What a wonderful Thing! This is a 1973 model.
The Thing, based on General Erwin Rommel's Kubelwagen
jeep, was the first Volkswagen built in Mexico to be sold in the United States. A popular off-road utility vehicle south of the border, the Beetle-based Thing developed a cult following among Americans. Public demand inspired Volkswagen of America to import Mexican-built Things from VW's Puebla plant. Actor James Garner, who drove a Thing in a Dam 500 race, was one of its fans.
Unfortunately, its removable doors, its rough road manners, and its lack of safety features caused Volkswagen of America to stop selling it after two model years (1973 and 1974). The Thing is still loved by folks who admire its lack of pretentiousness, especially when compared to modern SUV's from the Ford Explorer to the Hummer H2 to VW's own Touraeg.