Although the Thing has military roots, being initially created for the West German Army as a direct successor of the Kübelwagen, the air-cooled Volkswagen wasn’t more powerful than the Beetle. But not this one.
Just like its sibling, the Volkswagen Thing can be easily transformed from a workhorse into a genuinely fun vehicle for cheap, in spite of its utilitarian looks. In fact, the car’s simplicity is its strong point.
Take this particular unit, for example. Unlike regular Things, which are powered by 53 hp/57 hp flat-four engines, this one was fitted with a turbocharged Mazda 13B RX-7 engine and a Type 2 four-speed gearbox. Sadly, the power output figure is unknown, but Mazda’s turbo’d 1.3-litre Wankel engine was good for 185 – 215 hp – in the first-gen RX-7. It might not be much, but bear in mind the Thing weighs only 910 kg (a little over 2,000 pounds).
Nicknamed the “Toy Barn” by its owner, the car features a full list of additional upgrades and modifications, including adjustable independent suspension, brakes, wheels and tires – among many other things. In his pursuit to make it a beach cruiser, the owner even installed a roll cage in it.
The car is currently up for auction on eBay, but if you’re not an avid bidder, the owner is willing to let it go for $23,897.