What is the Pinzgauer? It’s a Very Fast Way to Drive Off-Road! (Everything You Wanted to Know)

Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer photo: TFL

Designed by Erich Ledwinka, the Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer is an extremely capable off-road multi-use military vehicle. It was mainly use in Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom and it was sold to both military and civilian buyers. These vehicles are still being used by modern armies in combat situations.

“Oops” Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer photo: TFL

Our friend Eric Johnson purchased a first generation Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer for $13,000. The first generation was built between 1970 and 1980 featuring either a water-cooled or air-cooled engine. A 2.5 litre inline four-cylinder air-cooled engine put out about 87 horsepower and around 133 lbs-feet of torque. It came with a five-speed manual transmission or a three-speed automatic transmission. The second generation had beefed up components including a small displacement Volkswagen diesel.

Its 4×4/6×6 system had the ability to lock each axle and it has a proper low gear-range selector as well. You could lock the hydraulic differentials on the fly. It also has portal axles which give the vehicle an additional lift being that the gears are packed by the hubs rather then in the center of the axle.

The Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer came in four and six-wheel configurations with several variations available with a simple alpha-based code representing each vehicle.

Steyr-Daimler-Puch Pinzgauer photo: TFL

These include:

  • M – soft top with rear passenger seats
  • T – flat top carrier
  • FW – fire truck
  • K – 5-door station wagon
  • W – workshop with air-portable shelter
  • DK – 4-door crew cab pickup
  • AMB-S – ambulance, with air-portable removable shelter

Sure, our friend Eric drove like a mad-man off-road. The Pinzgauer can take it. It’s ingenious design is still viable today and it still proves to be nearly unstoppable off-road, even when it doesn’t want to turn (watch the video for more details on that.

Additional information:

  • Fully independent suspension
  • Backbone chassis tube
  • Integrated differentials
  • 24 volt electrical system
  • Vacuum assisted drum brakes
  • Portal axles to give extra clearance
Easily amused by anything with four wheels, Nathan Adlen reviews vehicles from the cheapest to the most prestigious. Wrecking yards, dealer lots, garages, racetracks, professional automotive testing and automotive journalism - Nathan has experienced a wide range of the automotive spectrum. Brought up in the California car culture and educated in theater, childhood education, film, journalism and history, Nathan now lives with his family in Denver, CO. His words, good humor and video are enjoyed worldwide.