- The Meyers Manx is the fiberglass OG dune buggy and inspired legions of imitators and competitors.
- This well presented example is based on a shortened 1955 Volkswagen chassis.
- The Bring a Trailer auction runs until May 30th.
If there were an official Endless Summer car, it would be the Meyers Manx Dune Buggy. Not just any dune buggy, but a Meyers Manx, the very vehicle King of Cool bookends Steve McQueen and Elvis chose for on-screen and personal use. If you’ve always wanted to get into that mojo, now’s your chance with this Green Metalflake Meyers Manx. Will be auctioned on Bring a Trailerwhich, like Car and Driver, belongs to Hearst Autos.
Although no specific model year is given in the current BaT headline, this Manx was referred to as a 1968 model in a previous auction held elsewhere in March 2021. That he was omitted here is largely irrelevant since, much like the California Dream he embodies, the Manx is timeless. It exists in a completely different area where it is always 22 degrees warm and sunny and the residents are always young. However, the example comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Bruce Meyers confirming the serial number (the serial number plate appears to be original) and the registration ID number, giving it an unassailable pedigree. However, the seller states that the fiberglass Manx tub rides on a shortened 1955 Volkswagen tub and is registered accordingly.
The metallic green paint and fiberglass bodywork appear to be in excellent condition, free from spider web cracks and damage. Although these cars often undergo questionable customization, this Manx hits the road with a classic chrome roll bar, the polite “nudge” bar, chrome windshield bracket and chrome headlight pods. The turn signals sit discreetly on the front suspension mounting points below the front fenders. Arguably the most popular aftermarket wheel of the late ’60s, the chrome Cragar S/S wheels look just right here, although we’re not opposed to a set of deep-dish Steelies with purpose-built tires for serious beach use would. We could also do without the black “Manx” lettering on the side walls.
The interior upholstery is plain black vinyl. So we recommend having some light colored beach towels handy so you don’t burn your butt, back and thighs after leaving this dune buggy parked in the sun. The black floor mats and tub interior add to the solar gain. The lap belts with the Wolfsburg logo and the front disc brakes ensure a welcome level of safety.
Power is supplied by an air-cooled 1.6-liter four-cylinder boxer engine from Volkswagen with the appropriate mods, including two Solex H40/44EIS carburettors and a Scintilla magneto. (Although the original carburetors are no longer manufactured by the former French Solex company, a large, international aftermarket, licensing and enthusiast support network ensures their viability for decades to come.) A Hurst-triggered shifter selects between four gears and a roller accelerator pedal provides smooth throttle inputs. A degree disc provides a better view when setting the tuning. (Don’t forget to check your valves regularly, and keep an eye on that pesky exhaust valve #3.) Chrome engine cases and pulleys add to the shine, as does a ceramic-coated Tri-Mil dual exhaust system.
Although the metal-bodied EMPI Sportster buggy was born around the same time, and several other long-forgotten pioneers were down the same path, when the term “dune buggy” comes to mind, the Meyers Manx usually comes to mind. (EMPI later made a fiberglass Manx clone called the IMP.) Meyers helped cement his title as the modern day dune buggy of all time with his “Old Red” prototype, which he and Ted Mangels set in a record-breaking 1967 Baja race 1000 controlled .
The ‘production’ Manx – Meyer sold it primarily in kit form for a number of reasons – like the one in this auction benefited from a degree of ‘refining’ without diluting the core vision. That kind of single-minded goal is a rarity, especially when an idea is materialized into an actual physical product that reflects the mood of a generation. And that guarantees him a place in the annals of pop culture for all eternity.
The car is listed by a private owner, is located in Danville, California and is accompanied by a copy of Manx Mania magazine, in which it is believed to appear, and a clean California title in the seller’s name, listing it as a Volkswagen of 1955 is listed.
Andrew Wendler brings with him decades of experience as an author, author and editor at numerous branches car and driver. A native of the Rust Belt, he is a tireless promoter of the region. He once won a $5 bet by running the entire length of the elevated People Mover track that circles downtown Detroit.