Tag Archives: Type 4

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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