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 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 above 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 1997. 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. So here it is 33 year later and I told my grandson who is almost 10 he can have it when he turnes 16. He said, no thanks, I want a Camaro!
We have only owned this 560 sl for a bit over 1 year. It 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 69900 on the odometer as of December 2017, 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 meeting s and events. In November of 2017, we drove it from St.Petersburg FL to Ocala FL. Just about a 2 hour drive and 115 miles. That has been our longest trip so far. One note, it runs on 93 octane and gets about 15 mpg. But it is worth it! The power from the 5.6 liter enging is amazing. Do you remember when you stepped on the gas and you were pushed back into the seat? Yea, it is that good!