In the United States is the VW type 181 is a legend, in Germany, the former courier truck the army is ridiculed as a “bucket”. The would-be SUV has neither four-wheel nor all-terrain courses, as well as low ground clearance. However, in the United States, the 181’s since the ‘ 70s, with the mix of a VW beetle and Meyers Manxs Buggy as the edge of a Recreational vehicle under the name of “The Thing” known. Where did the Name come from? He looks just like a thing. No sedan, no convertible, no bugs and certainly not a Pick-up – a thing that many of us know and are at least as many have never seen before.

The car

For this year’s 50. Birthday of the thing we do an anniversary tour from Florida to Texas. The flatterige PVC roof to the rear of the plug-in discs are out of work, and if it is to be brave, even pushed the windshield forward so that the wind whipped into his face. However, not on the Highways, but on the small country roads. This is more in line with the 1.6 litres large four-cylinder Boxer in the chattering the rear of the 181. His narrow 44 HP range for 115 km/h maximum speed, and the faux leather chairs are not exactly comfortable. The made the car for a drive earlier: We get from the environment, everything.

The Fans

In Alabama and in Louisiana, we travel to the great land with stunning Magnolia trees, past white picket fences and the mighty gates. Close to the coast will be set on the buildings because of the regular floods on the mighty pole. On the border to Missouri to let a young Couple with the yellow thing with the States, plate photography, and dreams of the rental Sentra easy to trade. Not the only purchase offer on the Tour. Anywhere the thing to attract attention. Trucker honk the horn when Overtaking, and Harley-Biker-stretching the thumb.


As the yellow convertible with a Jerk and Spotzen in front of Booth’s Grocery expires to the South of the boggy Grand Lake, it takes only seconds, and the store owner Teme comes to the porch and asks if she can help. “I have the Shop here since 1957,” says the sprightly Elderly woman, and asks next: “What kind of car is this? I’ve never seen.” The whole family admired the 181er and wants to help. The supposedly empty Tank, after the filling by carried along a reserve canister (because the fuel gauge is faulty) as a not-so-empty. Instead, the gasoline bitch the pump. Finally, after more than two hours of craft work, once again, a View, and get back into the action.

We able to brave the cold, despite the non-functioning heating and arrive in Houston. The Thing is allowed to rest after the fatigues of the last few days now. Who celebrates already his 50. Birthday with a multi-day Party across the southern States of the USA?

The original VW Kübelwagen type 82 car was built on the original VW beetle. In the Second world war, the Nazi leadership had him in 1939 for war purposes build. The nickname owed to the bucket car for its Seats: in Order to save weight, was dispensed with in some on the doors. In order for the passengers not rushed during the travel of the vehicle, when installed-like bucket seats – colloquially referred to as “buckets”.