Monthly Archives: December 2013

1974 VW Type 181 Thing “Acapulco”: Das Jeep?

1974 VW Thing - 5

I know that the original Ricardo Montalban/Herve Villichez “Fantasy Island” used modified Dodge Aspen station wagons for their island runabouts, but every time I see a VW Thing that’s what I think of. They probably really wanted something like the Thing for the TV show, but got too much pressure from Chrysler. Could it perhaps have had anything to do with Montalban’s role promoting “rich Corinthian leather” for the Chrysler folks? Who can say? Regardless, the Thing would have been a far superior island car right up until it rusted out from under Montalban’s leather-loving hindquarters. But seriously: VW reliability, economy, and ruggedness instead of, well, Dodge? PLUS, the VW wouldn’t have required the extensive modifications that the Aspens did: door removal, funny, fringy roofs, and so on. The Thing was perfect right out of the box – just pick your color. Suffice it to say, I’m a Thing fan.
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1970 Dodge Monaco: Yachting TTS-style…

1970 Dodge Monaco - 1

Cars like this Dodge Monaco are the reason that Americans were able to function for so long without minivans, SUVs, crossovers, MPVs, and, well, you get the picture. You see, cars used to be big. And not just Cadillacs and Lincolns, but regular cars, too. The average American family with 2.5 kids and a dog could easily fit in a classic four door like this, and still have room for Grandma – and that’s if they bothered to wear their seatbelts. Heck, without seatbelts you could get another 2-3 folks in the car comfortably! Sadly those days are gone in the name of efficiency and safety (?), but you can relive them for the scant $5,500 that this car available on Craigslist in Laytonsville, Maryland would cost you.
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