Workhorse Wonder: Hauk Designs Building Unimog For Bilstein

It’s going to be the ultimate modernization of a classic German off-roading icon: the Mercedes-Benz Unimog DoKa 416 built by Hauk Designs for Bilstein.

When it comes to thinking about ultimate off-road machines, it’s hard not to imagine the Mercedes-Benz Unimog being at the top of that list. The Unimog has been used by militaries, farmers, and so much more since it was introduced in 1948.

In a way, it was the German version of the Jeep as it had a trailer hitch, PTO, a compressed-air tank, portal axles, and could climb anything in its way. Now, Kenny Hauk of Hauk Designs will “restomod” this 416 DoKa for Bilstein to showcase their new suspension technologies and just make it amazing to ride in.

The Unimog that Kenny and Bilstein have here is part of the 406-family with production that went from 1964 to 1989 and included the 416, 404, 421, 403, 413, 426, and 419. The 416 is the long-wheelbase variant of the 406, coming in at 114 inches.

The engine that originally powered the 406s were the Mercedes-Benz OM 312, a straight-six diesel with a precombustion chamber that made about 64 horsepower. After 1964, it was replaced by the OM 352 – a 5.7-liter direct-injection straight-six diesel that made 83.14 horsepower.

What makes this 416 a “DoKa,” though? Well, DoKa is an abbreviation of the German word doppelkabine, which you can probably figure out is “Double Cab” just from the way it sounds. These were created by Wackenhut in Nagold, Germany. A majority of the DoKa Unimogs were 416 chassis and those were typically converted into motorhomes during its production.

Kenny Hauk’s plans for this Unimog 416 DoKa are to create a rolling flagship for Bilstein, one that reflects what the suspension company does and off-roading in general. The interior is going to be ripped out and replaced by modern equipment, the bumpers removed and replaced by ones that will utilize Warn winches, modern LED lighting replacing the ancient stuff from Germany, a bed that will hold Bilstein equipment and swag, and the body free of rust.

It’s going to be one amazing, go-anywhere vehicle that perfectly reflects Bilstein. And there isn’t anyone better to get it done than the team at Hauk Designs.

You can watch it as it gets built as it will be featured in season three of Hauk Machines on Amazon Prime Video, but you can also see more of it on Bilstein’s website.

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About the author

Justin Banner

Justin Banner started as a freelance journalist covering Formula Drift in 2007. His passion for motorsports is unrivaled and if it uses propulsion and wheels, he’s into it. Justin writes and creates content for a variety of organizations.
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