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    1973 Volkswagen Type 181 Convertible

    Consignment #: 6136 Sign In to View Price


    Vehicle to be offered for Auction sale June 10th – 12th, 2016 at Russo and Steele’s 4th Annual Newport Beach, California Auction. Please contact us for more information.

    You are viewing, possibly, the most accurate, professionally restored VW Thing in existence. I realize this is a bold claim, but when you inspect the vehi8cle you can find no short cuts or open issues regarding the “no expense spared” restoration completed on this spectacular example. The was accomplished by marque experts at “The Thing Shop” in Chandler Arizona, THE “go to” place in the world for anything relating to the VW Thing, including parts, service, restoration and advice.

    This VW, Type 181, was totally disassembled, media blasted, refinished inside and out in the original color; Pumpkin Orange. The bottom was refinished in gloss black epoxy as were all the suspension components.

    The running gear has been totally rebuilt, including the 1600 Dual Port engine, IRS, gearbox, axles, CV joints, bearings, shocks, fuel system, etc. The total braking system has also been addressed, including both mechanical and hydraulic systems.

    The hard to find, “Thing” specific items are all present and accounted for, including the correct single oil bath air filter, CV joints, gas fired heater, tool kit and jack, outside mirrors, instruments, seat belts, original keys, gear shift lever lock, driver’s door locking “cubby box”, etc.

    This VW Thing (Type 181) was purchased by Gene Cox, a former Valley home builder and founder of Armored Mini Storage, for his daughter to drive to high school. The Thing was sent to Larry Dustman at the Trim Shop, now the Thing Shop, in Chandler, for a complete and total restoration before it was presented to his daughter.

    After high school, I understand, she attended college in California and subsequently moved there, without the Thing, and started a family. Now, years later the car was discovered in one of Gene’s storage facilities. It was returned to Larry at the Thing Shop to be “freshened up” and put on the road again.

    This thing has several unique features, including the 1973 model year, ONLY gas heater, the Thing Shop sliding side curtains, a custom fit Thing vinyl top, driver’s door locking cubby box and glove box. ‘Duck Boards’ chrome, period correct wheels. Original, through the bumper exhaust outlets. (most Things have been converted to extractor exhaust systems). This Thing is also complete with spare tire and wheel, jack and tool pouch and vinyl storage enclosures for the side curtains.
    Below is the bio on Larry Dustman and his Thing Shop, taken from his website:
    The Dustmans have been in business for over 40 years. Originally known as The Trim Shop, Larry specialized in automobile (Mercedes, Porsche, VW) and aircraft interiors. Larry and The Trim Shop gained an outstanding reputation for excellent upholstery work with great attention to detail. Michele quit her job as an office manager at a large corporation to devote herself full time to The Trim Shop. About 1985 Larry and Michele purchased a Thing for their trips to Mexico.
    About 1995, VW of Mexico liquidated all remaining Thing (Type 181) stock to Larry and Michele. They decided to purchase all they could to bring back to the U.S. Eight tractor-trailer loads and one warehouse later, The Trim Shop became the largest vendor of NOS and quality replacement VW Thing parts in the world. The Trim Shop officially changed its name to The Thing Shop on January 2, 1997.



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