1970 Puch Steyr Haflinger 700AP Utility
Originally developed for the Austrian Army as a post-war replacement for their ageing fleet of US Army surplus Jeeps, the Haflinger was a lightweight four-wheel drive all-purpose vehicle, designed by Erich Ledwinka and built by Steyr Puch. Manufactured between 1959 and 1975, the Haflinger was powered by a rear-mounted 643cc horizontally-opposed and air-cooled twin-cylinder engine and had exceptional off-road ability thanks to the very low centre of gravity, front and rear locking diffs and long-travel fully independent suspension front and rear. Another key attribute of the Haflinger that made it so useful in the battlefield was its remarkably low weight – at 600 kgs, it could be lifted by four soldiers yet still had a payload of 500 kg. Approximately half the total Haflinger production of 16,647 saw service with military forces around the globe, including the Swiss, Austrian and even Australian Armies, while the rest were sold directly to civilian markets, often ending up as ambulances or with fire services. It’s thought that approximately 50 Haflingers were sold to the Australian Army, each having its own trailer unit and they were mostly assigned to Royal Corps of Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (RAEME) units for specialists who needed a vehicle for towing tools or other field equipment. Few changes took place over the 16 years lifespan of the Haflinger, although later models received more powerful motors and a new five-speed gearbox with a Krawler gear. The Haflinger enjoys a cult following around the world today and there is even an active club in Australia with a strong network of owners.