After spending many years photographing stick shifts for my magazine Motor Car Market, I found this one particularly intriguing and well done. Not many people go through the motions to capture five symbols on a knob. Even fewer post it on Hemmings as one of the limited photos allowed to represent your vehicle.
But represent this one does. This vehicle is stellar. At only $14,900, 25,000 miles and one of two known to exist in the U.S., according to their research, you’d have to be dumb to pass this one up if it’s in your wheel house. I absolutely love it.
“Here is essentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to own (and operate) and authentic piece of German history. This 1974 Mercedes-Benz 408 Quad Cag was used in Duingen, Germany as a local fire truck. Duingen has a population of 2,875; therefore, all fire fighting personal is made up of volunteers. “Freiw. Feuerwehr Duingen” painted on the side of this 408 translates to Fire Department of Duingen, which is department #28 as labeled. The fire department was established in 1911 and they have been operating as volunteer fire fighters since, with similar but obviously more modern vehicles (see photos).
With a population under 3K, this truck did not get a lot of action. It just rolled over 40K kilometers, which is just under 25K miles. Most of the miles were recorded once the vehicle was imported into the U.S. as it served as a food distributor for previous owner, hence the easily removable canopy and vending slots on rear drivers side. The previous owner also claimed that there are only two other 408 Fire Trucks in the U.S., and after an in-depth search, we concluded the same. The example we have here is by far in the best condition.
This German Fire Truck features its original red paint over an industrial like gray metal interior with gray cloth bucket seats up front. It is powered by a 2.2L Inline 4-Cylinder gas engine mated to a 4-speed manual floor shifted transmission. The wood bench in the back was used for fire fighter passengers and the PTO shaft in the front was used to power a water pump from the engine to spray water on the flames. The ladder and rack are all intact and the blue warning lights/European siren functions properly. Other features include a working FM radio, trailer hitch, two-position locking rear doors, full spare tire, temperature control, push-button ignition, and comes with original manual (all in German) and two sets of keys. All lights and electrical system function as intended.
This is an excellent collector piece or another food vendor’s dream. Either way, it’s a great deal on an extremely unique and head-turning historic German automobile.”
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