Auction Block: 1974 Volkswagen Thing

Originally developed for the West German Army, the Volkswagen Thing was a quirky little convertible with four removable doors and a fold-down windshield. Its design made it incredibly popular once it hit the civilian market, where it proved an attractive off-road alternative to the Beetle.

The example pictured here was completely refurbished to bring it back to its former glory before being modified to improve the ride. For instance, in addition to having its bodywork stripped and repainted, its floor pans and convertible top have been replaced, and it’s been fitted with some custom tubular bumpers in place of the factory items. And when it comes to the power plant, this Thing has been given a complete engine overhaul — with its 1,776cc flat-four receiving a new case, cylinder barrels, and a PerTronix electronic ignition system, amongst a long list of other upgrades. Inside, the front seats have been swapped out for a pair of fixed-back race-ready units complete with harnesses. What’s more, there’s now a rear roll bar, a new Becker radio, and an aftermarket steering wheel. Top it off with a set of front disc brakes and a dual muffler exhaust system and the result is quite a pristine Thing.

Purchase: $17,000+