For Sale By:Private Seller
Exterior Color: Orange
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 4
Trim: 4 Door
Drive Type: RWD
Franklin, North Carolina, United States
1974 VW Thing-RESTORED and ready for fun! Original 1600cc motor looks and runs like new. Exact mileage unknown, as odometer is not working. New muffler and s/s headers from The Thing Shop, new brake drums and shoes, new axles and CV joints. Body and new paint by previous owner, who was a professional. Body in excellent condition in and out. Tires like new, wooden slatted floor inserts in front and back. Top, back window and removable side windows like new.
The case of Dupont and Honeywell's refrigerant R-1234yf is doing the exact opposite of keeping things cool. The two chemical companies have spent years and hundreds of millions of dollars developing R-1234yf to replace R-134a, the new refrigerant shown to be 99.7-percent kinder to the environment than the one it is meant to succeed. Part of that development has been years of testing by governments, outside safety agencies and automakers to approve the chemical for use in cars. It passed the protocols necessary for the European Union to declare that new and significantly revised cars from 2013 onward needed to use R-1234yf, and mandated that every car as of 2017 must use it.
Enter Daimler AG. The automaker created a head-on collision test with a B-Class at their Sindelfingen test track that would lead to the pressurized refrigerant being sprayed on the engine. The result in 20 out of 20 test was that the refrigerant burst into flames as soon as it hit the hot engine, while Daimler says that R-134a does not catch fire in the same test. Another unexpected result of the R-1234yf test was the release of hydrogen flouride, a chemical far more deadly to humans than hydrogen cyanide, emitted in such amounts that it that turned the windshield white as it began to eat into the glass.
Said a Daimler engineer in a Reuters piece, "It was scarcely believable. The most complicated lab tests conducted using the most sensitive measuring instruments around found nothing and all we do is drive a car around a couple of times, open a tiny hole in the refrigerant line and the next thing you know the car is on fire." So Daimler said it wouldn't use the refrigerant, and it recalled the cars it had already shipped with R-1234yf.
A Brazilian politician tried to save it, unsuccessfully, so the final Last Edition Volkswagen Type 2 Kombi was produced on December 20, 2013 and now resides in a vintage museum at Volkswagen's Commercial Vehicles HQ in Hanover, Germany.
The Volkswagen Microbus was built for 56 years, starting in September 1957. Brazil was the last country still assembling it, but new safety regulations in the country requiring airbags and ABS on all cars spelled the end. When that politician introduced a bill that would pardon only the 'Bus from a death sentence, it couldn't garner the required number of votes for passage. The South American country takes the Kombi production title, though, with 1.5 million of the 3.5 million total made in the home of Copacabana beach and the girl from Ipanema.
The VW Bus is dead. Now perhaps we can turn our attentions to the still-not-totally-settled matter of the Bulli...
Less than two months ago, the Volkswagen Group opened a new facility in Oxnard, California (about an hour's drive west of Los Angeles). The $27 million investment, touted as Test Center California (TCC), serves as a research and development lab testing emissions for all brands under Volkswagen's umbrella, including its newest member, Porsche. While still not fully operational, we toured the new 64,000-square-foot building last week and had a first-hand opportunity to see just how much work is involved testing engines and meeting increasingly stringent government emissions standards.
Replacing a similar facility established in 1990 in Westlake Village (about 20-minutes east of the new location), our guide explained how Oxnard was chosen for its temperate climate, varied regional terrain for test drives and low altitude. (The area is only a few feet above sea level - a critical parameter when instrument testing emissions.) The new facility is capable of analyzing hundreds of vehicles, prototypes and customer-owned vehicles, annually.
Most interesting to us was the huge stainless steel climate chamber, with a massive four-wheel dynamometer that allows VW to test running vehicles in both scorching desert and freezing climates without ever leaving the building (an Audi Q7 was running in place during our visit). We were also mesmerized by the countless storage tanks and intricate plumbing of chemicals, stored in both liquid and gas states, needed to perform the variety of tests. Lastly, we took a look at Bugatti's service center on the west coast, located completely within the new center. While there were no supercars on site, the facility is equipped with plenty of spare forged wheels (mounted with expensive Michelin PAX tires) and a Veyron-specific repair jig that allows the vehicle to be completely disassembled, if needed. It is a shame that the facility, which set off all of our automotive geek alerts, is closed to the public.