I have here a very curious vehicle to show you which is now available to buy. It is a classic Mercedes off road. This vehicle started off with the German fire brigade in 1978 and was converted for use as an off road expedition vehicle around twenty years ago. As you can see, it is very small for an expedition vehicle at well under six metres in length.
Tiny and unique Mercedes expedition vehicle from 1978
We don’t see too many vintage overlanders making this video tour of this retro Mercedes heavy-duty truck build particularly fascinating. The rig started service with a German fire department in 1978 and had its conversion into an off-road adventure machine about 20 years ago.
The owner has taken the old Mercedes on trips through Africa to the Sahara Desert. It also completed a journey through Uruguay and Peru.
On the outside, the truck wears sandy beige paint and German flags, making it look a bit like a military vehicle. A snorkel rises out of the passenger side of the hood. The back holds recovery boards and a spare wheel.
From the side, the truck’s short length and tall ride height are particularly noticeable. The rig is less than 19.7 feet (6 meters) long. While this limits interior space, it would probably mean easier maneuvering in an urban area.
Stepping inside, you get an immediate sense of the number of adventures in this truck’s history. Pictures, maps, and souvenirs decorate the walls. There’s a full bookshelf in the back.
Living space is on the cramped side of things. A skylight adds to the natural light coming into the cabin. There are two single beds. One of them converts from the dining table. The kitchen consists of two burners and a sink. There’s also a shower.
This truck is for sale, but there isn’t a set price. The vehicle needs some work. The final cost depends on the extent of the necessary repairs.
The buyer of this Mercedes is going to get attention because a rugged overlander originally from the late 1970s that’s still going on adventures is such a rare sight.
The closest equivalent to this old Mercedes today would be something like the Krug Expedition Project Rhino (above). It takes a Mercedes Atego heavy truck and adds a rear living compartment with a double bed, wardrobe, bathroom, and kitchen. The options include a water treatment system, washer/dryer, and satellite TV. Prices start at about €300,000.
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