The VW Thing was only sold in North America for the 1973 and 1974 model years; we've already seen a '73, which means we're due for a '74 (there's no telling what manner of VW the Very Low Thing really is). Alameda has at least two more Things parked on the street (that I know about), and this one appears to be the nicest one. It definitely gets driven regularly, although the Low Thing is the one I see driving most frequently.
It's got a rollbar, the doors have been removed, and perhaps the engine has been upgraded from the original 46 horsepower. This Thing is ready for some serious off-road action... which it won't find in the utterly flat and quite urban terrain of Alameda.
The Beetle's interior seems pretty luxurious next to the Thing's, but you can see the family resemblance in the steering wheel, speedometer, shifter, etc. I hope the owner hasn't lost the doors, which can be removed without tools.
The rainy winters here tend to promote rust in body parts that collect water, such as these engine air intake covers. It's taken 34 years for the rust to get this far, so no urgent action need be taken yet!