The “dune buggy” has fully and completely wiggled itself into American car culture as a permanent fixture over the last 50 years or so. While they may not be as popular as they once were, I doubt they will be going away anytime soon. THE dune buggy that started it all is the Meyers Manx. This icon of fiberglass fabrication is equally heartwarming, and it is badass. Performance, simplicity, and raw joy has always been the defining nature of Meyers Manx. After all these years, the iconic custom dune-buggy brand has been sold.
Like me, if any of you realized the moment you read the headline that you never knew it but owning Meyers Manx was your lifelong dream but then got sad that it just sold, I feel your pain.
And the highest bidder is…
Car designer Freeman Thomas, who is responsible for the Audi TT, VW New Beetle, and other models for Ford and Chrystler, now is the CEO o Meyers Manx, according to Car and Driver. Bruce Meyers, the founder of Meyers Manx back in 1964, turned over the keys to the kingdom himself.
It’s no coincidence that Meyers Manx is the coolest car company once you know how cool its creator is. Bruce and his wife Winnie have run the company the same way they run their lives, simply and with a smile.
Bruce and Winnie both seem very excited about the new owner’s ability to continue the sunny atmosphere of Myeres Manks. Trousdale Ventures is the firm that did the buying and at the helm is a car collector and racer, Chairman Phillip Sarofim.
In an Autoweek interview, the new CEO, Thomas, give Manx fans faith in the new leadership by saying, “I have a lot of reverence for what Bruce created,” he said. “It transcends being this four-wheeled thing. It’s a pop-culture icon.” That’s what we like to hear, Freeman. That’s what we like to hear. The headquarters of Meyers Manx will also be moving to a purpose-built facility in Oceanside, California, with a new international dream team of designers, fabricators, and builders.
Meyers Manx in a nutshell
Bruce Meyers started Meyers Manx to turn people’s old VW bug chassis and motor into a beach-ripping smile factory. These are fiberglass body kits with everything you need to make the bubbly beach buggy. When Bruce first offered in the kits in 1968, the pitch was that you could build these buggies for only $635.
The pound-for-pound enjoyment a driver gets from a Manx is simply untouchable by nearly any other car model. As a result, Bruce got 350 orders overnight, according to Autoweek. The Manx was an instant success that Americans would prove to hold in their hearts forever.
The new school vs the old school
The new Meyers Manx leadership hasn’t given many specifics as far as new products or models, but they hint toward a predictably battery-powered future for the dune buggies. The new CEO promises many new ideas coming soon, but again, specifics have been few and far between. Before any of the loyalists worry too much about the changing landscape of Meyers Manx, the new team says they are sticking with the proven, classic VW chassis as the platform for the little cuties to be built on.
Thomas and the rest of the team seem very set on maintaining the legacy of Bruce and Winnie through a commitment to keeping the Meyers Manx DNA authentic.
We will just have to wait and see how the little buggers adapt to the leadership and the new world in general. Things are changing. If these classic companies can continue the heritage of classic motoring with enough modernity to be responsible, I think the future of enthusiast motoring will be as bright and sunny as the first Meyers Manx.