Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Monday, March 30, 2009

The VW Thing

Also known as the Trekker in Britain, the Safari in Mexico and the Type 181, The Thing was imported to the U.S. starting in 1972, and though popular was taken off the market in 1975. Because the Thing was classified as a passenger car ,rather than a light truck like the Jeep, it had to meet much stricter new safety rules than was possible with it's utilitarian, outdoor ready interior. Still it must have made an impression in those two years because they are among the most popular classic VW's around. Originally conceived to meet the needs of the German Military for a cheap, rugged and reliable utility vehicle in the vein of the original KubelWagen, VW realized that it would also be popular with the outdoor lifestyle folks (Jeeps were extremely popular around this time) and customers in emerging markets which needed a more rugged vehicle. VW had a hit on their hands and the car was sold into the the 80's both to military organizations and the public. I wish VW would issue a remake based on the Toureg running gear but with a true Thing like styling and simplicity.


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