In 1955, Biago Pinto of Philadelphia PA with custom truck body builder Robert Giordano, set out to build this mini 18 wheeler. It would be used for advertising and promotion of the newley formed business. It was utilized until Pinto Trucking Service closed its doors in 1984. The choice for the cab would be a 1950 Crosley CD. The CD's either pick up or station wagon back was removed and a 1939 Fruehauf 5th wheel added to pull a custom built 12' semi trailer. For better braking, a Hydrovac form a 50's Caddy was added. A 12' round nose trailer was also built. Fast forward to the late 60's when a 1965 Chevy II 4 cylinder 153 engine and a Muncie 3 speed transmission where installed. In 1972, a MG Midget rear replaced the factory Crosley rear. In 1984 the Crosley was moved to a salvage yard in Middlesex NJ for storage. It eventually was left out in the yard for over 25 years.
I started rebuilding the truck in 2009 and finished most of it by 2016. The work is ongoing. Most recent addition was air conditioning.
Pictured is my 1973 VW Thing 181. I have owned this Thing since 1984. In 1973, I was a auto mechanic working for verious VW dealerships in the Philadelphia area. It was the VW Dasher with it's water cooled engine and the VW Diesel rabbit that finally made me move on to anothe career in 1977. I still loved VW's and have owned just about every model. My Type 4 , I think, was the best VW ever made. I purchased it at Warrington Motors in Bryn Mawr, PA where I was working. The owner, Charles Pew,(Sun Oil-Sunoco) had traded it in for a new VW. In perfect condition and low miles I could not pass it up. As for the Thing, I saw a "hippy" driving it one day and ask if wanted to sell. Of course the answer was no. So I gave him my business card and said if you ever change your mind, call me. He did, 1 year later in 1984. Even though it needed a lot of work, including a top and windows, I gave him $900.00 for it. My daughter (who was 4 when I purchasd it) drove it to high school and won the "coolest car in the parking lot" award senior year.
We have owned this 560 sl since 2016. Finish is Pearl Black with a burgundy interior. The previous owner of 27 years, garage kept it and drove it fewer than 500 miles each of the last 5 years. Showing 70550 on the odometer as of July 3, 2018 We continue to keep it garaged and the milage low. As menbers of the Mercedes Club of America, Tampa Bay section, we drive it to club meetings and events. One note, it runs on 91 octane and gets about 15 mpg. But it is worth it! The power from the 5.6 liter enging is amazing.