Captain Jake's Big Thing

Jake's 1974 Volkswagen Thing.

This is my third air-cooled Volkswagen. A bit pricey to purchase, but I've always been on for the unusual vehicles. And I was especially happy with this particular Thing because it has a new replacement top already in place. These very large tops are quite expensive to replace, so I'm happy to have a new one with a nice clear window.

I've always believed a good restoration should be photographically documented, so that's what I've done. I also had to undo one of the things the previous owner had done. She was raised, as other Things I've measured have 10 inches of ground clearance. My Thing had 16 inches of ground clearance, the same as a military Hummer. Except that MY clearance was almost totally side to side, as where a Hummer only has 16 inches clear for about 8 inches in the middle of the vehicle.

The pictures are almost all 800 by 600, so each page will take time to load. When I'm looking at VW pictures, I like them big with lots of detail, so that's what you'll see here. All of these were taken with an Olympus digital camera, pretty good at getting into tight places.

Restoration had begun. My Thing, named "Lulubelle" after the tank in Bogart's "Sahara", was taken into my local Volkswagen shop, V-Dub Folks, for the largest portion of the restoration, the lowering and total replacement of the front end. The lowering was a success. The rear suspension simply had to be turned down one notch. The entire front suspension and steering mechanism was removed and replaced with new parts including an adjustable beam. More details in the Restoration section to your left.

Last Entry

Due to space and lack of time, On July 27, 2004, Lulubelle has moved on to lovely new owners in Las Vegas, Nevada. With them she'll continue her restoration journey while ferrying them around in great style and giving them a great time as she always did for me.