Volkswagen Trekker Parts
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The Volkswagen Type 181 'Kurierwagen', popularly known in the United Kingdom as the Trekker, in the United States as the Thing, and in Mexico as the Safari, was a small military vehicle produced by Volkswagen from 1969 to 1983, although civilian sales stopped in 1980. It was based in part on Volkswagen's Type 1 (Beetle), and was a continuation and improvement over the Kubelwagen which had been used by the German military during World War II. The name Kübelwagen is an abbreviation of Kübelsitzwagen, meaning 'bucket-seat car'.
Like the World War II era Type 82 Kubelwagen, the Type 181 used mechanical parts and a rear-engine platform, manual transmission & flat-4 engine derived from that of the Type 1. The floorpans came from the Karmann Ghia, which itself was based on the Type 1, and reduction gearing from the Volkswagen Transporter was used through 1973 when platform upgrades eliminated that setup in favor of revised parts.
Civilian sales began in Europe and Mexico during 1971, and in the U.S in 1972, but the model was dropped from the American line up for 1975 as it failed to meet new, stricter, safety standards.
Despite the German government's switch to the Type 183, European and Mexican sales of the civilian 181 continued through 1980, and several organizations, including NATO, continued to purchase military-spec Type 183 units through 1983, finding their reliability and low purchase and maintenance costs attractive.