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  1. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  2. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  3. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  4. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  5. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  6. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  7. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  8. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  9. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  10. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  11. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  12. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  13. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  14. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  15. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  16. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  17. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  18. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  19. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  20. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  21. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  22. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

  23. 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"

Lot Number
44

1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"
2017 Monical Collection Auction

Offered Without Reserve

CHASSIS NO: 1833022899
• Fun and funky Beetle-derived adventure vehicle
• Economical and easy-to-maintain air-cooled flat-four engine
• Nicely restored before joining the Monical Collection
• Newer paint finish, convertible top, and upholstery
• Includes side curtains in storage bag and mounted spare

Type 181. 1,584 cc air-cooled, OHV horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, Solex carburetor, 46 HP (SAE) @ 4,000 rpm, 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.

Type 181s had some very unique qualities about them. Like all Volkswagens, they were rear-engine vehicles with typical air-cooled engines. A fold-down windshield and removable doors encouraged fun summertime cruising. Civilian sales began in Europe and Mexico during 1971 and in the U.S. in 1973, but the model was dropped from the American lineup in 1974 after the imposition of stricter new vehicle-safety standards. By 1976, the Europa Jeep project had fallen apart completely and was abandoned, and the German government began supplementing their Type 181s with the new front-engine Type 183s, which featured four-wheel drive.

Now, as then, the Volkswagen Type 181 ‘Thing’ attracts crowds wherever it goes, and the example offered here is no exception. Offered from the Monical Collection and ready for enjoyment, it is a rust-free example that continues to benefit from restoration including the striking white paint finish and the replaced and nicely fitted black cloth top and side curtains. This vehicle retains the low-maintenance 1600 cc air-cooled ‘flat four’ engine that runs very well. The upholstery was also replaced during restoration, and the distinctive and functional wooden floor mats were fitted at that time as well. A mounted spare 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 everyday 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.

1973 Volkswagen Type 181 "Thing"
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