Danville Street Sighting - 1973 Volkswagen Type 181 Thing
Back in May I featured a 1974 Volkswagen Thing from Alameda, the place Murilee Martin of The Truth About Cars (formerly of Jalopnik) dubbed The Island That Rust Forgot. Now we're looking at another Thing, which I think is a 1973 model. The curious thing (no pun intended) about this particular vehicle is that it's red. The Type 181 was sold in the US for the 1973 and '74 model years and officially offered in four colors: white, orange, yellow and avocado green. One source I found said that red was a rare color on these. Red was available in certain markets elsewhere in the world, but apparently never offered by the factory on US-bound Things. Rare indeed! There are places on the body where the red paint has chipped or failed along seams or edges, leading me to believe that the car was originally Blizzard White.
The body is in good shape with no rust, and the only damage I can see is a crease in the passenger side rocker panel. This one has the optional removable fiberglass hardtop and solid sliding door windows. Interestingly, it is one of few Things I've seen that lack the big Beetle-style chrome hubcaps. Perhaps they were removed or lost at some point. To sum up, it's a solid and distinctive Volkswagen and probably fairly livable with its weatherproofing accommodations.
California Streets is a blog that celebrates the history of the automobile in California. We feature old, interesting and often rare cars and trucks found parked on public streets and roads around the state of California.
I'm a delivery driver by trade, but I'm also a freelance artist and hobby photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area with a healthy interest in cars. I love finding and documenting fascinating old vehicles wherever I go.