1974 VW Thing

Jacob Bagnell

Since they came out when I was a kid in the 70’s, I wanted a VW Thing and admired the news ones at Brown Motors in National City (San Diego).

Early 2017 a friend took me to his friend’s back yard where I first saw this 1974 Thing, with a tree growing between the front bumper and the body. The owner said it was painted blue with a broom.

The car was completely disassembled, chassis rebuilt front to back, new floors installed, powder coated black, all stainless steel hardware, heavy duty torsion bars, Bilstein shocks, and front disk brakes. Transaxle was rebuilt with early gears; a 1776cc engine installed. The body was acid dipped, straightened and painted back to original avocado green (2 gallons). For custom touches, I made the bumpers and decided on 1917 camouflage upholstery.

Fallbrook High School metal and auto shop students helped with disassembly and chassis rebuild. My son Jacob III was the metal shop teacher and I taught auto shop. Except for paint and upholstery, I did this complete restoration with help from these students and some friends and my wife, Susan.

For over 4 years it was a labor of love and I named it the Damn Thing. Now it is a lot of fun to drive around and we look forward to taking it to car shows around San Diego. Dreams do come true!