You read that right, the Volkswagen Thing is an actual car, and it’s pretty much, unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. The Volkswagen Thing was originally designed to be a German military vehicle in the 1960s, and sales to the general consumer in the United States didn’t start until the 1970s.
The outside of the Volkswagen Thing is boxy, like a hummer, as you might expect from its heritage as a military vehicle, but still maintains that sweet VW charm.
Stepping into the Volkswagen Thing will leave you feeling just as giddy. No standard carpet here – the Thing actually has slotted wood floors which can be removed. The rest of the interior isn’t all that excited but its simplicity is definitely something to be admired. The Volkswagen Thing offers almost no amenities whatsoever.
Fun Quirks and Features
It’s no surprise to us that something as different-looking as the Volkswagen Thing has some quirks. For one, the hood release mechanism is located in front of the passenger, and upon releasing the hood you will realize that the spare tire is stored here. A small metal plate inside the hood tells owners and drivers that the car takes 91 octane gas, odd for a car that isn’t designed for luxury and performance.
The Volkswagen Thing isn’t completely without features because it at least has windshield wipers. The motor for the wipers is visibly located on the dashboard immediately in front of the driver, and that isn’t the weird part. There is a singular motor for the windshield wipers, so the driver’s side windshield wiper receives power and the other one is simply pulled along with the attachment of a cable.
The windshield of the Thing actually folds down, laying to rest on the hood of the car. It’s pretty unheard of for a car to have a windshield that simply folds down, and while you wouldn’t necessarily want to do that in traffic or going over 15mph, it makes this car the ultimate beach-side cruiser.
Speaking of beach-side cruisers, all of the Volkswagen Things are all convertibles, and the top can be taken down with the simple flick of two latches. Here’s where it gets interesting again. The windows of the Thing don’t crank down – not be motor, not by hand, not at all. That doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy having the top down and the wind rushing through your hair, however, because the windows of this SUV can be removed completely.
Overall the Volkswagen Thing is impractical, lacks almost any feature you could possibly want in a car, but they are also incredibly unsafe. It’s a wonder they were ever allowed to be sold in the United States at all. The Thing has almost no side-crash structure. The B pillar and C pillars that maintain structural rigidity in most SUVs and cars are nonexistent in the Volkswagen Thing, and the windshield’s ability to fold means it is neither protective or structural. Regardless, the Volkswagen Thing is still one of the most unique and coolest SUVs you’ve probably never seen.