It's no secret that the rich and famous like to get larger than life cars and trucks to drive around in. It's so common that it's getting hard to have an over-the-top ride anymore. Arnold Schwarzenegger is no exception to this rule either. While it is hard to stand out, his most recent choice of truck is definitely unique and fitting of his personality and size. Let's check out Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mercedes Unimog U1300. Wait…A Unimog? You read that right; a Mercedes Unimog. What is a Unimog? Well, this truck is known as the superhero villain of the off-road world. These trucks are giant off-road monsters that are the top choice for the German military for trucks, as well as countless other European fire/rescue/emergency agencies. The Unimog basically goes anywhere and can carry basically anything. This truck is one of the best platforms out there for building an off-road vehicle.
Is That Even Legal? From the factory, this truck is not street legal in California where the Governator lives. This is where Schwarzenegger's Unimog starts to be custom. Since this truck wasn't meant for the States, a ton of customizations had to be made before it could be licensed. Above and beyond the basic upgrades that are necessary to license a foreign vehicle, like new windshields, bumpers, safety belts, and many others, the engine had to be totally customized to meet the super stringent California emissions requirements. The turn diesel engine has been converted to run on bio-diesel, which gives it a much smaller eco footprint. While Schwarzenegger hasn't cared about this in the past, seeing that he had the first private sector Hummer H1, new laws and his former role as California governor makes this necessary, and smart.
The Customizations The major customizations that helped to rack up the $250,000 price tag of this truck were the necessary engine, exhaust, and safety upgrades necessary for registering this truck in the US. Schwarzenegger purchased the truck from a Unimog customizer in Germany named Mertec, so of course there were some non-required upgrades, too. A custom bumper/winch from HARM was installed to give some solid winching power with 15,000 lb capacity and a 4.6hp motor. Additional lighting was installed in the customized push bar and custom roll bar. An upgraded air horn system was installed with the horns proudly mounted on the roof, as they should be. It's great to see such a high-profile show of air horns on an off-road vehicle as this, showing they're not just toys but a key part to many upgrades. Both the lighting and horns were added to help with visibility of the truck, something you wouldn't think was necessary for such a massive vehicle, but it's easy to get off the roads and into trouble. The Interior Not much was done to upgrade the interior of this monster truck. The U1300s have a fairly nice interior as it is, so without going overboard, it was left basically as-is.
The Owner Arnold Schwarzenegger is a widely known actor, most recently showing up in The Expendables 2 with basically every other action movie star we know. He served as governor of California from 2003 to 2011. Schwarzenegger started out as a bodybuilder and weightlifter, quickly making the move to movies in 1970 with his role as Hercules. Schwarzenegger drove the first public Hummer H1, and while in office, even converted one to run on hydrogen, and a second to run on biodiesel. He signed executive orders and bills while in office helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions in California, which actually affected what he had to modify on his current Unimog. The biodiesel engine in the Unimog helps to lower oil usage and CO2 emissions.
Wrapping It Up The Mercedes Unimog is a 10,000 lb beast. With 15 foot of ground clearance this truck can go over basically anything. Is it a waste that the only thing it goes over is California highway? Possibly, but hopefully Schwarzenegger will take it off road and enjoy the sport a little. He has a winch that can get him out of trouble and air horns that can get him found, so I see this as a hopeful possibility. With a long history in forestry, rescue, fire, military, and utility work, this Unimog will definitely have a much cushier life than it's European brethren, but it is nice to see one of these off-roading monsters in the US. Love it or hate it, Arnold's Unimog is a legend in off-roading that made it's way to America. Here is a shot of the Unimog in it’s natural environment, working. This one is used for road work in Europe. Also check out Chris "Birdman" Anderson's Truck
If you enjoyed this article please share it on facebook, twitter or google plus.