Commonly referred to as ‘The Thing’, Volkswagen’s Type 181 was offered in some less-known variants. One of them was the Acapulco Thing, whose production was limited to around 400 cars.
Made from May to July of 1974, it was commissioned by two high-end resorts in Acapulco, Mexico – hence the name. The model was used to shuttle the wealthy clients from the airport and shoreline and had a very vacation-ish feel.
Most examples were finished in Blizzard White with Blue accents on the running boards, bumpers, rocker panels and dashboard, on top of the upholstery with blue nautical stripes. Nonetheless, others came in Orange, Red and Yellow, and all of them featured removable side curtains on all four doors, as well as a folding windshield, removable doors and a retractable soft top, which could be replaced by a seat-matching vinyl top that attached to the tubular frame.
The Acapulco Thing was available with different accessories, such as the welded steel roll cage, outside spare tire carrier, detachable fiberglass hard top with luggage rack, electric winch, front bumper push bar, trailer hitches on both ends, chrome sport wheels, radio and under-dash air conditioning.
Power came from a 1.6-liter flat-four mounted at the back, which was mated to a four-speed manual transmission.
Coming across a decent Acapulco Thing can be quite a pricey challenge as, despite their rudimentary nature, they usually sell for in excess of $10,000.
Now, this one is not for sale, as some might have thought, as the automaker highlighted it and said that “there is plenty of potential for new, unique and exciting open-air driving experiences in Volkswagen’s future”, referring directly to the ID. Buggy Concept that was unveiled last year at the Geneva Motor Show. Could this mean that the stylish, all-electric concept is slated to enter production?