Mercedes-Benz Unimog 406.101 ATV

One of only 353 of its type, this Unimog 406 aircraft tractor was built in December 1983 and is believed to have completed its last military duties on 3rd June 1996. The accompanying tachograph testifies to the military registration number 'Y 504 256' and the 91,000 kilometres recorded. On 23rd October 1998 the German armed forces authorised the sale of a number of Unimogs, and this example found new owners in the Netherlands. Between 2003 and 2012 the vehicle was completely renovated in the Netherlands and the cab's optical defects corrected (see Oldtimer Traktor article on file).

In 2012 the Unimog came back across the border to Vreden, Germany where it was completely rebuilt for civilian use. The ballast weights on the stern were replaced with a new flat bed, while new wider wings made room for wider all-terrain tyres. The headlights and various pipes and valves were replaced, and all fluids changed. All the cab's door and window seals were replaced with new ones also. A ball coupling has been fitted at the rear, in addition to a truck clutch. All parts have been approved by the German TüV authorities.

What makes this aircraft tractor special is probably the original 630kg Frontanbauplatte (front mounting plate), which combined with the wide tyres conveys an impression of enormous strength. As a reminder of the Unimog's original role as an aircraft tractor, a tow-bar is fitted at the front. All the original aircraft tractor parts (wings, wheels, counterbalance weights, etc) are available should a future owner wish to return the vehicle to its original specification.

The state of the vehicle at circa 3,000 engine hours and some 97,000 kilometres is said to be generally very good, the result of regular maintenance. All switches and instrument lights are functioning. The engine starts immediately, even at temperatures below freezing, while the gearbox works flawlessly and synchronises perfectly, as does the all-wheel drive and differential locking function. Apart from the driver's seat squab, which has been re-covered, the upholstery is original and in good condition. The vehicle is finished in 'NATO Olive'. There are restoration bills are available totalling over €12,000 (spent by the previous owner), German Luftwaffe registration papers (cancelled), current German Fahrzeugbrief and a fresh TüV, the latter issued in February 2016 and valid for 12 months only because vehicle is a truck.

Source/Photo Credit: Bonhams

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