There are many stories surrounding the “Universal-Motor-Gerät” (universally applicable motorised machine) –worldwide known as Unimog – from Mercedes-Benz. From helping to fight forest fires in the South of France, as an expedition vehicle in the vast expanses of the Gobi desert or as a reliable service provider for local authorities. There is hardly another commercial vehicle that is as popular as the Unimog and there is no other vehicle that appears in so many different guises. The Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. (UCG), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, shows just how much enthusiasm surrounds this 70 years-old vehicle concept.
Martin Daum, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses and patron of the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary of the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V., emphasises: “We are honoured that so many people have been comitted to the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. for a quarter of a century. That so many people are linked through the fascination surrounding the Unimog – and that they are continuing to pass on this fascination.”
The Unimog-Club was founded in 1993 around the idea of sharing the fascination with this outstanding automobile in a community. The founding Chairman and initiator of the group, the former Head of Communication at the Mercedes-Benz Gaggenau plant, Michael Wessel, initially had in mind to create a regional club for members within 25 kilometres of Gaggenau, but soon the club life was accessible for everyone. Because from early on the there was a high interest shared by many Unimog enthusiasts across national borders to join the association from Gaggenau.
From the small industrial town of Gaggenau which is the gateway to the Murg valley – and which will celebrate “125 years of automotive construction” in the upcoming year –, a network of regional groups with an active club life throughout Germany has been formed over the years. The Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. developed into an international association of over 6600 Unimog and MB-trac friends in 34 countries of the world.
A major milestone on the road to become this size was recognition as a Mercedes-Benz Classic Brand Club in 1999. Georg Wohlfarth, Head of the 80 Mercedes-Benz Classic Brand Clubs emphasises just how significant the commitment towards the all-wheel-drive multi-talented vehicle is: “From a small regional interest group it has become a lively and professional club over the last 25 years. We also wish the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. a flourishing, exciting and harmonious community life for the next 25 years”
25 years of the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. is a synonym for an eventful quarter of a century characterised by the promotion of passion and enthusiasm for the Unimog and the MB-trac.
With this much commitment to the Unimog, which was produced in Gaggenau from 1951 to 2002, members of the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. wanted it to have its own museum. The Unimog-Museum was then created as a joint project and welcomed as an autonomous organisation, now in its eleventh year, around 450 000 visitors from all over the world. To this day the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. is actively involved in operating the museum as part of the operating company and as the co-creator and organiser of events.
Festivities in order to mark 25th anniversary with major Unimog meeting
And it is no coincidence that a major Unimog meeting at the Unimog Museum is forming the highlight of the celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V. With the motto “Unimog meets Gaggenau”, from June, 15 – 17 the visitors can expect to see more than 500 Unimog vehicles from different model series and a colourful background programme.
The fascination surrounding the Unimog can be experienced best when the visitors can witness the multi-talented vehicle’s special abilities with their own eyes. During the celebration weekend various rally teams will cause a sensation with their powerful racing machines based on the Unimog. Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks will be opening the gates to its demonstration site in Ötigheim during the weekend.The spectators will be able to see the latest versions of the universally applicable motorised machine, that are produced in Wörth, put through their paces in the toughest off-road conditions. Access to the proofing ground is provided by a bus shuttle departing in front of the Unimog-Museum only. And the experts for special trucks will also be presenting a wide range of unique Unimog models.
On the presentation area in front of the Unimog Museum there will be an opportunity for some time travelling through the various Unimog generations at the large Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks booth. There are both historic and current vehicles that address winter maintenance, local authority services, road/rail vehicles, and as a recreational vehicle with a camper van body by way of comparison.
There will also be special highlights presented in the form of unique specimens such as the Unimog U 5023 “Hound” from the Hollywood blockbuster “Transformers 5: The Last Knight”, an all-terrain Unimog U 5000 as a cabriolet, and the spectacular Unimog design study from 2011.
Source: Daimler AG