16. Volkswagen Type 181 “The Thing”
Volkswagen based this vehicle on the ultra-popular, influential VW Beatle. The Type 181 also famous as “The Thing.” It was a utilitarian version they aimed at buyers who wanted to use it as a beach vehicle. Interestingly, the true roots of this model can be traced to Nazi Germany and a military version called the Kubelwagen. The Kubelwagen was the German rival to the Jeep Willys.
It used the VW Beetle floor plan, engine and open-top body similar to the Type 181. But in contrast to curvy looking beach buggies of the day, The Thing was square with flat body panels and edges. It looked like anybody could build it in their garage, and in fact, many drivers modified their Type 181 to serve their purposes.