HARD-TO-FIND THING, FULLY RESTORED, AIR-COOLED FLAT 4, 4-SPEED, READY TO CRUISE!
No, it doesn't swim and it doesn't have 4-wheel-drive, but this 1974 Volkswagen Thing is still one of the coolest things on wheels. The Beetle's outdoorsy cousin, the Thing is hard to classify but remains one of those great moments in automotive history where a major automaker said, "Hey, let's do something different."
Now the unusual thing about this Thing is that it's in such good condition. Most have long ago rotted away or been abused to the point where they were scrapped, but not this one. Ten years ago it was repainted, which suggests that it was always a well-maintained car, er truck, er Thing, and it's holding up rather well. There are some minor nicks and scratches that come from use, because this Thing is always up to having some fun, but otherwise it looks pretty darned good. The sheetmetal is straight, the doors fit well, and when it was painted, they even reinstalled fresh fender welting between the pieces to give it that highly detailed look that's factory-correct. It has some black graphics on the hood and sides that are totally appropriate and the blacked-out bumpers look exactly right. You also get a fold-down windshield, familiar Beetle-style taillights, and chrome door handle that dress it up a bit.
In the usual VW fashion, the interior is basic, but it's friendly at the same time. Plain black vinyl bucket seats up front and another pair in back make it a legitimate 4-seater, the kind of car we might have called a phaeton in earlier times. The dashboard is a simple flat sheet that has been painted body color and the familiar Beetle round instrument cluster was stuck in the middle. There are a few other knobs and handles for the secondary controls like headlights and the cigarette lighter, but if you can't figure out how to make this Thing work, you probably shouldn't be driving. There's no radio, or real modern creature comforts of any kind, but that's the whole appeal of the Thing: how basic can we go? There's a new black convertible top that fits rather well and each of the doors have big storage bins that are more useful than you'd expect. Or just remove the doors and go without, the Thing doesn't care. Up front, there's also a good-sized trunk that houses a new gas tank and a full-sized spare tire, just in case.
For reliability, there aren't many better choices than the 1600 cc Volkswagen air-cooled flat-4. It's the same one you find in a Beetle, so parts are plentiful, upgrades are easy, and it'll run practically forever with only modest maintenance. This one is very neatly detailed with all the correct parts, including a Bosch ignition system and the heater ducts in place. The big generator got a chrome pulley and an upgraded carburetor maybe makes a few more horsepower. It was rebuilt a few years ago by Herrell Bug Parts, so you know it runs well, and there aren't any signs of trouble that should give you pause in using it as intended. The 4-speed manual shifts cleanly, although you'll have to get acquainted with VW's traditionally vague shifter, and the gearing makes the Thing feel quick in any situation. The body tub is in very good order and the suspension is also from the Beetle, as are the chrome 14-inch wheels, which carry oversized 225/70/15 radials that look awesome.
You don't see many of these, and the good ones really stand out. This one has enjoyed a quality restoration by an enthusiast, so it's ready to enjoy once again. Call today!
- Vinyl Interior
- Front Disc Brakes
- Manual Convertible Top
- Engine Type
- Body Style
- Seating Type
- Seat Material
- Shifter Type
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