Lot 304

Monterey 2019

1973 Volkswagen Type 181 Thing


$36,960 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
1833024537 E
  • Beautifully restored example
  • Tasteful color combination of Cream White over black
  • The incredible and unforgettable VW “Thing”

The mass success of Beetle-based dune buggies in the United States during the late 1960s did not escape Volkswagen’s attention, nor did appeals from the company’s considerable Mexican customer base for a vehicle suitable for their rural roads. Volkswagen began with the basic lines of its World War II–era Kübelwagen military vehicle, modernized it with redesigned bodywork on a Beetle-derived chassis and drivetrain, and fitted Karmann-Ghia floor pans. Not only were the top and windows removable, but so were the doors, creating an airy ride not unlike a modern Fiat Jolly. And thus, the Volkswagen “Thing” was born.

Offered is a fully restored 1973 Type 181 finished in Cream White over a black interior with matching black soft top. The car features a completely rebuilt dual-carb 1,600 cc engine, coupled with a four-speed manual transmission, Pertronix electronic ignition, steel wheel, chrome caps, wooden floor slats, black bumpers, front brush bar, side curtains, rear cocoa cargo mat, bamboo-style storage tray, power pulley, and a lightened flywheel. The car has also been fitted with all-new front-end components. Moreover, a brand-new soft top with side windows is included, as well as a black vinyl bikini top. This Thing is the perfect sunny-day beach cruiser and is probably one of the funnest vintage vehicles one could own.

Featuring tasteful Cream White paintwork, a removable soft top, and dog-dish chrome hubcaps, this Type 181 is arguably one of the best-looking Things currently available. As a rust-free example, and one that was restored to near-factory specifications, this car is also one of the most well sorted. More to the point, this example presents itself as an honest, vintage Volkswagen in which the idea of fun is exemplified in every possible way. Volkswagen enthusiasts would truly appreciate this car, as it will continue to provide endless joy for drivers and passengers alike.