PINZGAUER army troop carriers have been released by the Swiss Army. Built in the seventies by Steyr-Puch of Austria, of firearms fame, and manufacturer of the Mercedes G Wagon. Theses vehicles are tough, very sure footed and can be used to haul freight or people on or off road, and they considered easy to handle.
The Attributes of a 25 + Year Old Military Vehicle
To many, buying a 25+ year old ex-military vehicle would seem like a project only for the serious military collector. The fact is that one need not be a military vehicle collector because the Pinzgauer as featured in this article is truly a fun vehicle.
It's one of those vehicles that strikes up conversations wherever it goes. It's rugged look and uniqueness plus the fact that it was originally designed for the Swiss military among others make it a different type of collector vehicle. Pinzies, as they are sometimes referred to, are cool looking trucks and they are considered by many as quite reliable.
A Fun Go Everywhere Vehicle
The Pinzgauers imported/brought into the US were typically made from 1972-1976. Restrictions on all import vehicles mandated that anything imported must be 25 years or older. The truth about this unique vehicle is that the Pinzgauer has proven that the original qualities that made this vehicle so appealing to the Swiss military (capability, reliability, & versatility) have also made it an excellent choice as a fun "do everything" vehicle here in the U.S.
The 1973 Pinzgauer 710M 4x4 model featured in this article is currently being used as a tour vehicle. The 4x4 vehicles were later joined by a 6x6 version and by 1985 over 20 000 had been produced, nearly all for military users.
The Pinzgauer is capable of off-road travel well beyond the common SUV.
You may have seen Customized Pinzgauers on the street. Some Pinzgauer owners choose to put thousands of dollars in their trucks with custom paint, seats, wheels, winches, and other options to truly make their trucks look better or ride better, while others choose to leave their Pinzgauers with OD paint, rust, and dents!
The great thing about the Pinzgauer, is that putting a lot of money into a truck doesn't really make it that much more of a capable truck. The prices for Pinzgauers vary of course. In the more than three decades since these vehicles were selected by the Swiss military as their "jeep" or "Humvee" they are again proving their value to a whole new generation of collectors.
A vehicle that can hold as much or more than a standard pickup. With 14 inches of ground clearance, true "shift on the fly" 4 or 6 wheel drive, and with differential locks front and rear. Additionally, some versions of the Pinzgauer were manufactured to have the ability to carry weapon systems or communication shelters.
A Good Value for the Money?
The Pinzgauer is a vehicle that is as capable off road as anything sold in the United states for up to 5 times as much money. The majority of Pinzgauers were purchased at Swiss military auctions by dealers who import and sell the vehicles in North America.
The 1973 Pinzgauer 710M Specifications
The engine is a 2.5 liter four cylinder air cooled power plant producing 90 horsepower.
The manual transmission has five forward gears and one reverse gear.
Suspension includes Independent Pendel Axle with front & rear coil springs.
The vehicles dimensions include a wheelbase of 86.6 inches, an overall length of 164.0 inches, width of 69.25 inches and a height of 82.75 inches. Empty weight for the Pinzgauer 710M is 4,300 lbs.
Although these vehicles operate great off road, PINZGAUERS can be easily driven on the highway at 60-65 mph and have a top speed of 70 or more, depending on tire size.
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Today's Pinzgauer Values
You may not know offhand where to look for used Pinzgauers.
Distributors of Pinzgauers as well as some other brands here in the U.S. include Swiss Army Vehicles. They are a major distributor of European military vehicles, parts and surplus. They specialize in Steyr Puch Pinzgauer, Mercedes Unimog and Bucher Duro. They have vehicles in both Fayetteville AR USA and Zuerich Switzerland. You may also see them running Swiss military vehicle auctions on Ebay.
Because there are so many different models of the Pinzgauer in a variety of conditions, prices are all over the place. As of this writing we are finding 710 models similar to the vehicle featured in this article priced from $6,600 to above $20,000 and up close to $30,000. When you look for a Pinzgauer today, chances are you'll see a wide range of restorations and/or customizations. Some of these customizations are realized in the wide range of asking prices.
The Pinzgauer 4x4 and 6x6 models are one of a kind. Today, they can be used for a variety of purposes, whether transporting people or freight, and can tackle some of the roughest off-road terrain you can find. On top of that they can be fun to drive.
(Article and photos copyright 2014 AutoMuseumOnline)