1973 Volkswagen Thing

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The VW Thing has the same chassis and mechanical parts as a Beetle
The VW Thing has the same chassis and mechanical parts as a Beetle

Say you want a classic car that you can show and take to events, but also drive on the beach. That could be a classic Jeep or a dune buggy, or this one from Germany, which was marketed when new as the Car That Does Everything: the Volkswagen Type 181 Thing.

The Pick of the Day is a 1973 Volkswagen Thing, a fun car that can do a lot of what a vintage Jeep does, and based on the tried-and-true VW Beetle chassis and mechanical parts.

The Thing was touted by VW as a go-anywhere vehicle

What was originally designed by VW to be a military vehicle for Germany and Italy, a stop-gap measure because the planned Europa Jeep was not completed yet, became something of a cult car in the United States.

The Thing market has taken off in the past few years, with restored examples selling at auction for more than $30,000. Happily, there are still quite a few bargains for considerably less money, such as today’s pick.

The advertisement on ClassicCars.com placed by a Staunton, Illinois, dealer is lacking in any detail, stating only that the car has a good body, solid floors, nice paint and top, original interior, and it runs and drives great.

From the pictures with the ad, it appears that the front seats have been either recovered incorrectly or replaced with seats from another car. Either way, putting them back to original is an easy fix. Although, these seats are likely more comfortable than the basic originals.

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Nothing extra in this interior

The top looks like it is in fair condition, but the photos do not show the side curtains. Happily, these are readily available from VW Thing parts specialists or eBay.

The Thing offers all the simplicity of a VW Beetle in a fun and different package that is perfect for summer drives to the beach, or out to the campsite in the woods.

The asking price of this Thing is only $11,950 and if it is as rust-free as it appears, would be a good buy.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

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