- The Meyers Manx is the OG fiberglass dune buggy and has inspired legions of imitators and competitors.
- This well-presented example is based on a shortened ’55 Volkswagen chassis.
- The Bring a Trailer auction runs through May 30.
If there was an official Endless Summer car, it would be the Meyers Manx dune buggy. Not just any dune buggy, but a Meyers Manx, the very cool vehicle that Steve McQueen and Elvis chose for screen and personal duty. If you’ve ever wanted to get in on that mojo, now’s your chance with this metal flake green Meyers Manx, auction on Bring a Trailerwhich, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos.
Although BaT’s current title avoids a specific model year, this Manx was tagged a 1968 model at a previous auction held elsewhere in March 2021. Its omission here is largely irrelevant, as the Manx , just like the Californian dream it embodies, is timeless . It exists in an entirely different realm, one where it’s always 72 degrees and sunny, and the occupants are perpetually young. It does, however, come with a certificate of authenticity signed by Bruce Meyers validating the serial number – the nameplate appears to be original – and its register identification number, giving it an unassailable pedigree. That said, the seller indicates that the Manx fiberglass tub rides on a shortened 1955 Volkswagen flatbed and is registered accordingly.
The metal flake green paint and fiberglass body appear to be in excellent condition, free of cracks and cobweb damage. Although these cars are often subject to questionable customizations, this Manoise takes the lead with a classic chrome roll bar, the politely titled “nudge” bar, a chrome windshield support and chrome headlight scoops. The turn signals ride discreetly atop the front suspension mounting points under the front fenders. Cragar S/S chrome wheels were arguably the most popular aftermarket wheels in the late ’60s and look right at home here, although we wouldn’t argue with a set of deep steelies with tires specially designed for serious use on the beach. Likewise, we could ditch the black “Manx” lettering on the side panels.
The interior padding is basic black vinyl, so we recommend keeping a few light colored beach towels handy lest you burn your buns, back and thighs after leaving this buggy parked at the sun. The black floor mats and interior tub finish add to the solar gain. Wolfsburg-branded lap belts and front disc brakes add a welcome measure of safety.
Power is provided by a Volkswagen 1.6-liter four-cylinder air-cooled engine 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 company Solex, an extensive international network of aftermarket, licensing, and enthusiast support ensures their viability for decades.) smooth throttle. A stepped pulley improves visibility when dialing in the setting. (Remember to adjust your valves regularly and keep an eye out for that pesky #3 exhaust valve.) Chrome engine boxes and pulleys add to the shine, as does a dual Tri-exhaust system. -Mil ceramic coated.
Although the metal-bodied EMPI Sportster buggy was incubating around the same time, and several other long-forgotten pioneers were on the same trail, it is the Meyers Manx that usually comes to mind with the phrase “buggy dunes”. (EMPI would later make a fiberglass Manx clone called IMP.) Meyers helped cement his modern dune buggy title with his “Old Red” prototype that he and Ted Mangels piloted to a record-breaking Baja run. 1000 from 1967. .
The “production” Manx – Meyer sold them mostly in kit form for a number of reasons – like the one at this auction, benefited from a certain level of, uh, “refinement”, without diluting the vision of base. This kind of single lens is a rarity, especially when an idea materializes into an actual physical product that reflects the mood of a generation. And that guarantees her a place in the annals of pop culture for eternity.
The car is privately listed, is in Danville, CA, and comes with a copy of Manx Mania magazine in which we assume it appears, and a proper California title to the seller’s name, the listing as a 1955 Volkswagen.
Andrew Wendler brings decades of heartbreaking, writing and editorial experience with many outlets to Car and driver. A Rust Belt native and tireless promoter of the area, he once won a $5 bet by walking the full length of the elevated People Mover track that circles downtown Detroit.