In the 1960s, the fiberglass kit-car craze was taking hold in America. Versatile and cheap, fiberglass was getting easier for average enthusiasts to use, and custom car builders, racers, and hot rodders began turning to it as a viable alternative to sheet metal. Strong and light, it could be molded into virtually any shape imaginable and reproduced hundreds of times over. As a result, numerous small “cottage” manufacturers sprang up across the United States who offered pre-fabricated fiberglass car bodies that could transform otherwise mundane transport into an exciting and unique sports car. Glasspar was one of the first to hit the market with the G2 and they were later joined by companies such as Devin and Fiberfab who enjoyed quite a bit of success selling kits to adapt exotic bodies a wide variety of American or European chassis.
One of the most distinctive and unique kit-car projects came out of the California workshops of Bruce F. Meyers. Mr. Meyers was an engineer, boat builder, artist, tinkerer, surfer and amateur desert racer who would spark a kit-car craze of the 60s. Eschewing the typical sports car designs favored by other kit-car builders, Meyers designed and built a VW-based dune-buggy that was equally at home on the beach, the street, or racing through the desert. Drawing on his boat building experience, the first Meyers dune buggy was built using a dramatically shortened VW Beetle platform fitted with a fiberglass monocoque body and a mix of VW and Chevy truck suspension. He named it “Manx” after the stubby, short-tailed Manx cat. Donor Beetles were cheap, plentiful and could be easily tuned to give the light and nimble Manx astonishing performance both on and off-road. Bruce Meyers’ little buggy made headlines in 1967 when it scored a surprise win at the 1967 Mexican 1000 desert race (the predecessor to the Baja 1000). Sales exploded and soon scores of copies began flooding the market, and the dune buggy craze had taken off. Despite the copycats, the original Meyers Manx remains a cult-classic, and authentic early examples are prized by enthusiasts and collectors alike.
This delightful Meyers Manx is a verified original example complete with a certificate of authenticity issued by the Meyers Manx Registry. Presented in classic orange and black with a tan roof and interior, this is fabulous representation of the iconic, quintessential dune buggy. Out of long-term family ownership, this fully restored Manx presents in excellent condition, with very good paintwork both inside and out, and a number of charming period details. It features many original Manx options such as front and rear bumpers, a removable hardtop, and wind wings. The classic raked stance is achieved through “big and little” steel wheels, widened to accommodate 205/70-14 radials up front with fat 225/70-15 radials in the rear. The wheels wear dog dish VW hubcaps and have been beautifully finished in cream to provide a pleasing accent to the orange paint.
Power comes from a recently-built 1835 cc “big bore” VW engine that features a counterweight crank, Crane camshaft, CB Performance cylinder heads and dual Solex carburetors. The “go” is given some “show” courtesy of body color engine shrouds, EMPI valve covers and a ceramic coated sports exhaust system. The engine runs strong and emits an addictive bark, sending power through a VW 4-speed transaxle equipped with an EMPI shifter.
The joy of any Meyers Manx lies in its simplicity, and this example captures that with its pure, period correct nature. The interior consists of little more than a pair of fixed-back bucket seats trimmed in tan vinyl, and the just the basic controls you need for road use, and nothing else to distract you from the joy of driving. Instrumentation includes the OEM VW speedo cluster, along with VDO secondary gauges and a period correct Sun Super Tach.
Driving the Manx is an absolute blast: The engine makes ample power, and the short wheelbase and lively, direct steering give it kart-like responses. This certified original Manx is an outstanding example and whether you’re in a show, on the road or cruising the beach, it is ready to deliver on the Meyers promise of “More Smiles per Mile”.