely frame damage too. Look at the wheels. The passenger side is turned right and the driver side is straight yet the steering components appear to be untouched. Leaves me to believe that the passenger frame rail is sucked in somewhere.

    0
  14. Mark S

    The company that I worked for bought a 1995 model of one of these to install and test an experimental proto type active suspension it was my job to remove the coil springs and retro fit our suspension. Bare in mind that our truck was 20 years newer but essentially the same as this. First of all the purchase price for ours was $100k so the money for this one is fair second the frame and suspension are built like no other truck and are literally indestructible, and thirdly the axles come with a gear set at each wheel to increase axle ground clearance no need for a lift kit. Lastly this truck had an open cab so what your seeing for the most part is a crushed roll cage and a mangled hood. I’d cut off the roll cage and replace it with a heavier one, clearly this one was to light duty, ( it’s worth noting that this is a truck that weighs at least 10000 lbs so it wouldn’t take much to crush the cab ), then I’d bang out the cab and hood and put it right back in the rocks as these are the ultimate rock crawlers which is likely where the damage occurred. Personally I’m surprised that the owner didn’t do the repairs as roll overs are common place in the rock crawling sport. So for what it would cost to buy another one of these and outfit it is in my opinion is what make this truck worth saving. PS The fact that there is no floor in the box is a clear indicator that this was a compition crawler. JMHO.

    1+
  15. Pete in PA

    About 10 years ago I was headed north up I-81 to the Adirondacks to pick up my daughter at camp. Stopped for the night at a boondocks motel when I got too tired to keep driving. Woke up the next morning and spotted the most awesome plow truck/snow blower I’ve ever seen. Don’t know where it was headed. Upstate NY? Canada? Undoubtedly someplace that gets a LOT of snow. Pricetag? Strotospheric I’m sure!

    0

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