Howdy, car talk community. I am searching for a new car. I’ve stumbled across the Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer and think it might be the right one for me but I’d like a second opinion. I need a vehicle that can haul alot of equipment around, both for my NROTC program and for my heavily laden re-enactment group. Also I need an enclosed place to sleep in every once in awhile. Do you folks think this would be a good idea? Thanks for your answers.

I am assuming that you are located somewhere in Europe. To the best of my knowledge, Steyr-Puch vehicles have never been marketed in the US, but if they were ever marketed here, it was more than 40 years ago. Hence, it is not likely that you will find people familiar with these vehicles on this US-based board.

Addendum: It appears that there may be a US-based reseller of Swiss Army surplus Pinzgauers. However, I doubt if most people in the US ever saw one, and the ultimate question is…If you are located in the US, where in the US would you find a mechanic familiar with these odd-ball vehicles, and where would you find parts in the US? Of course, these questions do not apply if you are located on the other side of the pond.

Thanks for your input. Thats what I thought at first as well. They may not be sold by Steyr-Puch directly but there are many places in California, my place of residence, alone that offer many different varieties of Pinzgauer 710s and 712s. There’s even some on ebay some times.

Sorry, guess I should have added that I have a friend in ramona who is very good with these kinds of vehicles. however, parts are the tricky part but thats why I’m asking for your people’s opinions.

If I had your requiremnts I’d look at a domestic full size van (Chevrolet/Ford) or a full size Chevrolet Suburban. Both of these have tons of interior space and can be fixed by many service centers. I’d get the model with the smallest engine, and unless you absolutely need 4 wheel drive, get the simplest 2 wheel drive model. Many hotels and car rental companies dispose of these vans after a few years; they are usually well maintained and not abused.

The Pinzgauer was designed as a military vehicle, it brutally uncomfortable to ride in and the A/C probably is very marginal. No offence to the Swiss, it is a rugged vehicle, but more at home in Afghanistan than California.

How about a unimog, it’s probably a little easer to find parts than the pinzgauer because it uses a benz drive train? The swiss and german military versions are popular because people like to convert the radio box into a camper. I would guess they are in the same price range and they are old enough that you can import them without any hassle from big brother. I was talking to someone who has a mog camper last week, they will go anyplace but they are slow (maybe 50 mph) and the gas mileage isn’t great. There seems to be a bunch of them in the U.S. (relatively), so you could probably find one for sale. I would search for clubs/forums for both, don’t expect them to be cheap.

I think they are pretty cool vehicles, I wish I had an excuse to buy one; my wife would kill me and the neighbors would not be amused.

The Pinzgauer will go up any hill, around any object to almost any location. But it may be a bit too small for an entire NROTC program and hauling a lot of equipment. If you’ve looked at it in real life. If you think it is big enough, it should suit you, after all, it was designed by the Austrian military (or was it the Swiss?) to go anywhere in the Alps.

unimogs are cheaper to buy, maintain, and contrary to popular opinion they go faster than 50, mine holds better than 60 for over 2 hours on trips to the beach, however, it feels like 30 minutes of that trip are spent getting up to that speed!