U500 DOKA SPOTTED - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-17-2019, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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U500 DOKA SPOTTED

I stumbled across just one photo of this truck, and failed to find any additional shots , so far.

It is in California, in Culver City, based on the Big Blue transit bus in the background, and National Blvd.
The only Big Blue Bus that hits National is Route 17, so this is definitely in Culver City, near Bagley / Robertson Blvd.
(Or, so I thought).

It Could be the McCain truck that has had a makeover. The Details pretty much match up, wheelbase-wise, etc., but the resolution of the McCain photos make it hard to be sure.

The rear steps look similar, and the second step lines up with the dimple on the radiator shell in the same way. The McCain truck's steps look to have a vertical element at the back of the tread, whereas the SoCal truck does not appear to match that.

I think there were only four of these cabs in the US. The Failed Red Firetruck (longer wheelbase), the McCain truck, and the two cabs that Todd (Coach Converter) had, that eventually went to Roberto (Multismog). So, eliminating the Firetruck, it is derived from one of the latter three, I think.

I wonder which one ? Does anybody have any information on this truck? I know that Trev did some tracking on the cabs that went to Roberto. One went with his Blue U500, which may have not actually had the Crew Cab mounted up at the time.

This California truck looks good, and I'm on the hunt for more photos of it.

Well, the bed does not match that of the McCain truck -The Hinges don't match up, so that eases the McCain truck down the list a bit or out, I think.

The rear overhang does not match up either. The bed and the overhang could have been altered, of course. If the bed was chopped just ahead of the first hinge and slid forward, and the bolt-on structure at the rear of the McCain truck was omitted, they might match up.

I'm hoping to track down more photos, and the history on this one.

(Edit)

OK, well, here is where I think it is parked in the photo : Best guess is the Southeast corner of National and Sawtelle, just 1/2 block West of the 405.The photo is looking Northwest, generally. National Blvd. is one of the weirder streets in West L.A, and it stops and starts, and pops up in another place, so I spent some time looking all along the wrong stretch of National. This stretch is actually on Route 8 of the Big Blue Bus, where it intersects with Route 17.

So, if anybody is tooling around on the westside, maybe they'll come across it.
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Last edited by TRUKTOR; 04-18-2019 at 07:43 AM.
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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This photo was taken in Culver City, 'posted 2 years ago'. The Trail might be a little cold.

The Winch looks similar to the one on the McCain truck, but this one shows the European Style MB nose, not the North American style of the McCain UNIMOG.This looks to be an authentic European version, but U500 owners in the US have tried to mimic that look by slapping various MB Stars on the hood. This one looks legit, from what can be seen.

Also, no Plow lights on this truck, and no wide angle mirror on the driver's side, at least in this photo.
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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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OK, more digging has produced more information. I realize that I am mainly entertaining myself with stuff like this, but for whatever reason, playing UNIMOG detective on the internet is something that I like to do.

So, "just the facts, ma'am". (Joe Friday never said this apparently) -----although I can remember him saying that.
Something else to pin down. Very Important...Ha.


That is the correct intersection, National & Sawtelle.

It is a 76 Gas Station / Carwash.

It is actually in Mar Vista, California.

The Station owner has a number of vehicles that rotate in and out of the gas station, the UNIMOG being one of them.

He also displays an Army Tank , an M5A1 Stuart that looks to be fully restored.

The Green Tug DOKA, which also appeared there, looks to be the 'Extra Olives' DOKA, or a meticulously produced clone of it.

I don't think it is the McCain truck with a makeover, just based on small details, the steps do not match, and the position of stickers, etc. It could be, but I don't think so.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:38 PM
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Apart from Euro style grill there is another thing I noticed that is not on McCain truck or in general other NA UGNs.
These are the euro style roof markers, and nobody, having DOT markers already installed,would bother to add them after, hence they've been installed first.

U500 DOKA SPOTTED-ugn-na-doka-b.jpg
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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I agree- that would be an odd addition to a North American UGN. Not impossible to add, but it seems unlikely.

I'm curious to see a better shot of that grill - It looks like the real deal, because it 'looks' like there is a reveal of the body color outside of the star.

It is not really clear enough to be sure.

The true Euro grill has a whole cylinder molded into the grill that the star lands on.That cylinder, along with the ring of Body Color outside of the
star are the giveaways.

I've got the phone number for the station, but rather than bother the guy, I'll keep digging for photos.

If I had to bet, I'd say it is a Euro Version, and he snuck it in at the barrel of a tank.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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It looks pretty close to me, in terms of the ring around the star...

but there is no sign of the cylinder, which I think would show up from this angle.

The truck is back lit, so the grill just muddies up. The cylinder disappears in some of the shots of the known Euro grills as well, depending on the lighting.

Next Time I'm in LA, I'm definitely going to drop in on that gas station.

We'll see.
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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:50 PM
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UGN star
U500 DOKA SPOTTED-ugn-star-1.jpg
U500 DOKA SPOTTED-ugn-star-2.jpg
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:58 PM
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Also that cab has most likely been repainted.
On Euro UGN doors there is a sticker "U500", on NA version, there is just "Unimog" sticker in that place.
There is nothing on the doors, not even "Powered by Mercedes Benz" label in back corner of the door, as it usually appears on NA UGNs.
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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I agree- I think it might be a wrap, being that they are very common in LA.
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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 06:51 AM
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I find it amazing that people keep track of virtually every single U500 in North America. What is the name of mine? Charlie’s truck?

U500 w/Unicat camper
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