VW's aircooled mini SUV. Great for riding in the country, or cruising the beach.
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Bob Ingman
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Post by Bob Ingman » Mon Jun 03, 2002 3:47 pm

Been wondering when this forum would happen. Been gone 5 days and what do you know a 181 forum.
Let me introduce myself. I`m Bob Ingman . I live in Thorne Bay Alaska. I have a 73 thing soft top with T-4 power which I recently converted. I have ultra wheels with 3 1/2' fronts mounted with 215/75R/ 15 tires. At the rear I have 7" wheels mounted with 235/75R/ 15 tires. Hankook 6 ply all around. The rear is raised by 2 clicls on the inside and the front with coil over shocks. I`ve just added a tubular front bumber and fresh Gun Metal Grey paint. My next step is the addition of alunimum diamond plate running boards. Really they are mud flaps because the tires spray mud on the sides of the car
clouding my curtains. There is no pavement on the island where I live so it is basically an off road car.
I`ve been on the off-road forum mostly for this reason but am guessing I`ll be over here a lot now as well. Have spent a lot of time on rhe type4rum as well but now that my conversion is complete I dont need to be over there anymore.
Good to get the thingers here . I`m in a couple of online thing groups so ill tell the guys about this to expamd our collective knowlege. Good luck Bob
Last edited by Bob Ingman on Fri Nov 12, 2004 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by thinger » Mon Jun 03, 2002 4:06 pm

Good idea for a subject Bob!

Ok, my name is Joe Goldthwaite. I drive a blizzard white 1974 VW Thing that I got from my Dad about two and a half years ago. I make my living as a computer consultant in Phoenix AZ. I live here with my wife, three boys (18, 16, 6), one girl (2), a sister in law (27 and going to college), two cats, and assorted lizards, snakes, and insects. I don't get off road much but my Thing my main hobby as well as my daily driver. I've got a 1944cc type 1 engine built by Jake Raby and I'm working on a Megasquirt fuel injection setup. I've also got an old '73 parked out at my brother's house that I'm sloooowly working on.

I've been hanging out in the Type4rum because there seem to be a lot of experts there and I'm always trying to learn new things. I also hang out with the newbies because I'm still learning AND I can actually help with some of their questions.

You'll notice that the moderator is "Joe Goldthwaite" but I'm posting under the "thinger" name. I had some trouble with a Cox email address. At the time, I had switched all my logins from my old address to the new one from cox. After about two weeks, the cox address stopped working. I had to switch it back. In the process, my "Joe Goldthwaite" account here got messed up and I was not able to login and get the password because the mailbox it was register under was gone. At the time, the easiest way to get back online was to just create a new login and so "thinger" was born. Sigh... I work with computers all day every day and they're still a PITA.

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Post by bljones » Mon Jun 03, 2002 6:02 pm

well, since we are all kickin' tires and shakin' hands, i better join in. I'm brian, currently rehabbing the "90 day wonder" a 1973 German built ex-military 181. Picked it up with a parts car in February, and expect to have it ready for the June jitter bug in niagara falls later this month. it was an abandoned project which has absolutely no chance of ever being original again, but should be a semi-serious off-road contender shortly. I have had the body separated from the pan since it showed up in my driveway four months ago, but the last of the pan work gets finished tonight, then it is time to start bolting it back together. it's all downhill from here! a new (to me anyway) engine should show up next week, I pick up a pair of kadrons tomorrow, the seats have been cleaned, redyed, and frames painted... it's starting to come together.

Single Cab
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Post by Single Cab » Tue Jun 04, 2002 12:31 am

Howdy folks Image I'm Thomas Ainlay in Walnut Creek, CA. I have an Orange '73 and a Blizzard White '74. The '73 is my official long term subaru 2.2L engine swap project while the '74 is my ex daily driver pending a T4 upright conversion transplant Image You can see them and some technical information at:

Bob I see you are on a couple of Thing lists. I'm on the Topica Thing list from way back when it was Martha's list. What's the another one?


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Post by Split50 » Wed Jun 05, 2002 6:46 am

Hi guys,
I've got a 69' ex German army 181, its a bit crusty here and there but it gets me around.
Its standard apart from a bug gearbox for slightly better cruising and some big mud tyres.
Oh yeah, I'm in Wales in the UK.

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Post by Advokat » Thu Jun 06, 2002 8:00 pm

Hey guys:

I too have been wondering when the 181 forum would show up here. I recognize some of you from the Topica list.

Mine is a '74 in the midst of an engine rebuild. It will be a 1904 (74 x 90.5) when done. I'm just about to send my moving parts to Jake Raby for balancing job.

Hope to see you all around and talk some more.


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Post by germansupplyscott » Mon Jun 17, 2002 4:37 pm


scott here. i have a 74 in pieces in my garage. it's rough, but all present and accounted for. i hope to have it on the road this summer, we'll see. she's all original, and will be an easy restore to the "running" stage, never a real nice looker, but we like to drive 'em, not stare at 'em.

she's for my wife to run around the city. we have two children. name me another convertible with four doors and a big back seat!

we also have a '79 westy which we treked around in this winter:

great to have a thing forum!

scott lyons

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Post by Mattt » Sat Jun 29, 2002 3:55 am

Joe, the third "T" was intentional because Matt was already taken as a user name. I currently have a 73 181 that is finally back on the road after 1.5 years down. Actually I bought it non running, and sold my 74 to finance this "project." My old 74 is for sale again. Ive seen it on for WAY more than I sold it to Brian for. Its a black 74 in Arizona. I wouldnt mind having that car back, its the one that started the sickness.
My car is a pre-runner Baja type Thing. Front beam all done up, 1" longer boxed rear trailing arms, bus trans, SAW full floating axles, full chassis that ties front & rear of car together within roll cage. Fox shocks tied to rear of cage, Centerlines & BFGs, body lift, rear torsion adjuster, Beard seats, Glass SoCal front fenders, 1776 stock parts Type 1 that runs with its tongue out even though its only got 1000 miles, and lots of little sh*t left to do, as well as a paint job(its currently 4-5 different colors). Im in Anaheim, CA

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Post by LB181 » Thu Nov 14, 2002 8:19 pm

Good idea to update this post Bob. I bought my 73 Thing for my first car in high school. Since then it has had a pretty hard life. Drove it to high school, college, and had a great time offroading it. Pretty much stock and big plans. Got a roll cage put in by Jim Larson the racecar fabricator. I've got a Type IV engine I am planning on swapping in. ImageMay go with Fat Performance or German Auto fanshroud and be a little different. Pretty much is just sitting for now. Trying to graduate college, work, getting married, and about 50 other auto projects going. But once I settle into my new career the Thing will be my other offroad car.

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Post by JB181 » Fri Nov 15, 2002 7:40 pm

Hi,My name is Jesse B new to the board and VW things. I live in Imperial Beach,Ca. I own a 65 Bus 2nd owner and my new 73 Thing. I'am in the military and get to do a lot of traveling just got back in May 02 from a seven month camping trip ,nothing but sand no surf and no VW's. Every where I go I look for VWs and parts hoping to find the rare jewel somewhere out there. A lot of people look at me like I'am nuts and ask why do I want something like that, when I could have something brand new. Arabs do not dig VWs. Will post some pictures of my thing soon. Thanks Jesse

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Post by SEMPER FI FOREVER » Tue Jan 21, 2003 12:46 pm

Aloha to all; my name is Cliff Singer and I am a Kailua, Hawaii transplant who now lives in beautiful Yuma,Arizona. For those unfamiliar with Yuma, the north end of town crosses the Colorado river to California and Mexico is about 20 miles south. We are 12 miles from the famous Imperial Sand Dunes (all the Star Trek scenes)and the area is fantastic for off road excursions.
I had my first Thing while stationed in Hawaii in 1977. Loved it, the Things were the absolute craze and every car rental facility had Acapulcos with their surey roofs. You can't hardly find one there now, salt air is so bad even the plastic can rust. An engine fire ended my thing days until last October. I realize now that I paid too much on Ebay for my 74, engine ran like a moped, no brakes, and nothing electrical worked. The convenience of picking it up in Arizona was a plus, all new upholstery, new tires/rims/baby moons also since the car has never lived outside Arizona, there is no rust, orignal floor pans still like new.
Jake Raby and I were both Marines who probably crossed paths as some time but he had air cooled CH46 engines, I had radars and satellites. As such, I am undoubtedly dummer than dirt when it comes to anything mechanical so please bear with me if some forum questions/responses seem stupid.
I have fixed all the electrical, installed new brakes, the new 1835 with all the fixins (lots of extra cooling)should be finished this week. When I post the final pictures, if you are a traditionalist who wants only stock, don't look. I will configure/modify this Thing for my needs not for maintaining future resale value. We only go through life once,right? Blizard white, red stripes on the raised panels, blue fenders with stars and still trying to fit in my old Lincoln grill.
Great forum,the knowledge that members share is invaluable. If we ever get to where we need to cough up some bucks to keep a web site, count me in.

Juan de Havasu
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Post by Juan de Havasu » Tue Jan 21, 2003 11:08 pm

Hola...181 amigos! Looks like we have conversation...thanks to Mr. Ingman. As you may have determined from my UN, I do reside in Lake Havasu City, AZ (not to many other Havasu's around???) I am a retired dial-tone guy with "only" two Things now. My '73 is a 100% total restoration, full powder coat underneath, bumpers, wheels, top frame, etc., all German parts, Mercedes Benz Tex interior. A trailer queen and a keeper for my grandaughter. The '74 is also a total resto except for the paint; otherwise, it too would stay in the garage.
I'm a life long VW nut, now seeking a really clean '67 Bug Vert and more Things of course! Also, I am still need Bumper overrides and a trailer hitch for my '74.

[This message has been edited by Juan de Havasu (edited 01-21-2003).]

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Post by Bucko » Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:38 am

I live in Lake Mary, Florida, and travel quite a bit too with my job. I read this web page everyday, (this forum, the type 1 forum, and the newbies). I have really learned quite a bit in the past year or so reading and posting. I had posted here awhile back on how to get a 1970 military 181 over from Germany. The car is in route as I post, so I'll be on this forum more in the very near future. I will also be getting a bunch of extra parts (hood fenders, etc), as we parted out two other Things prior to the shipping. I also have a 73 standard Beetle that I'm putting back together for my son.

[This message has been edited by Bucko (edited 01-22-2003).]

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Sweet Thang
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Post by Sweet Thang » Mon Feb 03, 2003 10:38 pm

Hi Volks! I'm Mike in West Georgia. My wife & I bought our first VW the day before 9/11. A '74 Thing, since then I have 'acquired' a '73 Thing, '74 beetle, & a '82 diesel Rabbit pickup! (Can't seem to stop!) I drive the '74 Thing (Margaret) the most. We took her to a few shows here in the Southeast last year and took a few 1st & 2nd places.(Mainly because there was only 1 or two entries!) She's a GM teal blue. That color when we bought her. The only rust is in the floors. I bought the '73 to build a custom trailer from.(Trust me, that's all it's good for!) My wife drives the beetle everyday and the pickup is just in storage for now. Anyway, I live right in the middle of all the 'BK' guys from the southeastern forum and thought I'd look over here for a bit. Bob, looks like you're a great source of info judging from past posts so . . . A future restoration of Margaret might have me on here a lot! Thanks.

[This message has been edited by WGA Blue Thing (edited 02-03-2003).]

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Post by Chris181Westy » Mon Feb 03, 2003 11:44 pm

Hello, My name is Chris Marrocco. I am a student at Eastern Michigan University and a part-time tech at Livonia Auto Body and Repair. I am a thrid generation VW owner on both sides of my family, so I grew up in VWs and both of my parents grew up in VWs! Between my Father and I we have VWs from the 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's and from the new millenium. But my latest and greatest project is a 73 Thing. My favorite past time is driving my sandrail on the Silver Lake Sand Dunes located on the coast of beautiful Lake Michigan, but every year the popularity of this offroad paradise is growing, therefore it is incresingly difficult to get my sandrail that is not street legal into the dune area, because of the limited parking space for tow vehicles.
This is why I am now a 181 owner! I can drive my street legal Thing right from the street to the dunes! And with the 2187cc power plant I am building I will be able to climb every hill on the dunes! ... +62111.jpg

A pic of my former Thing, my rail, my cousins rail, and my Dads rail in the back.
(I have not had my current Thing on the Dunes yet)

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