Friday, December 01, 2006

The Meyers Manx - By BS Brash

In the light of the renewed interest in the Meyers Manx and the results that are showing up in the Classic Auctions across the US, I offer this information.
Bruce Meyers first became acquainted with "Dune Buggies" on Pismo Beach. These were V8 powered "water pumpers". These machines were crude and heavy so Bruce took it upon himself to design a lightweight version that would be fun on the beach or in the wilds of Baja. Bruce used his expertise in boat building to design the first fiberglass bodied dune buggy, the Meyers Manx.
(Photograph of Meyer's Manxster II)
Bruce Meyer’s Manx started the off-road revolution by building 5,280 Manx kits and several hundred Manx II's - a total of nearly 6,000 Manx kits. With all of the knock-offs, there were over 250,000 dune buggy’s built during that era.
The Meyers Manx was amazing ! It handled better than any other off-road vehicle and was much more fun to drive. The Manx won numerous slalom events and the Pike's Peak Hill Climb (beating Corvettes, Cobras, and most open wheel sprint cars). It set the record for traveling the length of Baja at 34 hours and 45 minutes (driven by Bruce and Ted Mangels who beat the motorcycle record by more than five hours).
The Meyers Manx took the country by storm when magazines like Hot Rod featured the fiberglass car on their covers (it was the first picture of car jumping into the air just for the fun of it!).
The Meyers company went on to produce the Tow'd for off-road use only. Bruce raced the Tow'd in the second Baja 1000 and ended by crashing and breaking both legs.
The next product of the company was the Meyers Manx S.R. (Street Roadster). This car was designed for the street only and possessed a sleek aerodynamic shape. It was built to fit on the same shortened VW floorpan as the original Manx to keep the great handing characteristics. The car had thirteen fiberglass and many metal pieces. There were 400 to 600 of these kits sold.
The Resorter/Tourista was also produced by the company to provide a 4 seat version of the Manx. The Resorter had lower sides for easier entrance and exit. The car was originally produced for hotel chains to carry tourists.
A few Utility cars were produced that included vehicles for the Lifeguards of Los Angeles County and the rangers of the Forest Service. The cars were equipped with flat rear bed for hauling gear which required the use of a VW "pancake" engine.
The last vehicle in the Manx fleet is the Kublewagon. This car is designed to be a replica of the German Desert Staff car of WWII and is built on a full length floorpan. This car was featured in an issue for Hot VW's recently. Sadly, there was only one of these cars built. The total number of kits of all types and completed cars was about 7,000.
Unfortunately, the Meyers Manx company went out of business in 1971 due to the strains of fighting the cheap imitations of the copiers , the loss of the patent infringement case, and the tax demands of the I.R.S.
Now, 32 years later, due to a renewed interest in the Meyers Manx and at the urging by many of Bruce's friends he has re-formed the company. The first in a new line of products is the four-seat Manxter. After over three years of R&D at the hands of Mr. Meyers himself, it is a true masterpiece. A Manx for the Millennium!
Reference & source site
Meyer's Manx Forum
Meyer's Manx Club

Copyright 2006 BS Brash Contact BS Brash

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