View original topic: After 20 years ... a Thing! Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Shoyrtt Tue Aug 24, 2010 11:07 am

I have been lurking here for a while now and finally pulled the trigger on a 74 Thing I found locally. My last VW was a 59, 23 window deluxe bus back in 1989 (sure wish I would have kept it :D ). Before that we had Bugs and a Ghia but it has been a LONG time.

Now back in the day, it seemed there were several resources namely VW shops and VW junkyards around for most parts here in SoCal. I am going to need some sheet metal up front and a lot of little stuff. Other than the Thing Shop and the classified ads here, I am not having any luck finding the old yards (if they still exist :?: ). Maybe the VW swap meet in Pomona? Anyone have a hood and fender locally? :wink:

Here are a few pictures of the project (most of the damage) :cry: . The story I got was it was last registered and run back in 93. On a trip from LA to Running Springs the owner was in an accident. The car sat for 17 years. Luckily no rust in the pan or battery tray and the motor seems to run good. The prior owner had it listed as a 73, but the engine vents/scoops I believe now it is a 74. Its rough, but worth saving IMO. :D

yellow73kubel Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:35 pm

Crunch! That is going to be fun to fix... Unfortunately, most of the scrapyard VW's you remember have now been converted to razor blades.

That lower windshield frame is going to be an expensive pain in the tail. Check the frame head thoroughly for signs of bending or stress. You will probably be better off finding a donor car for the sheet metal issues, patch panels aren't gonna cut it here.

Does the body have holes for the side mirrors? You could well have a '73 with the hamster cheeks added.

Eric Goodman Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:19 pm

I am in So Cal and restored a 73 Thing in 2008. I had to get almost everything for my car... Let me know if I can help you find something. Took me over one year. I have never been but heard of a VW yard in So Cal: Good luck, Eric

locky Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:49 pm

Looks like you have alot of "fun" coming your way. Quite the project, one section at a time. Congrats. I have been dealing with a whole lot of sheet metal lately myself and am getting there, very rewarding.
Good Luck!!

Yarkle Tue Aug 24, 2010 5:36 pm

there was a guy who kept having a drivers side fender ad in the classifieds, with a cruddy passenger side that went with it for free. he has relisted it several times, so just keep your eyes peeled.

Ive found works good, just put in VW thing

like this:

, and it gives you craigslist ads for the entire country...

I usually check it daily!

actually , check this link out, this might be the bonanza, since you are in california. If i didnt live on the other side of the continent, id be on it like hyenas on a wildebeest.

looks like hes got the hood, fenders and front bumper you need, at a bargain price.

Wildthings Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:32 am

As crunched as that one is, I think I would do some cutting, banging, welding and make it end up looking more like one of the original Kubelwagens.

EXJAY Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:40 pm

absolutly worth saving...

JonnySox Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:07 am

i am from So Cal and coming down next week. i am in SLC utah and have a very nice hood. i can bring it with me and save the shipping if you are interested?

JonnySox Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:10 am

i also have a windshield that is in better shape then the one you have. it has some rust but will bring it too

Shoyrtt Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:23 pm

JonnyBSox wrote: i am from So Cal and coming down next week. i am in SLC utah and have a very nice hood. i can bring it with me and save the shipping if you are interested?
I am very interested. I will shoot you a PM. Thanks!!!!!!! :D

Shoyrtt Wed Sep 08, 2010 2:27 pm

Got the project into the shop and took a few more pictures of the carnage:

I have found a hood and a front clip at a local yard I am going to pick up. I still need a driver side fender (HELP!!! :P ) and hopefully JohnyBSox can hook me up with a windshield frame. :)

Shoyrtt Fri Jan 07, 2011 4:46 pm

I finally have assembled all of the parts to start the big fix. I picked up a full front clip in AZ along with four fenders, a great window frame and window, a front bumper and some cherry hamster cheeks. :D The one part that was eluding me was a decent front hood. Either they were trashed or were offered at more than what I paid for the clip ($400). I called Interstate in Lake Elsinore (listed above) and they had a great example (in fact they had four hoods) for only $180. 8)

I am looking at early February to weld on the clip. My thought is to install the clip on the pan, tack it up and make sure everything lines up and burn it in. After this I will pull the whole body off the pan for the rest of the body work and paint. :wink:

norcalmike Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:22 pm

nice save dude! that one would have been chopped up for sure around here. good luck on the project. keep up posted! 8)

Shoyrtt Tue May 31, 2011 11:25 am

A little more progress. Installed the front clip and ended up picking up another driver's side door. The Thing beam was junk from the accident and I was going to lower it anyway so I picked up a 2" narrowed bug beam with disc brakes from Car Craft in Riverside. Also going with the early 60's type 2 taillights. 8)

Next on the list is more body work with the ding in the right rear quarter panel, some rot in the rockers and the battery tray. For some reason I thought the pan halves were the same as a Ghia, but the guys at CC said no. Where can pick up a replacement pan other than the Thing Shop?

Here are some pics:

63ziggy Tue May 31, 2011 12:50 pm

looking good

double check on those pans. my understanding is they are a crossover part. maybe not exact on cosmetic design but are same in size/shape and mounting.

pans will still be pricey. not like Beetles

Semper_Dad Tue May 31, 2011 12:54 pm

63ziggy wrote: looking good

double check on those pans. my understanding is they are a crossover part. maybe not exact on cosmetic design but are same in size/shape and mounting.

pans will still be pricey. not like Beetles

My understanding as well. Dimensions are the same as Ghia, but the reinforcement pattern different.

Shoyrtt Tue May 31, 2011 2:29 pm

I needed to order a bunch of odds and ends from TTS, so I went ahead and just got the pan section from them for $80.

I also scored a nice original hard top from Tim at TC's Old V-Dub Home in Tujunga. Super nice and knowledgeable Thing guy. Apparently he was at the Bug-o-rama in Sacto over the weekend. :wink:

After my encounter with the rust in the rockers and the surface rust in every nook and cranny from this car sitting and the front clip sitting outside for so long, I am thinking about having the body dipped at Strip Clean:

I have had a couple of cars media blasted in the past and wasn't happy. Hopefully the dip will net better results. :D

Shoyrtt Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:28 am

I decided to test fit all of the fenders, new windshield and hard top before I strip all of the paint. I also found out that the early bug turn signals fit perfectly and use the OEM holes exactly. I have owned it nearly a year and and it is finally taking shape. :D

A few progress pictures:

GI Joe Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:47 pm

Wow... What a change! You have given that Thing new life. Awesome that you have the ability/drive to take on such a project. Very cool.
I too swapped to the earlier lights up front(67/68?). Those big foot turn signals were killing me!

Keep up the work, can't wait to see it in a driving state! 8)

Shoyrtt Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:34 pm

Thanks Joe! The signals are from a 58-63 bug to go with the early bus taillights.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group