The Thing

The first thing that came to mind when I saw ‘The Thing‘ at The Check Shop’s recent Track & Show event was a bathtub on wheels. I mean, what the hell was I looking at here? Having walked the entire parking lot where the show portion of the event was held at Fuji Speedway, the VW was a cool discovery that made me chuckle.


The VW Type 181 was the successor to Kübelwagen, or ‘bucket car’ – the Type 82 that was used by the German armed forces throughout World War II. But despite its military underpinnings, this one isn’t going to be participating in many tactical off-road missions any time soon!


The Thing sits on air suspension, which when aired-out over its rare ATS Type 5 wheels looks about as far away from a car as a car can get.


This model was commonly referred to as a ‘Thing’ in the US, so the name chosen for this particular project is both accurate and at the same time a little comical.


I just love the simplicity of it all – from the flat pastel blue paint, to the fold-down windshield and the fantastically functional way it’s all bolted together.


The interior is home to even more interesting touches, from the twisted iron bar shift lever to the real chain steering wheel.


Riding in The Thing must be a very comfortable experience, and who wouldn’t want to kick off their shoes and enjoy the fur-like long pile carpet?


The more I looked at it, the more I had a strange urge to fill it up with water.


With the soft canvas roof removed there’s a surprisingly vast amount of space in the back too.


To me, The Thing is another superb example of the great and unique creations that people in Japan are putting together in the ever-growing stance-oriented scene.

Dino Dalle Carbonare
Instagram: speedhunters_dino



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I'd happily roll around in that smashing the pan against the deck, anywhere I damn well pleased. Personality in spades!


I've seen one of these doing the rounds in the UK. I was at a local country park last summer and some guy and (what looked like) his dad were cruising around in it with a massive grin on their face. They gave zero f**ks too, I was grimacing getting over the speed bumps in my track height MX5, they were happily bobbling over them without a care in the world haha.


This looks like so much fun!


It can go to war with this one :)


Dino's new name for it: "blauen Badewanne" (Blue bathtub) - Thanks Google translate!


Well............that's a thing.


Cool as! Love it.


Dang Dino -- You're gonna have to do some more VW shows in the US -- This Low and go setup on Things have been around for years, and I've always wanted one of my own --

This one is nice though -- a few things I would of done differently, but that is what makes a car our own.....




I think this THING is great! I also love how Japan has such a diverse car scene!


I love these, I've seen an orange one and a military one both were lowered like this. Very unique cars.


pretty sure this is static, like all of go's (the owner) cars, he has an insane collection of aircooled cars. This has a floor raise, fender raise and suspension mods as seen here


Love it! Love the ATS 5's! Check out the Aussie only VW Country Buggy if you want an even bigger WTF/LOL on wheels!


Can someone tell me the what the cards are hanging from under the dash?


I love it!


will_luminati air fresheners would be a good bet


TyeSabean will_luminati I was thinking beer mats...


MilesHayler TyeSabean will_luminati ill take a stout if so.


The interior sucks but the rest of it is cool.


like it


This car is just awesome ! I would love to drive it once in the South of France in summer.


This right here is the reason I want to write about cars for a living. I'd pass on articles about new Ferraris, Porsches and Lamborghinis all day long for unique pieces like this. New cars are fun and nice, but the real beauty of it all is a car that'll make me cock my head to the side and just smile at the ridiculousness. This is the kind of car I love to see- something unique with buckets of soul poured in that'll make me laugh like a maniac at first glance. Excellent article Dino!


EricO94 i agree, if tis not insane, i don't read it.


the car was very good 
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