Lot No: 318
1976 Volkswagen Type 181
Registration no. OO-742 (NSW Expiry 21/3/11)
Chassis no. 1862055618
Engine no. AF323094
Volkswagen's "Thing" had its roots in a military project. Loosely based on the World War II Kübelwagen, it was intended as a lightweight, four-wheel drive utility car for several European armies. Although Volkswagen decided not to enter the competition for this "Europa Jeep," company management felt that a "fun vehicle" in that formula could be popular in the consumer market. Thus was born the Type 181 Kurierwagen, called "Trekker" in the U.K., "Safari" in Mexico, where many were built, and "The Thing" in the United States.
Based on the mechanicals of the Type 1 Beetle, it used a Karmann Ghia floorpan and 1,500 and 1,600 cc versions of the familiar air-cooled flat four engine. Transmissions were all VW's four-speed manual. Production began in 1969 in Germany, with early units delivered, ironically, to the German Army, as well as Dutch and Belgian forces. Civilian