Thing Swap and Show 2000

Thing Swap and Show 2000
Enthusiasts got together to enjoy their Type 181s

By Bruce Simurda

     Now in it’s fourth year, German Motor Works’ Thing and Swap Show has become quite a popular event for Type 181 enthusiasts all over Southern California. This widely anticipated affair, held the Sunday before the big Memorial Day event weekend, draws just about every “Thing” in the area. From San Diego to Canyon Country, they emerge on German Motor Works’ small Garden Grove, California facility in droves, with the number topping 100 around noon this year. Quite an impressive turnout for such a limited production VW.
    So impressive was it that the show area was overloaded with Things, and cars spilled over into the neighboring streets and parking lots. But no sweat, because this fun, laid-back event doesn’t have the normal show area boundaries, and enthusiasts were welcome to park their show cars just about anywhere space allowed, and spectators were free (meaning no spectator fee!) to take their time and scope out all the nice VW tin that was scattered about.
  And there were quite a few impressive Things on hand to dwell upon, with the beautifully restored red ’73 of Laura Castro taking top honors with the Best of Show and Stock Restored wins. On the wilder side, Bob Crawford’s Porsche 911-powered red Type 181 was awarded Most Outrageous, and Milo Pence’s customized ’74 red “Wild Thing,” complete with the flag graphics (and featured in the July 2000 issue of Hot VWs), won the Off-Road class.

The list of winners includes Mat Durkel for Daily Driver, Dick McCool and his trick white ’73 for Custom, Denise Smith in Acapulco class, the outrageously displayed brown Thing of Ron Townsend in Military, and Rob Bell’s “Most Potential” Thing.
    Besides the show cars, there was a nice swap meet with many hard-to-find Type 181 parts, food concessions, new parts sales, and words of wisdom by VW announcer extraordinaire, Dyno Don Chamberlin. Whether you’re into the Type 181, or just want to browse through some really nice VWs, this was the place to spend a fun, relaxing day bench racing with others who are into this sort of thing. Unfortunately, if you missed it, you’ll have to wait until May 2001 for the next show, so mark your calenders now for this neat Thing event.