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Thing experts, help (part 2)
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kmcarol@msn.com is offline 

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 3:13 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

I've found an acapulco thing, but its been painted cream color with an ugly stripe down the side. It will be my first Thing and I need help from you guys. Here are my questions (I'm more interested in function than authenticity).

1. The seller says that the car's hardtop is original and that he bought a soft top to go with it. Did acapulcos really come with hard tops and/or soft tops? I though they came only with a bikini top.

2. One of the bumper protectors has rusted off. Should I be concerned about this?

3. The passenger side mirror is missing, the windshield is shattered, and the speedometer, odoometer and fuel gauge don't work. Should I make reductions in price for this? (he's asking 4500)

4. The pans are pretty rusty underneath (flaking) but have no holes. How soon will the pans need replacing (I thought I'd put POR-15 on them)

5. It's been sitting for 3 years and won't start (he left gas in the tank) so I told him that and he needs to get the engine running before I can made a final decision. He said he would. Any concerns about this?

6. Where can I find out about the unique aspects of the acapulco version?

7. I live in Salt Lake City where there are very few Things. I don't have any idea about how to track down a Thing expert who can look the car over and advise me. Do you know anyone who could help me? I have a friend who restores muscle cars who I'm thinking about asking to help me.

I'd be grateful for any information you have.

Reed
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bljones
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 9:18 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

walk away from it. it is a $1500- $2500 restoration project at most. Acapulcos command a premium over other Things, but unless you are absolutely dying to have one, you might be better off looking for a better non-Acapulco model. If you have a $4500 budget, you would be better off perusing the classifieds. You can probably find a better car with a little looking for $2500-3000, which will still leave you with $1500-$2000 to buy a plane ticket to look at it yourself, and either drive it or have it transported home. I know of a PRIMO well maintained need-nothing Thing local to me that can be had for less than $4500. i would be happy to check it out for you, and get some pictures if you would like, and can also help with shipping arrangements. e-mail me if you are interested.
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chinacat
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:22 am    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

I'd second bljones' opinion, and advise you to walk away from it. The price seems way too high for what seems to be a restoration project. All "original" Thing hardtops were actually dealer-installed aftermarket products. It is possible that it's one of those tops, but they're not that hard to find, and they're certainly not Acapulco-specific. You're right in that the original Acapulco top is a bikini-style top.

Given the age, and the fact that the engine isn't running, you're likely looking at a total rebuild to have something you can rely on. Any aircooled VW machanic can do this for you, but you're looking at a couple thousand right there. The fact that all of those gauges don't work tells me that you'll need to either replace them, or (worse) need to look into a major rewiring job. Electrical contacts and old wires tend to be brittle on Things. Shattered windshield and missing passenger mirror kind of imply that the car was driven hard (maybe offroad - who knows). At the very least, it tells you that someone didn't care enough about it to fix it. This in itself should be significant warning to keep away.

To give you an idea of what you might be in for, I paid $3,500 for my '73. Here's what it looked like when I bought it:https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/70909.jpg
It also came with a soft top, 6 extra doors, extra fenders, extra front bonnet, enough spare parts to build another 1600, and all the original extras. Now, granted I'm serious about mechanical quality and roadworthiness, but I've already spent about $10,000 towards a stock restoration (without even looking into paint yet). Good luck.
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ChrisM181
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 5:44 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

How does the front beam look? The shock towers etc. Are they rusted though or solid? That is one of the most important areas. One does not need to be a Thing expert to know if the car is worth saving or not. Your buddy might help you determine how bad the rust problem is. Look underneath the back seat and see if there is any rust.
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bljones
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 6:12 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

Still, $4500 for a non-running, obviously poorly maintained and cared for Thing? that is too much, no matter what condition the front beam is in.
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ChrisM181
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 5:13 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

I agree that $4500 is to much but, I would not sell a solid Thing for less than $3500 or $3000 american dollars.
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Capn Skully
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 1:02 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

I paid $4500 for mine and it was fully restored and painted. It is an Acapulco copy but what the hey...
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TimGud
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2003 3:50 pm    Post subject: Thing experts, help (part 2) Reply with quote

For $4500 it should run decent,stop decent,not be rusted badly,and at least have respectable (not perfect) seats and paint. A windshield would be nice too.
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