NO RESERVE 1974 Volkswagen Thing Type 181

The Volkswagen Type 181 was originally developed as a utility vehicle for the West German Army and was instead marketed towards civilians, offered as the “Thing” in the United States. This 1974 example was purchased by the current owner in 1982 and subsequently received a nut and bolt restoration including a repaint in a Porsche-derived Almond Beige color, a rebuild of the 1600cc engine, new fenders, and a new retractable top.  A lifelong Southern California car, this meticulously maintained VW Thing is now being offered for auction accompanied by well-documented service history and a collection of manuals.

This Type 181 has been refinished in a Porsche-derived Almond Beige color, fitted with a new black convertible top, and equipped with replacement fenders sourced from The Thing Shop in Arizona. Other features include removable side windows, a folding windshield, black-painted bumpers, a tow ball, black headlight rings, black VW badging, dual mirrors, and black-painted 14” aftermarket 5-spoke wheels mounted with newer General Grabber all-terrain tires.

The interior has been restored with new black vinyl upholstery for the low-back front bucket seats and rear bench.  The floors are lined with perforated rubber mats over a painted pan with drain holes. Features include seatback storage pockets, a red floor-mounted shift lever with a color-coordinated shift pattern on the knob, and a VDO speedometer.

The air-cooled 1600cc flat-four engine was rebuilt using original German parts and is said to produce up to 46 HP and 72 lb.-ft of torque. The rear wheels are driven through a 4-speed manual transmission. The seller reports that this Thing has been serviced meticulously under the care of its longtime owner with a collection of documented maintenance history accompanying the sale.

This sale will include owner’s books, repair manuals, a binder of service records, and a clean title.

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Comments (27)

  • CCCltd 16 hours, 20 minutesago

    Bid in the amount of $15,000

  • Miniracer1275 16 hours, 21 minutesago

    Bid in the amount of $10,000

  • CCCltd 16 hours, 24 minutesago

    Bid in the amount of $9,000

  • Miniracer1275 17 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $8,500

  • GreatNeckLawyer 23 hours, 46 minutesago

    Bid in the amount of $7,500

  • carparcusa (seller) 1 day, 12 hoursago

    Driving and shifting videos have been added, as well as pictures of the softtop with side screens and also the underside of the vehicle.
    Let me know if there are questions!! Happy to reply.

  • carparcusa (seller) 1 day, 12 hoursago

    Additional content has been added to the gallery for this listing.

  • wolle 1 day, 18 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $7,000

  • Carbidness (registered bidder) 2 days, 8 hoursago

    This was done perfectly

  • carparcusa (seller) 2 days, 12 hoursago

    Additional content has been added to the gallery for this listing.

  • PCarMartJM (registered bidder) 2 days, 14 hoursago


    Could you please add a couple of photos of the roof up and the side curtain windows in. Also a photo of each side curtain windows.

    Thank you

  • RK (registered bidder) 2 days, 19 hoursago

    Is the mileage shown the mileage since the rebuild of motor? How long ago was the engine rebuilt? Thanks

  • CCCltd 2 days, 20 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $5,750

  • logica 4 days, 8 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $5,500

  • Efariab (registered bidder) 4 days, 12 hoursago

    @carparcusa, thanks for the response to My Engine question and your 2 different accounts clarification!
    If you don't mind, I'll continue using you original "carpacusa" for our future communications.

  • carparcusa (seller) 4 days, 13 hoursago

    @Efariab To avoid confusion, please note that I have two accounts with Pcarmarket, a business and a personal (P1800) account, the business is selling the Thing but I can place comments from either account.

  • P1800 (registered bidder) 4 days, 13 hoursago

    @Efariab Yes, the engine is the original one as far as we've been told.

  • Coachmule (registered bidder) 4 days, 17 hoursago

    @carparcusa lol I’m getting old thanks for the reminder on the year for the smog. GLWTA I have a 1976 Thing. I’m curious to see how yours does then I’ll make my decision.

  • Efariab 4 days, 18 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $5,000

  • Efariab (registered bidder) 4 days, 18 hoursago

    Is rebuilt Engine the original one that came in the car from 1974 ??

  • GreatNeckLawyer 4 days, 23 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $3,250

  • carparcusa (seller) 5 days, 16 hoursago

    @Coachmule Year 1974 is exempt for CA Smog, so no worries.

  • Efariab (registered bidder) 5 days, 17 hoursago

    Thanks ???

  • Coachmule (registered bidder) 5 days, 18 hoursago

    Do you have a California smog for this car ?

  • noahkl 5 days, 19 hoursago

    Bid in the amount of $1,420

  • carparcusa (seller) 6 days, 14 hoursago

    More underside pictures and driving video in the making.

  • Efariab (registered bidder) 6 days, 15 hoursago

    Hi there SELLER,
    I love the car would and I've always had a soft spot in my heart for the VW Thing !
    Would you PLEASE post a driving video ( going through the gears, etc.) and some picture of the under carriage, suspension and drive train !
    Also a question here, is there any rust anywhere in the car ??
    Thanks in advance .

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NO RESERVE 1974 Volkswagen Thing Type 181
Current high bid: $15,000 Ends in:
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