The Thing hits Navarre Beach

Visitors to the newly opened Sage Paddle Co. surf shop are greeted by a rarity, a classic ‘70s “beach car.”

Business owner and Florida Young Entrepreneur of the Year Sage Offutt, 15, has bought her first vintage Volkswagen before she’s even old enough to drive it. Brightly striped in off-white and blue, the 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition is a collectors’ car.

This “beach car” was a modified version of the ‘70s Thing, a rather practical bucket of a vehicle brought over to the states in droves from Europe.

While the Thing was practical, the Acapulco edition was designed specifically for resorts along Mexico’s coast to offer their guests enjoyment in the sun. The Acapulco edition features a wooden floorboard, bright blue finish and convertible top. It was a luxury cruiser.

“It’s got that total beach vibe. They used them on the beach,” Sage said.

Only 200 of the Acapulcos were made, and less than a third of them are estimated to have survived to this day. That means Sage scored one of possibly 67 left in existence and now it’s on display for Navarre Beach visitors to enjoy.

“I have always been interested in classic cars. I don’t know if it’s having a brother and dad or what,” she said. “I have been looking for an Acapulco for two years. I always thought they are super cool and so rare. Vintage cars are so cool.”

Sage found a collector in Denver who had one and offered her a good deal on it. It is so collectible that shortly after she purchased it a woman came forward offering her $13,000 more than she paid for it.

But Sage said no way.

The woman then told Sage to name her price, but she still refused.

Navarre Beach visitors will be able to check out the Thing at 8228 Gulf Blvd. Make sure to drop by on your vacation!

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