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Lot 398
1973 Volkswagen Type 181 Thing Convertible
OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE

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Selling on Friday

From The Rockhound Collection

CHASSIS NO: 1833022899

• Fun and funky Beetle-derived adventure vehicle
• Ready for summertime enjoyment
• Older restoration with newer upholstery
• Easy-to-maintain air-cooled ‘flat four’ with upgraded quad exhaust system


1,584 cc air-cooled, OHV horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine, Solex carburetor, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with transverse torsion bars and upper/lower trailing arms, independent swing-axle rear suspension, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 94.5”


Rooted in the “Europa Jeep” program of the 1960s, Volkswagen developed a variant of the Type I Beetle for its Mexican customers that could handle the rigors of rough rural roads. The eventual result was the Type 181, affectionately known in America as the Thing. Like the World War II-era Type 82 Kübelwagen, the Type 181 used mechanicals and a rear-engine platform derived from that of the Type I Beetle. The floor pans came from the Karmann Ghia, which itself was based on the Type I, and reduction gearing from the VW Bus was used through 1973.

Now, as then, the Volkswagen Type 181 Thing attracts crowds wherever it goes, and the example offered here is no exception. Offered from The Rockhound Collection and ready for enjoyment is this rust-free example that continues to benefit from restoration including the white paint finish and the replaced and nicely fitted black cloth top and side curtains. The upholstery was also replaced during the restoration, and the distinctive and functional wooden floor mats were fitted at that time as well. This vehicle retains the low-maintenance 1600 cc air-cooled flat four engine that runs very well. A spare tire resides inside the front cargo compartment, as do the side curtains in their storage bag. A brush bar protects the front end of the vehicle in off-road conditions. If you want an iconic and very fun vehicle to drive every day or use sparingly at your vacation home, this 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 Thing is just the ticket. Restored and offered in nice, driver-quality condition, it can be enjoyed with all the hard work already done, with an exceptionally high fun-to-dollar ratio.

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