To Be OFFERED AT AUCTION WITHOUT RESERVE at RM Sothebys' Arizona
event, 17 - 18 January 2019.
$15,000 - $25,000
- Offered from the Torque Collection
- Derived from VW's military Kubelwagen design
- Interesting �outlaw' modifications
- Adjustable air suspension
- A delightful weekend plaything
Nobody can say for sure how many examples of the Type 181 or Type
182 - the right-hand-drive version - were constructed; estimates
vary from about 70,000 to twice that number. What is known is that
the open-topped Type 181 was dubbed the "Thing" for the U.S.
market, and some 25,000 units were sold here from 1972 to 1974.
They were popular in sunnier climes and their bright colors -
Blizzard White, Sunshine Yellow, and Pumpkin Orange, all with black
leatherette interiors and tops - shouted "Fun!"
The 181 was based on the VW Kubelwagen, an off-road vehicle first
offered to the German military. The steel body featured four seats,
removable doors and windows, a folding windshield, and a single
round instrument containing a speedometer and fuel gauge. The
rear-mounted, air-cooled boxer four and four-speed manual transaxle
were borrowed from the Type 1 Beetle. A gas heater was optional.
The front suspension was conventional Volkswagen, with torsion bars
and trailing arms. Originally Type 181s were fitted with a "Portal"
rear axle design similar to the VW transporter to give additional
ground clearance and off-road-appropriate reduction gearing. When
the 181 was offered to the civilian market in 1973, that layout was
replaced with more
This example, sourced from its original Arizona owner in early
2016, proudly displays its original Alpine Green paint with just
the right patina. It was then modified in a Rat-Rod like motif by
air-cooled expert Doug Turnbull Autosports for the consignor. The
1,600-cc single-carb VW motor was serviced in late 2018. This
example has been modified with a stainless-steel exhaust (custom
bumper exit), adjustable air suspension, new shocks, tie rods, ball
joints, spindles, and a set of authentic Porsche Fuchs alloy
wheels. This car's complete maintenance history, receipts for the
modifications, and original manuals are included.
To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction,
please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az19.