| BUYERS GUIDE
The annual Unimog gathering had wider appeal in 2016.
Julie and Jim Curtin are Mercedes-Benz Unimog tragics, owning three of these most capable off-road beasts. Every year they open their NSW property gates to Unimog fans and other 4WD motorhome owners. The OTA Team attended again in October 2016.
Firstly, some background. The original 1946 Unimog was the brainchild of Albert Friedrich, who entered a production agreement with Erhard and Sons. the first 600 production vehicles weren't built by Mercedes-Benz, because of post-World War II restrictions on potentially military vehicle construction.
However, a 25hp (19kW) OM636 Daimler-Benz diesel powered these vehicles and Mercedes-Benz began production of the Unimog in 1951.
Today's two-model Unimog lineup preserves the orginal's design concept: a high-mobility load carrier that's equally at home on and off road.
The current U500 is nearest to the original, being aimed at agricultural and implement-carrying work, while the top-shelf U4000 and U5000 are light trucks. All retain the original design's portal (drop-box) hubs to provide maximum ground clearance, along with differential locks and long-travel coil spring suspension.
For Australia, the Unimog lineup is focused on the light-truck U4000 and U5000 models, which suits motorhome conversion people admirably. The Australian Army is quitting its long-serving Unimogs and many of these are being snapped up at auction by off-road enthusiasts. OTA Team member Daryl Beattie used to operate an ex-Army Unimog that's featured in a video on this site.
Jim and Julie Curtin's two modern Unimogs are part of their business, Unimog Expeditions, that specialises in transporting tourists as well as film crews to remote locations. The Curtins' other Unimog is a 1968 model they've christened Mini-Mog and are planning its full restoration.
As with the previous events Mercedes-Benz Australia got behind Mogfest 2016 and the company was represented by senior executives.
Typically, Mogfest wasn't held exlusively for Unimog addicts. At the 2016 event there were several other motorhome makes, including Iveco Dailys, a Fuso
and an MAN.
Having fun was the purpose of the get-together and Jim Curtin's property has the ideal fun circuit for 4WD motorhome enthusiasts.
In his 'back yard' are some rock outcrops
that require the tractive ability, approach and departure angles and belly clearance that mainly Unimogs possess.
Also on the agenda was a fire-trail tour around spectacular mountain areas that saw all the machines showing their rough-country prowess.
The Saturday night BBQ was a somewhat
chilly affair, with a strong westerly dropping the effective temperature to around zero, but most weathered the cold to watch screen shots from the
Curtins' 18-month around-Australia adventure, as well as the historic photos provided by Mercedes-Benz' Philip Leslie.
As usual Mogfest gave attendees plenty of opprtunity to exchange ideas and experiences.
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