Unimog pioneer Manfred Florus would have been 100 years old

Manfred Floruson the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2014 – Manfred Florus on the occasion of his 90th birthday in 2014. photo: Michael Wessel

Unimog pioneer Manfred Florus would have been 100 years old

By a stroke of luck, Manfred Florus passed by the former Boehringer brothers’ machine tool factory in 1949 after a disappointing job interview at the Württembergische Warenzentrale in Göppingen and read a sign: “Labour wanted for the UNIMOG!” – He later recalled: “I looked at the sign and thought: Boehringer was well known in Göppingen at the time and, with around 900 employees, was quite a large company – so what was wrong with stepping into the yard at least once? – Mr Dietrich and Mr Sturm welcomed me there, and I soon got to know their secretary, Mrs Fetzner. – Now everything happened very quickly. I was hired as a labourer for the assembly department and, as was customary at the time, I started work the very next day.” This was the start of a storybook career.

But let’s take a look further back:

Manfred Florus was born on 4 May 1924. After an agricultural apprenticeship with Graf von Rechberg near Göppingen, he studied agricultural engineering at the agricultural college in Hohenheim from 1947. It was there in 1948 that the young student saw a Unimog for the first time. He also recalled this in Volume 1 of “Stories about the Unimog”: “There was no question of love at first sight.

If someone had told me back then that I would dedicate my entire professional life to this vehicle, I would have laughed out loud.” This was probably also due to the fact that the plough deformed during the planned demonstration because it could not withstand the forces of the Unimog.”

His colleague Roland Feix, who had already helped assemble Unimog No. 23, recommended that he also switch to testing. And during the first field trials, Florus succeeded in selling a Unimog to several farmers. His talent was recognised and he was commissioned to carry out demonstrations in northern Germany and win over dealers for the Unimog. A huge success!

“Demonstrate, demonstrate and demonstrate again” continued to be Manfred Florus’ task when he moved with the Unimog and many colleagues from Göppingen to Gaggenau in 1951. He again succeeded in landing many large orders, especially abroad. in 1959, he became Head of Sales Promotion and finally Head of Unimog Export in 1966. In this role, he maintained very friendly contacts all over the world – even after his retirement in 1989. He was also highly valued as a consultant.

Florus was particularly proud of a gold medal he received on the occasion of the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck, as many Unimog and Mercedes lorries saved the Winter Games with their snow transports under his direction in that snow-poor year.

Manfred Florus and his son Christof Florus, then Lord Mayor of Gaggenau, at the presentation of the Federal Cross of Merit to Stefan Schwaab (centre), Chairman of the Unimog Museum Association, in 2012 – Manfred Florus and his son Christof Florus, then Lord Mayor of Gaggenau, at the presentation of the Federal Cross of Merit to Stefan Schwaab, Chairman of the Unimog Museum Association, in 2012 – Photo: Michael Wessel

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Programme of the Mercedes-Benz brand clubs at Techno Classica 2024 in Hall 1, Stand 1 to 110

At Techno Classica Essen from 3 to 7 April 2024, the Mercedes-Benz brand clubs will present over 40 vehicles from the brand’s development history as well as a variety of visitor activities as part of their joint appearance in Hall 1. They will thus offer trade fair visitors a new experience and the unique opportunity to really experience the vehicles live.

Exhibiting locked vehicles is now a thing of the past! Visitors will be able to experience and feel the vehicles on display.

This year, the 19 brand clubs present at Techno Classica will occupy an area of over 2,000 square metres. Directly at the entrance to Hall 1, the community area extends across the entire width of the hall.

About the Mercedes-Benz brand clubs

The German Mercedes-Benz brand clubs are 20 independent interest groups which, as brand representatives, are supported by the parent company in a variety of ways. Some clubs represent individual model series or models, while other clubs represent vehicle types from several model series in their development over the past decades. The clubs bundle their activities within the framework of joint trade fair appearances at the nationwide classic car fairs in order to utilise synergy effects and be recognisable as a community of the brand. With appearances on exhibition areas of up to 2,500 square metres, they are among the largest exhibitors at German classic and vintage car fairs.

Highlights of the brand clubs in Hall 1 at Techno Classica 2024

One highlight is the Driving Experience: here, visitors to the trade fair will have the opportunity to get into one of the 10 club vehicles available for this purpose and experience it directly and live in a 20-minute drive around the exhibition centre. From the large Unimog to the SL model series of the 1960s and the SLR McLaren, visitors will have the opportunity to experience their favourite car live from the passenger seat free of charge. Visitors can obtain their ticket authorisation at the stands of the R129-SL Club, SL-Pagoda Club, S-Class Club, W124 Club, VDH, Unimog Club and the SLR Club.

Another highlight awaiting visitors at Techno Classica 2024 is the drive-in cinema, a new feature presented by the SL Pagoda, R107, S-Class and W123 clubs. The drive-in cinema promises a unique atmosphere and offers visitors the opportunity to experience the clubs’ classic cars and the Mercedes-Benz brand up close. In the midst of a special backdrop, visitors can experience the fascination of the vehicles in a completely new light.

The Carrera track is not only a place for racing fun, but also a place of commitment for the AMG Club, the S-Class Club, the MVC and the MBMC. The entire brand club community is also involved in co-operation with the Children’s Heart Foundation. On the last day of the fair, we would like to proudly hand over the donations collected from the Carrera track, the Driving Experience and the other activities, as well as the money donated at the club counters, with a cheque to the Children’s Heart Foundation. The clubs will generously top up the amount collected to make a significant contribution.

The activities for the younger visitors are just as varied. In addition to the children’s colouring tables presented by the Unimog Club, the Unimog will also be bringing pedal Unimogs and setting up a parkour of pylons and obstacles. In addition, the G-Class Club offers a crawler course on which technically demanding, remote-controlled off-road vehicles can be driven through. Here, children have the opportunity to experience technical features such as the limited slip differentials live and feel like real off-road professionals.

Another highlight of Techno Classica 2024 is the interactive quiz presented by the AMG Club and the R129 Club. Here, visitors will have the opportunity to put their knowledge of the vehicles on display to the test. The AMG Club will be presenting two special vehicles: the “Rote Sau”, the first vehicle built by AMG, and the AMG GT Black Series, a performance model from the AMG brand. The R129 Club will also be bringing along an extraordinary vehicle: the “glass” SL, in which all technical functions are visible as the vehicle is completely transparent. These unique vehicles not only allow visitors to test their knowledge, but also to experience the technology and design of the vehicles up close.

PS: Most of the brand clubs are happy to open their doors and bonnets to visitors to the trade fair and thus provide special insights – just ask and get in!

Measures and implementation times

Measure Times Placement
Driving Experience Thu-Sun, 10-13 & 14-17 h Outdoor area 2
Drive-in cinema Thu-Sun, 10-17 h Club area top right
Carrera track Fri-Sun, 09-18 h MBMC
Children’s colouring tables Wed-Sun, 10-18 h Unimog Club
Pedal Unimogs with parkour Thu-Sun, 10am-6pm Unimog Club
Crawler course Wed-Sun, 10am-6pm G-Class Club
Quiz about the vehicles Wed-Sun, 10am-6pm AMG Club, R129 Club

 

UCG regional group Breisgau at the “Blühendes Endingen” event

The Breisgau regional group of the Gaggenau Unimog Club successfully presented itself at the “Blühendes Endingen” event organised by the Endingen trade and commerce association in mid-March, which met with a very positive response.

 
👍 The UCG was represented with 17 Unimogs and of course did a great job of promoting the club and the Unimog Museum.

UCG Newsletter November 2023

Newsletter November 2023/PDF/English Version

Dear members, dear regional representatives, dear Unimog friends,

the days are getting shorter and autumn has us fully in its grip. The pleasantly warm holiday season for the Unimog is over, but that doesn’t mean it has to go into winter quarters. There is still plenty to do for this all-purpose vehicle

MEMBERSHIP MANAGEMENT
Membership
As at 1 November, we had 8,380 members and the highest membership number issued was 12,546


Issues in English and German
The Club magazine has also been published in English since issue 119. If you would like a different language version in future, please send a message to the e-mail address mitgliederverwaltung@unimog-club-gaggenau.de so that this can be taken into account in future. It is not possible to receive both language versions automatically. However, the magazines can be purchased via the Club Shop


INFORMATION FROM THE BOARD
Stolen Unimog World sign
This photo was posted on Instragram on 29 October 2023. The road sign for our Unimog World was stolen from the Unimog Museum, the post was published at midday. The photo was taken from the S-Bahn 8 in the direction of Karlsruhe. Anyone who has noticed anything should please contact us

The photo shows the back. “Unimog-Welt” is written in large letters on the front

Digital ClubCard
The membership card is now also available in digital form. Instructions on how to create your card can be found in the link below. By the way: From 1 January 2025, membership cards will only be available in digital form

https://unimog-club-gaggenau.de/2023/05/05/die-digitale-clubkarte-des-ucg-ist-da/

It is important to note that this must also be downloaded repeatedly each year in digital form so that it remains up to date

DIE GESCHÄFTSSTELLE INFORMIERT
Aufenau annual meeting stickers
We still have some leftover “Aufenau 2023” stickers from this year’s annual meeting. You can order them in the club shop for 1.00 Euro plus shipping. We will donate the proceeds of this sale

Here is the link to the club shop

https://unimog-club-gaggenau.de/produkt/aufkleber-jahrestreffen-2023-aufenau/


Technical training U 406
There is still great demand for technical training courses. The first of a total of 7 fully booked training dates are currently running. Due to the high demand, an additional date has been generated and the total number of participants has been increased from 10 to 12

VISITED EVENTS
50 years of MB-trac
The MB-trac went into series production on 1 July 1973. Reason enough for the Unimog Museum to commemorate the origins, further development and finally the end of production of this Mercedes tractor in a special exhibition. This exhibition was opened in the museum on the last weekend of October and was duly celebrated with an anniversary party. The UCG was also on site with its club shop

Photo: Unimog Museum

Excursion with the Gaggenau Lebenshilfe organisation
Last year was the first and this year it was repeated. On 22 October, the UCG organised a Unimog excursion for people with disabilities. Driving through the Murg Valley and the Black Forest as a passenger was a dream come true. There were beaming faces and enthusiastic people everywhere…and they weren’t just the co-drivers!

CLUB-SHOP
New in the programme is the family tree T-shirt for 26.90 euros (plus shipping)

https://unimog-club-gaggenau.de/produkt/t-shirt-mit-unimog-stammbaum/

UNIMOG-MUSEUM
The Unimog Museum is looking for reinforcements. You can find the exact job advertisement here

https://www.unimog-museum.com/aktuelles/wir-suchen-einen-kfz-technikerin-oder-mechatronikerin-mit-erfahrung-fachrichtung-nutzfahrzeugtechnik/

FORECAST DATES 2024
02-04/02/2024 Bremen Classic Motorshow Bremen
03.-07/04/2024 Techno Classica Essen
25.-28.04.2024 Retro Classics Stuttgart
10.05.2024 RB Conference Museum
11.05.2024 Parts market (in the morning) Kuppenheim
11.05.2024 Members’ meeting (afternoon) Museum
07.-09.06.2024 Klassikwelt Bodensee Friedrichshafen
14.-16/06/2024 Annual meeting Sand in Taufers/South Tyrol

UCG Newsletter February 2023

+++ Newsletter as PDF Newsletter February 2023 +++ German Version +++

Dear members, dear regional representatives, dear Unimog friends,

we hope you had a good start into the new year. Together with all our members, officers, friends and supporters, we are looking forward to an interesting and varied year with the Unimog and MB-trac.

MEMBER MANAGEMENT

Membership status

Almost exactly two years to the day after the membership number 11,000, we were able to assign the membership number 12,000 at the end of December.

The member is a 42 year old Swiss from Tamins. He is currently restoring a 421 and was given his membership as a birthday present by a club member living in the same village.

With the addition of a member from Pakistan, the UCG is now represented in 49 countries.

 

Dues collection

At the end of February we will collect the contribution (45,00 Euro). If your account number has changed, please send a message to the office.

NEWS FROM THE REGIONAL GROUPS

Münsterland regional group


We are pleased to announce that the regional group has been re-staffed. Finn Schürmann and Madeleine Henkenjohann are heading it and have already successfully completed their first regional event in the form of a New Year’s reception. Further activities will follow.

Photos: David Endres

Regional Group Saar-Lor-Lux

After many years of voluntary work for the UCG, the regional representative Michael Weyrich handed over the office to his successor Florian Schorr. At the last regional representative meeting we had already said goodbye to Michael Weyrich personally. We would like to take this opportunity to thank him once again for his many years of commitment.

We wish all three “newcomers” a good start in the Unimog world of the UCG and look forward to the coming cooperation.

INFOS FROM THE OFFICE

Remaining places technique training U 411

We are again offering technical training courses at the Unimog Museum. If you are interested in the basic course for the U 411, please contact the office. There you will also receive the exact announcement with details about the course. There are still places available on the following dates:

09.-10.03.2023 (one place still available)

16.-17.03.2023 (still one place available)

EVENTS ATTENDED

Regional Representative Meeting

At the end of November, all functionaries met again for a regular exchange among themselves and with the Executive Board. This time, the one-day event took place in Dreieich near Frankfurt am Main.

Photo: Axel Otersen

Opening Unimog Museum

This event was celebrated for several days. On Thursday, the volunteers of the museum as well as the companies involved in the construction and their employees were invited. On Friday, guests from business and politics as well as sponsors and supporters were welcomed. The extended board of directors and their partners were also present that evening and were able to enjoy the first glimpses of the new Unimog Museum. On Saturday and Sunday the

Were open to all guests. In total, more than 1,200 visitors could be counted. There was something for everyone: music, children’s entertainment and guided tours! Or you could just enjoy the new exhibition.

If you were not able to be there, you are welcome to make up for it. As a UCG member, you receive free admission to the Unimog Museum upon presentation of your Club Card.

On Saturday morning, the museum was ceremoniously opened with the cutting of the red ribbon. The photo shows Hildegard Knoop, Christof Florus, Stefan Schwaab, Rainer Hildebrand (from left) and museum dog Steffi.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Stuttgart Trade Fair 23-26 February 2023

In February we will start with our trade fair appearances at the Retro Classics in Stuttgart. This year, the focus is on the series anniversary Unimog 406. New at the trade fair are the following activities: Ride-along in a Unimog, the photo box and the painting table for our younger visitors. Visit our booth in hall 7 at the Mercedes-Benz brand clubs.

Annual Meeting Aufenau 08 – 11 June 2023

Our annual meeting this year will take place in Aufenau. In the March issue`l you will find detailed information as well as the registration form. If you would like to register now and take advantage of the discounted fees, check our homepage under Events / UCG Annual Meeting. Here is the link:

https://unimog-club-gaggenau.de/category/ucg-news/jahrestreffen/ucg-news/jahrestreffen/

Parts market 15 May 2023

Do you still have a brake disc for sale? Or you are looking for a spare part for your vehicle. Already now you can register for the parts market. You can find all the info on our homepage under Events / UCG Parts Market. Here is the link:

UCG Parts Market – Unimog-Club Gaggenau e. V. (unimog-club-gaggenau.de)

General meeting 15 May 2023

Please make a note of this date already now. The meeting will take place at the Unimog Museum following the parts market. The invitation with agenda will be published in the Heft’l as well as on our homepage shortly.

CLUB-SHOP


Are you cold? How about something warm on your ears and in your cup? And all that with Unimog Club logo? Then our wool hats and mugs are something for you.

https://unimog-club-gaggenau.de/shop/

SCHEDULE PREVIEW 2023

23.-26.02.2023 Retro Classics Stuttgart

12.-16.04.2023 Techno Classica Essen

05.-07.05.2023 Motorworld Classic Bodensee Friedrichshafen

12.05.2023 RB-Conference Gaggenau

13.05.2023 Parts market (morning) in Kuppenheim

Members meeting (afternoon) in Gaggenau

08.-11.06.2023 UCG annual meeting in Aufenau

23.-25.06.2023 South Tyrolean Unimog meeting Speikboden, Sand in Taufers

30.06.-02.07.2023 UVC annual meeting in Bruchhausen-Vilsen

Unimog Club Gaggenau at Retro Classics 2023

 


The German recognized Mercedes-Benz brand clubs are 20 independent communities of interest which receive material and non-material support from Mercedes-Benz as brand ambassadors. In addition to clubs that represent individual model series or model types, there are overarching clubs that represent the vehicle types of several model series. The clubs bundle their activities in some places, for example in the context of joint trade fair appearances at the nationwide classic car fairs, in order to exploit synergy effects and reduce individual expenses. To this end, the brand clubs have set themselves up professionally over the past few years and are designing presentations with a total area of up to 2,500 square meters.

As a joint area, the brand clubs will be occupying an area of just under 2,000 square meters this year. Directly at the entrance to Hall 7, the joint area extends across the entire width of the hall. The 19 brand clubs present (out of 20) will be spread across the entire area, which will once again house the gastronomic plaza in its center for catering stand personnel and visitors.

From this year 2023, the clubs will organize exciting measures to further increase the experience factor for visitors and offer exciting attractions for young and old. In addition to three jointly organized measures, the brand clubs also offer several individual measures. The measures are spread across the entire stand area and are visually advertised in a wide variety of forms.

Highlights of the MB brand clubs in Hall 7 at Retro Classics 2023

One highlight is the MBC Club Driving Experience, where trade fair visitors can climb into six club vehicles and experience them live and first-hand in a 20-minute round trip. Visitors to the trade fair can obtain ticket entitlement at the Unimog Club, MVC, W123 Club, W124 Club, S-Class Club and G-Class Club booths.

For all visitors who would like to give a hand themselves, three clubs offer the Pit-Stopp Challenge at the booth of the S-Class Club. Here, two volunteers compete against each other and against the stopwatch in a timed wheel change.

Personal memories of the show can be captured in the photo box on the stand area of the SLK Club. With the virtually embedded backgrounds, trade show visitors will find themselves directly in front of their dream car.

For all those who are interested in lectures with content, the MVC offers exciting impulses around the automobile and the development history of the last 130 years with its lecture corner. 4

As a highlight for the younger guests, there are children’s painting tables at the Unimog Club and a crawler course in the area of the G-Class Club.

And for those who would like to take a seat in a truly authentic vehicle, the Pagoda Club’s “Touch-Me Pagoda” gives them the opportunity to touch and experience a car without any inhibitions. PS: Most of the brand clubs are also happy to open their doors and hoods to trade fair visitors – just ask!

4. Measures and implementation times Measure

Times

Placement

Public

Driving Experience

Fri-Sun, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. & 2 p.m.-5 p.m

AMG Club

yes

Pit-Stop Challenge

Thu.-Sun., 10-17 h

S-Class Club

Yes

Photobox

Thu.-Sun., 10-17 h

SLK Club

Yes

“Touch-Me Pagoda

Thu.-Sun., 10am-6pm

Pagoda / All Clubs

Yes

Crawler Course

Thu.-Sun., 10-18 h

G-Class Club

Yes

Children’s painting tables

Thu.-Sun., 10-18 h

Unimog Club

Yes

Lecture corner

Details on request

Veterans Club (MVC)

No

The Unimog Museum will also be present at the UCG booth as every year.

🤩 New service: Podcast of the Unimog Club Gaggenau


The new Unimog podcast from the Unimog Club Gaggenau offers a wide range of information about the history, technology and use of the various Unimog and MBtrac series, while also explaining the enthusiasm for a unique vehicle concept.

🎙️ First episode: CK Modellbau in conversation with Unimog Heft’l editor Axel Otersen


In the next issue of Unimog-Heft’l – the exclusive club magazine of the Unimog Club Gaggenau – there will be a detailed report about the current Unimog model U 406 Modell Forstumbau and the company CK-Modellbau (www.ck-modellbaushop.de). In advance, this podcast premiere as an appetizer for the upcoming release.

All episodes are available on the website, Spotify and Anchor.
More at http://unimog-club-gaggenau.de/podcast

Visit to the Unimog Museum: NOW DOUBLE AS GOOD AS BEFORE

 

 

MORE EXHIBITION SPACE FOR UNIMOG HISTORY

The Unimog Museum in Gaggenau is a success story and has already welcomed over half a million guests since it opened in 2006. There has always been more to see and marvel at than there was room for. An extension has now been added to the existing building with a second exhibition hall plus an event room, for which around 4.3 million euros have been invested. The cost of the conversion has increased by about half a million euros compared to the original plan. The construction of the museum was financed by donations, financial subsidies from the city of Gaggenau and the district of Rastatt.

Das Unimog-Museum in Gaggenau: nun doppelt so gut wie zuvor

SPECIAL EXHIBITION SHOWS THE BEST FROM THE UNIMOG MUSEUM

The new hall construction is around ten meters high and extends the exhibition area to currently around 1,100 square meters. There is also additional space on a gallery. At the opening of the Unimog, almost all model series of the Unimog as well as the MB-trac tractor from various application areas are currently on display. The museum is showing exhibits from donations and private permanent loans.

Highlights of the exhibition include the prototype “U6” built in 1948, an original restored Boehringer Unimog with the number 70200/00221 from 1950, and a Unimog 416a with bus body.

Das Unimog-Museum in Gaggenau: nun doppelt so gut wie zuvor

In addition to the exhibits, the vehicles are now shown with new digital exhibit steles, which the Unimog Club Gaggenau has made available to the museum. Thus, visitors can click directly about the specific vehicle and the series, to photos and films with examples of use. Since two vehicles or units always share a stele, there are currently 30 of them in the museum. In addition, multimedia guides in several languages and a dedicated app are available to guide visitors through the exhibition.

Parallel to the opening of the new building, the existing exhibition area of the Unimog Museum was redesigned and equipped with new exhibits. In two cabs, visitors can get behind the wheel of the Unimog themselves and get a feel for what it was and is like to use a Unimog as a working machine.

Das Unimog-Museum in Gaggenau: nun doppelt so gut wie zuvor

 

PERMANENT EXHIBITION AROUND AUTOMOTIVE ENGINEERING IN GAGGENAU

Special emphasis is now also placed on the presentation of the “MB-trac” models, where five instead of the previous two of these exceptional vehicles are now on display. The highlight here is the MB-trac 1800 intercooler, the last “flagship” from Gaggenau production. The exhibition is supplemented by a permanent display of five classic vehicles around the automobile manufacturing in Gaggenau from 1894 to the present day.

Das Unimog-Museum in Gaggenau: nun doppelt so gut wie zuvor

Should not be missing in any Unimog garage: Family tree of the Unimog and MB-trac with all model series & color codes as a tin plate

 

Get a piece of Unimog museum at home. This 60 x 40 cm sheet metal sign is an eye-catcher, whether in the garage, workshop, kitchen or office. On the embossed tin sign is the history of the Unimog from 1946. Each individual Unimog embossed, with great attention to, detail. Ideal for Unimog fans, whether of historical or modern models.

Exclusively now order online at Buch & Bild:
https://www.buchundbild.de/de/blechschild-br-unimog-stammbaum

 

Family tree of Mercedes-Benz Unimog and MB-trac

 

The graphic is in the Unimog museum in Gaggenau in the format of 5 x 6m.

Reopening of the Unimog Museum on 28 January 2023

After four weeks of complete closure and construction of the new exhibition, the museum was ceremoniously (re)opened and presented to the public on 28 January. More than 1,200 visitors came on Saturday and Sunday to get to know the new museum. In addition to almost doubling the exhibition space, the new exhibition shows the Unimog in its entire development with exhibits from all model series. And the presentation has also changed, there are now steles with screens where you can get detailed information about the respective exhibit. This new digital form of presentation was financed by the Unimog Club Gaggenau. There is a lot to discover in the Unimog Museum and certainly always something new in the future, so a visit is well worthwhile.

Hildegard Knoop, Gaggenau’s mayor Christof Florus, Stefan Schwaab and Rainer Hildebrandt (from left) and museum dog Steffi cutting the ribbon (Photo: David Endres).

The new Unimog Museum opens at the end of January with opening weekend

Almost two years of construction, repeated delays due to material and tradesmen bottlenecks, cost explosion in almost all areas – all this will be forgotten when the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau reopens to visitors on the last weekend in January 2023.

Unimog and MB-trac show

From January 28 and 29, 2023, the exhibition “The Best of the Unimog Museum” will be on display and can be experienced in the overall building, which will then be more than twice as large. Almost all Unimog and MB-trac series will be presented, along with a number of attachments from a wide range of applications. Wherever possible, this show will be equipped with vehicles and other exhibits from the depots. In the course of its almost 17 years of existence, the museum has received many beautiful and unusual Unimogs, MB-tracs, power units and attachments as permanent loans, sold them for small sums of money or bequeathed them in wills, some of which have never before been on display in an exhibition.

Construction and interior

Designed by Kohlbecker Gesamtplan and realized by Grötz GmbH as general contractor, the new Unimog Museum not only offers an impressive visual appearance with lots of wood, but also space for twice as many Unimogs in the exhibition as before, as well as for the associated aggregates. All this is explained by means of new digital exhibit steles provided to the museum by the Gaggenau Unimog Club. Visitors can click their way through information about the specific vehicle and the model series, right up to photos and films with examples of applications.

In addition, large digital steles provide general information about the Unimog and its involvement in regional, German and international (economic) history. The “MB-trac” chapter is a major focus in the new museum. Four instead of two vehicles are on display, and the history of the MB-trac is documented in detail in words and moving pictures.

The Unimog exhibition on 200 square meters in the new building is supplemented by a permanent exhibition on automobile manufacturing in Gaggenau from 1894 to the present day – with five vehicles representing this history.

There is also a multimedia guide in German, English and French. You are welcome to download the corresponding app in advance from the Play or Appstore under the keyword “Unimog Museum”. You will be guided through the exhibition with your own smartphone and receive additional information in the form of videos at 15 stations.

However, it’s not just the information that’s on offer, but also the experience. In two cabs – one old and one new – you can get behind the wheel of the Unimog yourself and get a feel for what it was and is like to use a Unimog as a work tool.

Two additional event rooms, which open onto the edge of the forest and thus have their own unique atmosphere, and which are also equipped with the latest event technology, a separate sanitary area in the new hall, which can also be accessed from the outside during outdoor events, an exit sluice and a depot for furniture and exhibits round off the space on offer in the new building.

Construction chronology

Construction of the museum began in April 2021, and the topping-out ceremony was held on November 26, 2021. Interior construction then took another full year. Since the middle of 2021, work on the new design of the entire museum was carried out in parallel at full speed.

Finally, in January 2023, during a one-month closure phase, the old museum was dismantled and thoroughly cleaned with a lot of volunteer support, and the new museum, now twice as large, was set up.

Opening weekend

The festivities will begin on Thursday, January 26, 2023 at 5 p.m. with a celebration for all the craftsmen and volunteers involved in the construction. On Friday, January 27, 2023, a reception will be held at 7 p.m. for all supporters of the construction as well as representatives of politics and business. On January 28 and 29, 2023 , the museum will open its doors to all visitors. The program for the opening weekend will be finalized in early January and published on the homepage.

With the genes of Sprinter & Co.: The Daimler motorised business vehicle of 1899

 

Did you already know? As a member of the Unimog Club Gaggenau, your “Mercedes-Benz ClubCard” membership card gets you into the Unimog Museum in Gaggenau for free – and into the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The Stuttgart museum shows the history of trucks from the very beginning – therefore this time in view: the Daimler motorised business vehicle.

The Daimler motorised business vehicle

Increased power: What is the function of the circular component with the hole pattern on the front of the 1899 Daimler motorised business vehicle? The inlets behind the sieve-like plate are the air ducts of a tubular radiator invented by mobility pioneer Wilhelm Maybach. With this innovation, Maybach significantly improved engine cooling and thus the performance of the automobiles built by Daimler. The tubular radiator was first used 125 years ago, in the Phoenix model, and utility model protection was registered on 24 December 1897. December of that same year saw the introduction of the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) motorised business vehicles.

 

Evolution: DMG continued to improve its van models. The exhibit in Legend Room 1: “Pioneers – The invention of the automobile” at the Mercedes-Benz Museum was built in 1899, two years after the premiere of this model family. This motorised business vehicle was designed for a 500-kilogram payload. It is powered by a 4.1 kW (5.6 hp) two-cylinder engine with a displacement of 1,527 cubic centimetres and has a top speed of 16 km/h. By comparison, for the year 1900, the sales list mentions business vehicles with payloads of 800 to 3,200 kilograms and power ranging from 2.9 kW (4 hp) to 5.9 kW (8 hp) with a two-cylinder engine and 4.4 kW (6 hp) to 8.8 kW (12 hp) with a four-cylinder engine.

Innovation platform with the genes of a horse-drawn cart: Compared to the illustration in the first sales advertisement, the vehicle soon changed. In 1897, it was still a delivery van with the engine under the seat and a free-standing steering column. The example at the Museum, dating from 1899, has the engine located above the front axle, protected by a high bonnet. Directly below it is the tubular radiator with the starting crank in its centre. These innovative details stand in contrast to the traditional design features: the driver sat on an open bench with no protection from the weather. It resembles the workplace of a coachman delivering goods with his horse and cart. Nevertheless, the motorised business vehicle clearly represented a departure from the era of the horse-drawn coach: in front of the driver is the vertical steering column with wooden steering wheel. Outside, on the right, is the gear lever in an open shift gate. And the large horn commands attention in traffic.

Power transmission and rubber wheels: The engine power is transmitted to the rear wheels via two chain wheels and two roller chains. This distinguishes the transporter from the pinion-driven DMG trucks that had been built since 1896. The spoked wooden wheels are significantly larger at the rear than at the front, with solid rubber tyres all round. This was a real comfort feature in commercial vehicles at the end of the 19th century, as delivery trucks and lorries often drove on steel-tyred wooden wheels. Daimler charged an extra 350 to 400 marks for these solid rubber wheels in 1897. For vehicles with a payload of more than 1,200 kilograms, DMG advised against using the rubber-shod wheels: “Rubber tyres are not recommended for these larger wagons,” the DMG sales list states.

Five winners: The “business vehicle” was an expert when it came to flexible logistics. This strength still characterises Mercedes-Benz vans today. “Daimler business vehicles are a particular speciality among motorised vehicles,” the Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) advertised in 1897. The sales advertisement highlighted the delivery van’s versatility: the loading area can be used with a box body, as a platform or with bench seats (“for excursions and for passenger transport”). The Cannstatt-based company offered five different versions of the motorised business vehicle. The payload was between 500 and 2,000 kilograms. Initially, the vehicles were powered by engines delivering 2.2 kW (3 hp) to 7.4 kW (10 hp).

Mini to maxi: The length (3,400 to 4,600 millimetres), width (1,700 to 1,800 millimetres) and weight (1,000 to 2,500 kilograms) of the motorised business vehicles varied according to payload. This underlined the diversity of this very recently introduced vehicle concept. Only the year before, Benz & Cie. had presented a comparable vehicle in Mannheim and founded the segment with its “delivery van”.

Van-building tradition: The success story of Mercedes-Benz light commercial vehicles stretches from the first vans of 1896 and 1897 to the Sprinter, Vito and Citan. Their antecedents revolutionised flexible and fast logistics with the combustion engine at the end of the 19th century. Today, Mercedes-Benz vans stand for a new era in sustainable and emission-free mobility for goods transport, the manual trades, delivery services and much more. The Mercedes-Benz Museum displays several representatives of this long success story.

 

Merry Christmas and all the best for 2023

Many greetings from the board of the Unimog-Club Gaggenau e.V.

Franziska Cusumano appointed as new Head of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks

 

Franziska Cusumano is responsible for Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks & Custom Tailored Trucks since December 1, 2022

Personnel change at Mercedes-Benz Trucks: Franziska Cusumano (33) will take over the responsiblity for the business unit Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks & Custom Tailored Trucks (CTT) starting December 1st, 2022. She succeeds Ralf Forcher (59) who will retire at the end of the year. In her new role she is in charge of the development, production and sales of the Mercedes-Benz models Unimog, Econic and Zetros in Wörth, as well as the Custom Tailored Trucks business unit in Molsheim, Alsace/France, for individual customer conversions.

Franziska Cusumano joined the Daimler group in 2008 and started in the operations field of the foundry business in Mannheim and South Africa. This was followed by various positions in Research & Development at the Fuso Global Hybrid Center in Japan, Product Management Mercedes-Benz and Plattform Management for Engines and Axles. In 2018, she took on the role as Executive Assistant to the Chairman of Daimler Truck. In addition, she became Chief of Staff and Head of Corporate Office with the spin-off in 2021 responsible for the Board of Management and the Supervisory Board and its committees. Besides her Bachelor’s degree in International Business, Franziska Cusumano holds a Master of Science from the Columbia University, New York, having specialized in transportation & future mobility as well as environment & sustainability.

Karin Rådström, CEO Mercedes-Benz Trucks: “I am happy that Franziska Cusumano will take over the responsibility for Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks. Franziska is a great leader with a broad expertise. I am convinced that with her passion and dedication to deliver the best products and solutions for our customers she will continue to build on the success of Mercedes-Benz Special Trucks and take the business to the next level. I wish her a successful start and all the best in her new role.”

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Production Anniversary: 20 Years of Unimog Production in Wörth

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Wörth is celebrating a special anniversary: the Unimog has been produced here for 20 years. After the vehicle had been manufactured at the sister plant in Gaggenau for many years, production of the universal engine-powered machine moved from Gaggenau to the Wörth plant in 2002. As a so-called special truck for particularly challenging tasks, the Unimog has since been produced in the largest plant for Mercedes-Benz trucks with a high proportion of manual assembly, which allows a particularly high degree of flexibility in the processes.

To this day, the Unimog is still associated with the Gaggenau plant, where it was produced for over 50 years. The Unimog-specific portal axles, transmissions and numerous other components are still manufactured in Gaggenau. Today, the Unimog Museum is also located near the former production site. Since the start of production in 1951, over 370,000 Unimogs have rolled off the production lines at the Gaggenau and Wörth plants.

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