1973 Volkswagen Type 181 The Thing
Chassis no. 1833023202
1,584cc air-cooled OHV flat 4-cylinder engine
Single Solex 34 PICT 3 carburetor
46bhp at 4,000rpm
4-speed manual transmission
4-wheel independent suspension
4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes
*Lots of dealer installed options
*Complete with top, side curtains, and wooden floormats
*Nary a more perfect summer ride exists
The Type 181The Thing
Volkswagen's "Thing" had its roots in a military project. Loosely based on the World War II Kübelwagen, it was intended as a lightweight, four-wheel drive utility car for several European armies. Although Volkswagen decided not to enter the competition for this "Europa Jeep," company management felt that a "fun vehicle" in that formula could be popular in the consumer market. Thus was born the Type 181 Kurierwagen, called "Trekker" in the U.K., "Safari" in Mexico, where many were built, and "The Thing" in the United States.
Based on the mechanicals of the Type 1 Beetle, it used a Karmann Ghia floorpan and 1,500 and 1,600 cc versions of the familiar air-cooled flat four engine. Transmissions were all VW's four-speed manual. Production began in 1969 in Germany, with early units delivered, ironically, to the German Army, as well as Dutch and Belgian forces. Civilian sales began in 1971, by which time Mexican production had started. Marketing in the U.S. commenced in 1972. In all, more than 90,000 were built through 1983, though civilian sales halted in 1980. Difficulty in meeting safety requirements resulted in withdrawal from the United States market after 1974.
The Motorcar Offered
So square it's cool, this Blizzard White "Thing" is about the most fun you can have with your pants on. Outfitted with a number of dealer options including roll bar, front push bumper, and rear tire carrierall useful safety features should things get too funas well as oak stave 'floormats', shift console and 'The Thing' side stripes should anyone inquire just what it is you're wheeling around.
A well-kept car that is free of rust, it was resprayed in its original color in 2003 while its black vinyl interior, top and side curtains are all in very nice order.
On the road 'The Thing' is reported to drive beautifully with a smooth transmission and the ability to cruise at over 60mph with ease. Between this and its tidy aesthetics, it creates a smile for driver, passengers and those that you pass by on the road, all in all a great weekend/vacation car.