Choosing the Right Vehicle For Your Rat

What better way to start than picking the right vehicle. In building your Rat Rod, you need to take some things into consideration. Will you drive this vehicle daily? Is it for sunny days only? Do you have a family that does the show circuit with you? The answers to these questions will determine if you will love or hate your vehicle.

Typical Old School Rat Rods Beginning from the start, say about 1915 up to the mid thirties, these are your textbook Rat Rods. Most of them have extreme chops and channeling. The majority of them have very little to no glass and possibly no roofs also. Be it a Ford, Chevy or Chrysler product, they all make good candidates. Chryslers are a bit more rare, and although I’ve never seen a Rolls-Royce rat,I wouldn’t be against it. Don’t be afraid to out of your boundaries. There is nothing wrong with a pickup cab on a chassis with no bed or nose sheet metal. BE CREATIVE!

More cars as the years continue. As the thirties came to an end, bigger, fatter fender and bodies came into play. Well into the forties as well, these cars are great chop candidates as well. A bit tougher to execute, the final product is worth it. Again, any of the big three car manufacturers are perfect. Gasser style Rat Rods began to come into play with raised straight axle front ends, big white walls, and motors set back closer to the firewalls than normal. Removing the fenders and sometimes the hood was a popular customization technique.

Fifties: The Lead Sleds arrive so now the cars keep getting bigger, and heavier. What better way to coin the phrase ” Lead Sled “. Be it a 1950 Dodge business coupe, or the icon 50 Merc (Mercury), these vehicles began a complete different way of customization. Continental kits are very popular, as well as long side pipes, big tooth grills, and flames shooting out the exhaust. Very cool! Again, big cars, more work, but a very cool end result. Very popular customization techniques involved removing all chrome and trim, flat black paint, and a choice of flames or scallops painted near the front of the vehicle.

What Happened to the Big Body cars? After the last of the 57 vehicle craze, the style of big and round was lost to square and long. Also big cubic inch motors were in the developmental stages and Muscle Cars were beginning to come around. Most of these vehicles were strictly racing and wanted them shiny. From about 1964 to 1972, just before the oil embargo and insurance craze, most any brand was striving to be number one with style or horsepower. Many famous Muscle Cars came from this era like the 69 Camaro or the infamous 64 1/2 Mustang. There is no such thing as a cool rat rod Muscle Car. It just doesn’t work, sorry. Try to keep your Rat Rod pre-1960 to really get noticed.

A Brief Overview of Post War Volkswagen Cars

At the end of the Second World War the responsibility for Volkswagenwerk was passed to the British Military Government. Major Ivan Hirst took over the war battered factory and began dismantling it in order to bring it back to the UK. However he struggled to find interest from potential British buyers. The company remained in Germany and began producing cars for the British Army. In 1948 control was passed back to Germany and the Type 1 Beetle was born.

Production of the Type 1 grew rapidly after a slow start, and the company began designing new models to compliment the Beetle. In March 1950 the now much loved and sought after Type 2 went into production, creating a larger product with more versatility. In 1956 the Transporter, now a hugely popular van with many variants, acquired it’s own plant in Hanover. This was the start of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle brand we see today. In 1964 Volkswagen bought Auto Union who owned Audi. In 1969 they also purchased NSU Motorenwerke AG, and merged the two to form the Audi brand we know today.

In 1973 the Passat went into production, with a range if engines topping off at 110bhp. In 1974 the first of Volkswagen’s now much beloved Golf rolled off the production line at Wolfsburg. The Golf’s popularity is almost immediate, and it is crowned the successor to the Beetle. 1975 saw the Polo for the first time, and in 1976 the GTI was added to the Golf line up, now one of Volkswagen’s most iconic cars. The sports feel must have appealed to Volkswagen because Scirocco hatchback was released in the same year, a sports car which was relaunched again in 2008 and proved very popular both first and second time round.

The 1980s and 1990s were a relatively quiet time for Volkswagen. The American market fell sharply in the 1980s, rising with the new car introductions, they promptly falling again. The next generation of Golf went into production in 1983 (who can forget the famous advert featuring Paula Hamilton in a fur coat?) and the Lupo TDI was launched in 1999 as the first production car to be able to offer fuel consumption of 3 litres per 100 kilometers. In 1982 Volkswagen signed a cooperation agreement with SEAT, which they bought outright by the end of 1986.

In August 2002 the Touareg luxury off roader came into production opening up a whole new market for Volkswagen, the popular high end 4×4 segment. The Touareg was well equipped and more affordable than many other vehicles in this area, with a range of petrol and diesel engines available. In December of the same year the Touran compact van/people carrier was introduced, available with 5 or 7 seats, and proved very popular with families requiring the flexibility of space it offers. In 2008 the Tiguan, a baby Touareg was rolled out, with a facelift due in 2012.

Things didn’t go as well as planned for Volkswagen upon the original launch of the Phaeton luxury limousine in 2003. Maybe as a victim of their own success ‘the people’s car’ company had launched a vehicle well beyond the means of the masses. The Phaeton was great value for money, but with such a high price tag many who could afford it did not associate the marque with the class of vehicle it was trying to penetrate. The cars depreciated quickly from new, but proved more popular on the second hand market as a truly affordable luxury car. While the VW Phaeton has not been given the credit it may deserve in the UK, the second generation proved popular in China in 2010.

Volkswagen have always strived to produce the best, budget friendly, high quality cars they can produce. From hot hatches to people carriers, sports coupes to luxury limousines, Volswagen have gained a high profile in almost every sector they have touched. New innovations and great marketing, as well as impressive engineering and high build quality have helped keep this historic mark at the front of our minds when iconic cars are discussed, from the Beetle to The Thing, the Golf to the Scirocco.

Volkswagen’s history has been varied and never dull, with new inspiration, ideas, and models filling the years. Peter Cooper Volkswagen Group based on the South Coast have a wide range of used Volkswagen used cars in Hampshire, as well as all the services you’d expect from a leading main dealership including Volkswagen servicing, body repairs, Motability and more.

Affordable Classic Volkswagen

After the big success of the Volkswagen Beetle in the 1960s, the German automaker has resurrected the idea of an on-and off-road car and christened it the Type 181 “Thing”. The “thing” was inspired by the World War II Type 82 Kübelwagen and was updated using the Beetle baseline engine and running gear but this time with a beefier Transporter/Microbus suspension.

Also along the lines of the Kübelwagen was its Dumpsteresque yet practical styling. Its simple doors and standard soft top is easy to remove while its windshield can be folded flat. The rear-engine, rear-wheel drive car was rugged and well suited for worst conditioned roads.

The “Thing” was first built in 1969 and was offered in the US until 1973. It is powered by a standard Beetle 1584-cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine with 46 chirping horsepower, and coupled to a four-speed manual transmission. Its first year in the US, the Thing was offered in Blizzard White, Sunshine Yellows and Pumpkin Orange.

By the year 1974, the Thing got a slight boost in power from 46bhp to 55 bhp. Other improvements are notable from its side scoops instead of flush slotted vents in the rear quarter panels. The most desired trim package was called the “Acapulco”, and featured a bikini top and blue-and-white striped vinyl seats. The option list includes a fiberglass hard top with solid door windows, luggage racks, air conditioning and a padded roll cage. US sales were discontinued after 1974, while sales in Mexico continued until 1978.

The Thing has a small but faithful legion of followers. One problem encountered with the Thing is in terms of its Panels. Its uni-body seems to be the most difficult part to track down since rustkübels are rare. Likewise, poor insulation which led to snow-country interior temperatures reminiscent of the Shackleton expedition’s igloos, kept many of them off salty winter roads.

Volkswagen’s Thing is not all that bad; its extreme commonality of functional parts like for example its Volkswagen brake caliper with Beetle adds up to its quality as a vehicle. Aside from parts it also shares some Bug’s qualities such as air-cooled reliability and ease of repair parts and parcel makes it the stepchild of one of the best selling cars in the world. In the Southwestern states, it is very easy and convenient to rebuild an engine all one has to do is to walk along the side of any road for about ten miles, gather some parts and viola!–one engine ready to go.

The growing craze over the New Beetle has somewhat affected the Thing prices. But that didn’t completely diminish the interest of the public in various oddball cars of the 70’s like for example Gremlins, Pacers, etc. as a fact it has even helped boost the Thing price. Quality Things are available in prices ranging from $2,600 to $4,800. As a gauge of the lower end of the market, a non-running #4 1974 Thing with hard top but no title was recently sold at a Midwest estate auction for $1,600. The pricing of the Thing may increase in the future but not that high. Regardless, in an era of $25,000 Fiat Jollys, the Thing is still one of the best and economical ways of cruising the beach.

Years Produced: 1969-78 (officially imported to US 1973-74)

Original List Price: $2,750

Tune-up Cost: $95

Distributor Caps: $7

Chassis # Location: Stamped on the forward body lip in the trunk

Engine # Location: Stamped on block underneath the alternator

Club Info: W Type 181 Thing Registry, SE 700 Crescent Drive, Shelton, WA 98584

Web Site: http://www.type181registry.com

Alternatives: Ford Bronco, Toyota Land Cruiser (first series), Meyers Manx

The Company Volkswagen

Volkswagen is an automobile manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Germany. It forms the core of the Volkswagen Group and ranked fourth as world’s largest car producer after GM, Toyota and Ford.

Volkswagen means “peoples’ car” in German. Its German tagline is “Aus Liebe zum Automobil” which when translated means “For the love of the car” – or, “For Love of the People’s Cars”.

For the 20th century, Volkswagen is considered an icon due mainly to its expertise in creating legendary cars. The German automaker’s The beetle is considered to be the best-selling car of all time. And that’s not all even its Volkswagen bus was considered a symbol of a generation. Volkswagen’s Golf is deemed by many as a modern masterpiece. Only very few car manufacturers can parallel such remarkable creations of the largest German automaker.

Volkswagen was born in an era considered to be the period for the privilege few and it is for this reason that Ferdinand Porsche founder of Volkswagen has conceived the idea of creating a people’s car. His main objective is to provide a great number of Germans with a reliable transport at prices that are within their reach.

The Beetle which is a favorite car of all times was produced in the year 1948 together with other 25,000 vehicles. But during that time only two Beetles were produced and were shipped to the USA. A year later another remarkable coupe the Karmann convertible was produced which became the world’s best-selling convertible. To cut the story short, Volkswagen from an auto company grows to becoming a world corporation building factories and working communities in countries like Brazil, United States and Canada. The German automaker has also made working communities in major centres in Western Europe.

In the alst fifteen years of the millennium Volkswagen has surfaced as a true global force in the auto industry especially when it acquired famous names such as Audi, SEAT, Skoda, and Lamborghini.

Word Count: 937

SUMMARY:
After the big success of the Volkswagen Beetle in the 1960s, the German automaker has resurrected the idea of an on-and off-road car and christened it the Type 181 “Thing”. The “thing” was inspired by the World War II Type 82 Kübelwagen and was updated using the Beetle baseline engine and running gear but this time with a beefier Transporter/Microbus suspension.

KEYWORDS:
Auto parts,Volkswagen brake caliper,automakers,brake

Affordable Classic Volkswagen
[http://www.dubautoparts.com/volkswagen-brake-caliper.html]

After the big success of the Volkswagen Beetle in the 1960s, the German automaker has resurrected the idea of an on-and off-road car and christened it the Type 181 “Thing”. The “thing” was inspired by the World War II Type 82 Kubelwagen and was updated using the Beetle baseline engine and running gear but this time with a beefier Transporter/Microbus suspension.

Also along the lines of the Kubelwagen was its Dumpsteresque yet practical styling. Its simple doors and standard soft top is easy to remove while its windshield can be folded flat. The rear-engine, rear-wheel drive car was rugged and well suited for worst conditioned roads.

The “Thing” was first built in 1969 and was offered in the US until 1973. It is powered by a standard Beetle 1584-cc air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine with 46 chirping horsepower, and coupled to a four-speed manual transmission. Its first year in the US, the Thing was offered in Blizzard White, Sunshine Yellows and Pumpkin Orange.

By the year 1974, the Thing got a slight boost in power from 46bhp to 55 bhp. Other improvements are notable from its side scoops instead of flush slotted vents in the rear quarter panels. The most desired trim package was called the “Acapulco”, and featured a bikini top and blue-and-white striped vinyl seats. The option list includes a fiberglass hard top with solid door windows, luggage racks, air conditioning and a padded roll cage. US sales were discontinued after 1974, while sales in Mexico continued until 1978.

The Thing has a small but faithful legion of followers. One problem encountered with the Thing is in terms of its Panels. Its uni-body seems to be the most difficult part to track down since rustkubels are rare. Likewise, poor insulation which led to snow-country interior temperatures reminiscent of the Shackleton expedition’s igloos, kept many of them off salty winter roads.

Volkswagen’s Thing is not all that bad; its extreme commonality of functional parts like for example its Volkswagen brake caliper [http://www.dubautoparts.com/volkswagen-brake-caliper.html], with Beetle adds up to its quality as a vehicle. Aside from parts it also shares some Bug’s qualities such as air-cooled reliability and ease of repair parts and parcel makes it the stepchild of one of the best selling cars in the world. In the Southwestern states, it is very easy and convenient to rebuild an engine all one has to do is to walk along the side of any road for about ten miles, gather some parts and viola!–one engine ready to go.