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Make: Volkswagen
Model: Thing
SubModel: Type 181
Type: Convertible
Trim: Deluxe upgraded interior, side curtains
Year: 1973
Mileage: 56,660
VIN: 1832840975
Color: Yellow
Engine: Air cooled
Cylinders: 4
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: RWD
Interior color: Black
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Barrington, Illinois, United States

1973 Volkswagen Thing Deluxe upgraded interior, side curtains Additional Info:

VW THINGtype 181
Low mileage, very well appointed, handsomely restored and well tuned and running Thing.
An awesome VW Thing for your consideration
This VW Thing has been stored in a climate controlled indoor facility since being restored approximately 12 years ago.The budget for the Thing restoration and to obtain the vehicle was approximately $28,000.00. The objective for the restoration was to have it present itself as a factory appearing and well optioned-upfitted Thing, as well as being detailed to appear as a show car without the $40k -plus cost to produce and perfect such restoration level. This Thing is a very, very nice beyond 'driver quality' Thing.
The final product reflects those objectives.
Very nice and solid all VW metal body in nice straight condition features NOS VW replacement hood, front valance panel, new fenders, two doors. The body was originally orange. The color change was well performed with doors, fenders interior, body fixtures/gaskets/panels being disassembled/removed for a complete color change. The only evidence of color change being behind the instrument panel-behind the dash.
The decision for the color change to yellow is it looks superbon the VW Thing! The exact yellow color was chosen for its higher white and bright green tints that make up the paint color. '73 Porsche Saturn Yellow made the cut! This tone appeals to both genders, as some yellows can look to "yellow" whereas this color yellow is an exciting and friendlier tone without being garish. It is a heavy duty, hardenedDupont Centari based paint.
1974 Thing fording/air duct scoops were professionally added using factory all-steel ducts (ear muffs) featuring proper rivets, spacingand welting as they are 'beefy' and augment the wheel tire combo and roll bar and... most importantly... significantly reduce dirt and debris from entering and depositing in the engine compartment as the 1973 type louvers are much lower and placed behind the fender flares that create a low pressure area and suck in the road debris brought up by the tires when moving.
The factory body seams, welds, spot welds, are present. The body pan is original and strong. A round metal 'refrigerator' magnet will hold to the all body panels displaying the all metal panels. All doors, hood, trunk operate nicely and close properly. All proper gaskets, welting, end caps, weather stripping, edging are either NOS, exact replacement or original items and are present.
The hinges are all strong and in good condition and feature hinge pin weather caps. The front door hinges have special side view mirror extensions that allow the mirrors to stay on the vehicle if one chooses to remove the doors and feature proper VW type side view mirrors.
Very straight powder coated rear bumper and factory-type 'bull-bar' front bumper look great! Bosch off-road light fixtures with covers add to the look and off road appeal. They have not been wired. Will need wiring installed should new owner choose to do so. Headlight stone guards protect the headlights.
The gas cap was finished in matching color to give a more 'finished' look and blend better with the body lines and color.
Custom created and tasteful 3M vinyl "Africa Corp" door palms and TYPE 181 logos on the rear pan and interior glove compartment door.
The gorgeous factory-type interior boast several upgrades that make it truly stand out from other Things! The yellow 'pops' against the factory black trimmed and capped sheet metal.
The seat upholsteryand padding has been replaced with highest quality triple-thick upholstery custom made by the Thing Shop. Thismaterial is costly and difficult to stitch and is not currently available due to these reasons. it also has the deep rich black tone that does not have gray hues in it like many other seat cover options. The result gives firm smooth seats without any bagginess or easy to rip original spec thin material. The rear seats have been reupholstered in matching upholstery for a complete deluxe fit and feature completespring assemblies.New rear seat belts have been installed for three rear passengers. The front seat belts are original and in good shape featuring original tensioners and custom metal seat storage belt hooks that appear in form and color to the weak original plastic hooks that snap off.
Proper weather stripping and welting with proper end caps are present on the interiorof the doors. The dash board is nice and features original switch gear and knobs dash pad and decals. A custom all steel glove box door and VW type locking knob latch has been fitted for privacy and security. A black foam glove box liner is fitted. The hood release handle is fully intact and located in the glove box asoriginally designed. The dash grab handle is in great condition and is mounted very tight.
The floors are nice clean and solid and have been finished in a black satin urethane paint. Custom hand-rubbed teak 'duck boards' made to fit and followthe adapted pattern from the WWII Kubelwagen but with increased number of boards for a more stable and richer appearance. The duck boards feature brass screws. Truly a one-off custom duck board application and are superior to anything available commercially. Their deep and rich red tones 'pop' against the yellow interior. Thing interiors are notorious for being a hash of improper and mis-matched materials, seats. and equipment and or of new and old parts that never look complete and finished. This Thing stands out from the crowd. Always.
The Custom bend five/six-point factory style roll bar is gorgeous and again stands out from the rest. The bend is to provide head clearance that the originals did not provide thus front occupants routinely would bump their head against while in motion. The bend follows the windshieldangle for a pleasant matched appearance. The structure was prepped and e-coated then finished with black satin DuPont IMRON for a durable and attractive appearance. Closed cell pipe insulation was custom fitted and provides a beefylook that augments the look.
The windshield is in nice shape and fold easily and features a NOS VW wiper motor with proper boot. All proper wiper system componentsare present. The sun visors are nice original units with new mounting brackets/clamps.
This Thing sports a custom bikini top that provides sun shade, wind and light-rain protection. Since this Thing doesn't get used in inclimate weather this option was deemed best. The bikini top folds very flat for a tidy and fit appearance when not up and does not require hinge covers for occupant protection. The top also has a factory appearance and has nice look with the flat profile that mimicsthe hardtop profile. Proper gray color rubber body cushions are present.
The side curtains are special top of the line Thing Shop units that are very solid and have heavy duty frames, vinyl and pins and window vinyl. The front units are sliding glass featuring VW bus type latches for a factory presentation. The rear units are vinylwindows and are in great shape and a very clear. The side curtains include a custom fitted storage bag.
A completefactory folding convertible top is included. The original top bows/frame has been sandblasted, reinforcing plates added along the sides to prevent the inward bowing of the original design that pulls away from the side curtains, an NOS VW all-steel top header was installed as the original units would rust due to condensation. The assemblywas then prepped, e coated, and a satin black DuPont IMRON finish applied. The was then fitted to the Thing and then removed in favor of the bikini top and folded nicely and put into storage. A complete new top fabric was installed and is of double-thick specification as is the rear vinyl window for superior durability. Before use, It should be placed on two saw horses in the sun to allow it to stretch out and then gently washed and then some soap applied to the fabricunder side and carefully power-washed at a distance of 14' to remove dust and some dirt debris stains.
Very clean and very well presenting trunk featuring the factory equipment and a matching never used Jackman type spoke wheel and matching Pirelli unidirectional tire. The fuel tank was replaced as was the fuel sender. The factory gas heater is present and contains all factory parts and was working several years ago but randomlystopped working. Since its only used during warm days, it has been left as is and not tampered with. A full factory manual is included should new owner desire to recommission the unit. Was told that it is probably something the like the timer, fuel pump, etc needing replacement as it is common of the Webasto gas heater units. Custom Wilton wool carpet sets have been fitted to keep road noise down and provide a cushion for stored items and has a great look against the yellow paint.
The engine compartment is very clean, tidy and presentable featuring a very clean 1600cc dual port engine with nice tins and equipment. The factory oil bath air filter assembly was deleted for weight savings and for a cleaner look and simpler filter changes as the air ducts / 'ear muffs' require less involved filtering due to significant reduction in constant dirt and debris polluting the engine compartment.
Stock type 1600cc dual port with a type 34 PICT 3 single throat carburetor with a proper intake and functioning heat risers mated to the S&S Headers exhaust systemwith removable tail pipes for easy swapping of exhaust systems or modifications. i.e. single external pipe & muffler or single 'stinger' style exhaust or twin external mufflers, etc. The S&S systemwas chosen for its VW Thing type tucked away systemwith future modification capabilities and its awesome throaty exhaust note. Engine has been tuned. The engine has been replaced with a1600ccstock spec long block with a complete valve service and components. The tins, intake, carburetor, coil, distributor, fuel lines, fuel filter are new, as well. Less than 2300 miles on the engine.
The valves were also serviced, recently with all intake and exhaust set at .006 .
Valve lash before servicing :Intake #1 .012, #2 .007, #3 .005, #4 .003Exhaust #1 .012, #2 .012, #3 .006, #4 .004
Carburetor is running #130 main jet, if want little more response could go up a jet. All proper engine venting and hoses.


Trans-axlelube changed and new clutch, pressure plate, throw out bearing and resurfaced flywheel at same time engine was out.The linkage and shiftercomponents replaced with stock spec parts. Shifter works nice and tight.
Stock VW brake system that has had pads replaced, adjusted for smooth and straight stops and all 16 backing plateinspection ports fitted with proper rubber boots as original.Emergency brake works very well.
Factory steering assembly with factory wheel with wrapped rim for a thicker grab and comfort. Steers well.
Stock suspension system featuring polished adjustable coil-over shocks that provide extra reserve for a fully loaded vehicle, larger passengers and good off-road manners. Spanner wrench is include to adjust them. This Thing sits well.
Great looking custom specification Jackman type spoke wheels are fitted for optimum backset, width and height and fit very well to the body silhouette. Much time was taken to assure a proper 'factory-look'. The wheels are fitted with premium Pirelli M&S unidirectional tires and has matching spare. The front wheels are 15x5 and rears are a meatier 15x6. A perfect look!
Nice 3M body schutz finish applied to all fender unsdersides and body pan surfaces to keep road noise down, prevent rock chips and kicked up debris/pebbles noise. Its a niceconsistent driver-quality finish.
A organizer box with miscellaneous trim and hardware items will included a new factory type reinforced top latch as the right side top latch is missing a pin and has a safety wire retaining it now. It is easy to change out.
Matching set of yellow terry cloth towels with palm trees and matching special VW Thing caps.
Complete factory owners manuals and shop manuals and gas heater manuals are included.
The factory type folding top frame corner covers and straps are included.
A factory servicing tool set with proper storage bag is included as is the factory vehicle jack and handle set to mount in the factorylocation in the trunk.
A proper Hella map light that fits the German 12v dash receptacle. The receptacle may need the connections refitted.
A spare throttle cable is included.
Miscellaneous Thing related items included.
A Beverly Hills Motoring car cover fitted for the Thing may be included - if it can be located...currently misplaced during storage.
Most items are difficult to see or capture on pictures.
There is a tiny ding on the passenger door inside, as well as, the rear passenger door inside. There is a ding on the driver side rear passenger door inside.
There are some small nicks that were nicely touched up- one by rocker panel, couple on hood edge, miscellaneous touchup locations, a surface corrosion quarter- sized spot that was touched up on bottom of windshield frame. Some tiny little surface corrosion spots on the bottom of windshield frame.
The inside lower body panel corners had some surface corrosion sanded down and touched up. Not easy to notice and not a structural issue.The area below the battery and in the rectangle shape of a battery has had a metal panel fabricated and installed to repair the common corrosion effect of vented batteries of the earlier era caused and very common with VW Things. A complete replacement 1/4 floor panel is included should the new owner choose to have it installed in whole or portion. The repair panel is smooth metal whereas original is stamped with rectangles.
The hood has some micro-dust in the finish which can be wet sanded out with 800, 1000, 1200 and buff/polish if new owner chooses to. It has never been an issue and no one has noticed it or commented it at shows. The underside of the hood has areas of 'soft' (not large, hard edges) runs in the paint surface. There is also a small run in the interior back behind the seat area- can be wet sanded out if new owner chooses to but has not been an issue in the past.
One of the door check strap retaining clips is broken. Two, folded rear seat support bar retaining snaps are missing.Both items don't affect the use of the door or folded seat position and can be purchased at the Thing Shop for about $10should new owner wish to install.
A new windshieldbody weather strip seal has been installed that hasn't fully compressed and obtained a 'memory' yet. As such, it appears that it pushes the window angle forward a tiny bit and makes the top/side curtain tighter to fit. May need to readjust top straps or give it time to have seal compress enough and take a 'memory' (stay more compressed).
Was in Chicago years ago then 10 miles up in affluent Winnetka, IL until mid 90's and then a mile South to Wilmette, IL. Then West about 20 miles to Barrington Hills, ILaround 2006.
The original family had used it as a summer car in the 70's and during this time it had the front backed into at a parking lot. A replacement front panel and hood were installed and repainted orange at that time. Some of the inner fender sheet metal was dented as a result and was dollied back in shape before the new panels installed.
It was also used as a family summer car in Winnetka until and it sat from early/mid 90's due to being operated without a fan belt causing the engine to seize. Late 90's it was acquired by new owners and a long term project of gathering the proper parts and pieces to do a restoration in the next few coming years.
Early-mid 2000's the restoration began and finished about 9 months later..Little use from then on as occasional vehicle gathering around 1,500 miles since restoration.
The above information being passed by word of mouth by previous owners is not guaranteedbut believed to be true.
It was acquiredfrom that owner around 2006
Since then, it is mostly been stored and was storedin heated garage and driven only on nice days, the occasional parade, on private property and shows with less than 1000 miles added since.
Hundreds of additional pictures are available at the following link
This vehicle is sold as is, where is with no warranty, written or implied. The description is best of knowledge andis deemed reliable but not guaranteed as an error or omission may occur, inadvertently. Buyer assumes all liability for the ownership, operation and acquisitionof said vehicle upon purchase.Buyer assumes all responsibility in performingits due diligenceanddetermining the suitability and purchase ofacquiringsaid vehicle.
Vehicle must be picked up within ten (10) days from purchase. Deposit via paypal is required. Terms are Cashier's check for balance due or cash with prior approval by Seller. FULL PAYMENT DUE WITHIN SEVEN (7) DAYS FROM AUCTION CLOSE.Vehicle will not be released until all funds clear Seller's bank account.
Seller shall assist/coordinate with Buyer's agents, shippers as needed to provide a timely and smooth pick up.
Original spec folding top can be shrink-wrapped for shipping upon request. All loose items will be boxed and placed in rear storagearea and or back seat.
Thank you for your time and consideration.