Our family has grown and while the Land Yacht isn’t going anywhere, I have begun the search for a more appropriate-sized vehicle to store 2 adults, 4 kids, and camping gear. Our 1994 Toyota Land Cruiser can hold all six of us, but there is less room for cargo/storage with half of the third-row seating in place.
One of the first possibilities for full family adventure travel: Steyr Puch Pinzgauer 712K. The K stands for a 5-door station wagon. A station wagon on some great steroids.
Originally constructed in Austria, these trucks have been used by militaries throughout the world. Some were constructed in the early 2000s in England. The 712 variant (6×6) has portal axles, locking differentials, 24V onboard power, and an air-cooled inline four-cylinder engine. Design to be a “go anywhere” vehicle, the Pinzgauer has two oil pumps so that the engine is never starved of oil no matter the orientation of the vehicle in rough terrain. The inline four-cylinder engines turned out 90 horsepower when new, so we’re probably somewhere in the range of 50-60 horsepower now.
Reddit user u/xxJohnxx is building his Pinzgauer 712K. He has taken out four of the five rear seats and outfitted the rear space with a single-wide sleeping platform and storage below. He’s also installed a fridge/freezer and more storage for food and gear on the opposite wall. See the pictures from his build here.
I know that the Pinz wouldn’t be appropriate for daily use, but there is just something about them. The pure utilitarianism, the functionality, portal axles, six-wheel-drive, air-cooled engine, the intercom radios, etc. All of it looks like it would be an absolute blast to drive.
And when it breaks, you get to fix it.
Here’s one of our favorite auto dealers in Naples giving a walk-around of a 1976 Pinzgauer 712K. Jump to the 6:28 mark to enjoy a freak out over a puddle *NSFW, there’s an f-bomb*.
If you’re looking for a more cinematic look at a Pinzgauer, here is egarage’s take on SARPinz’s 710M: