Sunset Classics offers this fantastic original 1974 Volkswagen Thing for Sale. Every great once and a while there comes an opportunity to own a museum quality classic car. There is timelessness and a certain mystique to an extremely low mileage, completely original classic vehicle. This VW Thing has all of that mystique and more.
This is a 1974 VW Thing that looks as if it is almost brand new. It has the lowest original miles of any VW Thing I have seen. It has been garage kept every day and night for at least the past 30 years and the original paint looks great! This rare VW Thing is not only well preserved, but it has a lot of factory options. It has the "The Thing" graphics option, a padded roll bar, the rear spare tire mount, and even a radio! Just the radio option alone is quite unique and rare. Having the original radio and single speaker in perfect condition still with the car today is one of many cool Things about this...Thing. This VW Thing is not only well optioned (I think even the hub caps are an option), but this car has an absolutely amazing original interior.
Things were made to be rugged and durable, so the interiors of VW Things were not designed with creature comforts in mind (you know, like carpet & door panels. That would be too fancy schmancy for a Thing). The idea behind the interior design was that if your Thing ever got wet you could just stick the car in the sun with the top down and it would simply dry out.
The seat fabric is in good condition, and there are many interior factory stickers that are all in great shape. There is an oil change sticker from 1979 showing this Thing had 21,241 miles. The exterior is all original. Even the bumpers are in original paint. The convertible top is original and in great condition. This VW Thing for sale is absolutely unbelievable. I can hardly believe it exists.
The story behind this car is interesting and nearly as unique as the VW Thing itself. In 1982 a farmer in Iowa had a piece of farm equipment for sale (a mower of some fancy sort). The farmer agreed to take a trade for the equipment in the form of this VW Thing and some cash. The potential buyer for the farm equipment dropped off the car and the title, and he was to come back with the cash and to pick up the farm machinery. Well, after dropping off the Thing and the title, the potential buyer never came back! So this VW Thing sat in the barn on this farm for 20 years! Then in 2002 the farmer sold the car to the Father of the guy I bought it from. This new 2002 owner had the car completely refurbished mechanically with new brakes, new front ball joints, he had the gas tank restored, the car received a tune-up...basically he told his mechanic to make everything work. That work did include a non-stock but new hood release cable. And now everything works and the car runs and drives great! There are receipts showing over $2000 in repairs that were done to make this car run and drive perfectly. (Although I will say the fantastic steering and peppy engine is mostly due to the low mileage).
Anyway, the Father in this story passed away in 2006 (RIP) and the car only traveled 1500 miles while he owned it. The son (who was probably nearly 60 years old himself) inherited the car, but as the son put it, "I didn't use it enough to justify keeping it. And the best thing you can do for a car like this is to put some miles on it every year. You've got to drive them.". He is right. Occasional use helps to keep things fresh and lubricated. When the son put the car up for sale, he decided not to even wax it (let alone detail it). He said he appreciated how honest it looked exactly as it is now--pretty much just how it looked when his father purchased it out of the Barn in Iowa. So the son put it up for sale exactly as it was. And that is how it found its way to me. And as much as I want to see how unbelievable this car will look after it is polished and detailed, I have left that exciting reveal for you as the next owner. But perhaps you will think the car is perfect exactly how it is, a bit dusty and completely original.
If you don't already know me (and even if you do) I'm John Snell. I specialize in selling VW Buses, Ghias and Things (and Porsche 356s and a few other cars). I also collect classic cars and I have owned my very own 1974 VW Thing for more than half of my life! I bought it when I was just 17 in 1991. My Uncle Jerry Coffin had just bought his own original, orange, low-mileage (as in 60k miles) VW Thing about one year before I found mine—that's how I knew what they were! So I practically grew up with VW collecting. Everytime my family gathered at my Uncle Jerry's house we would all gather around outside as he showed off his latest rare and unique VW acquisition. I remember when I was only about 8 years old My Uncle Jerry showing me his 1952 VW Beetle, and how excited he was about demonstrating the light-up, flip out semaphore turn signals. (My Uncle Jerry Coffin has been the Vintage VW Club of America MN representative since 1983). So he helped me get an engine for my VW Thing, and he helped me get it running and driving. I have absolutely loved owning that VW Thing ever since. My Uncle and I both still have those same VW Things today!
VW Things are very rare in any condition and they don't come up for sale very often. They were only imported to the United States for two years - 1973 & 1974. To find an example as original as this one is almost unheard of. (Actually finding an original, super low-mileage, original paint example of ANY make and model from 38 years ago is uncommon). This completely original 1974 VW Thing would be right at home in the Volkswagen museum. I don't think I have ever seen a VW Thing that still had the original soft top in such perfect condition. Compared with the cost of developing, building, and risking your life with a time machine, the better option if you want a car like this is to simply purchase it now.
Classic VWs have continually gone up in value. Recently, in the summer of 2011, a superb example of a 1963 VW Bus sold for $217,800 (including buyer's premium)! Rare, nearly perfect examples of classic VWs should continue to go up in value for decades to come.
So check out the hundreds of photographs in the two galleries below. Enjoy the videos of this VW Thing running and driving. And if you have a spot in your collection for a super-low mileage Volkswagen, I hope you choose this 1974 Volkswagen Thing for sale!
|1974 Volkswagen Thing Body Gallery||1974 Volkswagen Thing Close-Up Gallery|