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Volkswagen Type 181 in Geras

Volkswagen Type 181 in Geras, Austria

At an exhibition about the history of the fire brigades taking place at Geras Abbey (Stift Geras) I saw this Volkswagen Type 181. It was built in 1974 and was used as service car for the fire brigades in Lower Austria. Reading the history of this car makes me smile: Was this car really called “The Thing” in the US?