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Authentic 1970 Meyers Manx Dune Buggy

With the abundance of Meyers Manx replicas and cheap copies available at any given time on classifieds sites around the globe, you can forget just how cool the original model was. Like everything in life that gets copied, the lines can seemingly be blurred to the point that you question why you’d spend significantly more on an original car. However, when you see one in the flesh, the small nuances that set the first edition apart come to light, and it’s easy to see why dune buggy fans pay a premium for a real Meyers Manx. This is a 1970 Manx listed here on eBay where it has been with the seller for 20 years.

Bidding is currently at $10,200 with the reserve unmet, and the seller is upfront about the fact that he’s not giving this dune buggy away. He knows that the culture around the original Manx design will gladly pay a premium for the right car, and if you dig patina, this is certainly a Manx worth looking at. When I think of the ultimate expression of how to use a Meyers Manx, I think about Steve McQueen ripping through sand dunes in one of these VW-powered buggies in a memorable scene from The Thomas Crown Affair. Proudly wearing its old-school California blue plates and outrageous all-terrain tires, there is literally nothing I would change on this vintage buggy.

When the Manx came out, it was a perfect four-wheeled expression of southern California culture: endless days at the beach, surfing until your legs gave out, and roaring bonfires on the sand with your nearest and dearest. It seemed there was no clearer way to capture the spirit of California in the 60s and 70s when hope was in abundance and everything about the state seemed shiney and new. That’s all now changed but the attraction of free spirits to the California coastline hasn’t changed – it’s just that they’ve traded in their dune buggy for a Prius. Kudos to the seller of this Manx for using it as God intended all of these years, and taking good care of it in the process.

The geographic data points that accompany this Manx give you some strong clues as to the life its led: the seller claims he used it many times on trips down to Baja for surfing and camping expeditions, and that for the last 10 years it’s been in the desert, hanging out in a little place known as Joshua Tree. In many ways, it seems tragic to remove it from the culture that made its very existence possible when you think about it; after all, Bruce Meyers built the first Meyers Manx from his shop in Fountain Valley, California, where shortened VW Beetle chassis made all sorts of things possible and may have even been partially responsible for the wave of kit cars riding on Bug chassis that exist today. This is a seriously cool example of an authentic Manx, and hopefully, the next owner will make some stories of their own.

Comments

  1. Avatar photo Euromoto Member

    I think Steve McQueen’s in The Thomas Crown Affair was Corvair 6 powered, not VW powered.

    Like 14
    • Avatar photo Richard c arra

      He definitely had a blast with it in that crazy movie. In the end he fly’s away
      LOL

      Like 3
    • Avatar photo Jim Kellum

      Listening just for one second to that engine and I knew it was not a VeeDub. Rewinding and freezing on a back camera shot confirmed it. Thinking Porsche, I googled it and found it was my old friend the Corvair engine. Homage to the ‘Vair.

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Howie

    I had one, it was smaller and made by COX.

    Like 10
    • Avatar photo Melton Mooney

      Ha! I found a Cox buggy in an antique store about a year ago and bought it. I’m always looking for old gas powered toys.

      Like 1
      • Avatar photo Howie

        Check out what they are asking for nice ones now on FeeBay.

        Like 1
      • Avatar photo Melton Mooney

        Yeah. I started collecting the Cox type airplanes years ago, and I’ve bought and sold a lot on ebay. There were actually several makers of the gas-powered models besides Cox, and like you infer, some go for serious money.

        Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Big Schwag

    A nice starting project. The rear fiberglass will require some extensive repairs due to someone going crazy with a saw. If bought for a reasonable price this could be a nice one.

    Like 1
  4. Avatar photo Malcolm Boyes

    I love this and the fact its used and not all shiny! I would grab this but it will go for good $$$ I am sure. Steve’s Manx was definitely Corvair powered.There is behind the scenes footage of him with it and talking about it.One of my all time favorite movies..BTW Steve’s buggy went tol Hawaii and the new owner put a VW motor in it.I belive it has not been restored to Corvair power and sold for some high $$$as wellit should!!

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Jeff Davis

    My brother Lee was stationed at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Calif. during the 60’s and 70’s and had a friendship with Bruce Meyers. Lee worked part time with Bruce and bought one of the original buggies. I would, on occasion, use my brothers bug to go to the SoCal beaches and would have a ball. Wish I had that buggie now.

    Like 5
  6. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    I agree with your article and the comments. If I were to get a buggy I would want one like this! It is sort of like a 32 Ford you want the real one or the copy?

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Big Schwag

      Agree to a point. The original is the best depending on what your intentions are. These were designed to be a fun, cheap off-road machine. They have become ridiculous in price and mostly used as a ‘pavement princess’. I use my vehicles for their intended purposes, and they bring the most fun experience without worrying about the high cost I have invested. No buggy is worth $30K plus in my opinion.

      Like 6
  7. Avatar photo BrianT Member

    I would leave it as is and drive it lots.

    Like 6
  8. Avatar photo Matthew Dyer

    Interesting. I never knew they were on shortened bug pans. Thanks

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo BrianT Member

      14 inches if memory serves me right but it has been a long time.

      Like 0
      • Avatar photo 370zpp Member

        Brian, was the Molineros’ buggy a Manx?

        Like 1
  9. Avatar photo chrlsful

    the reason these R so great is … the Bug AND the light glass ‘cab’.
    The Ve Dub had that rear motor/transaxel. Pretty low (1st & rear) gears
    13 inch tire and pistons almost ‘bigger’ then the rods. So that i4 wasa tq
    monster~

    We get 1 in every year. Just cant find any ID lates…

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo Big Schwag

      English please.

      Like 3
  10. Avatar photo angliagt Member

    A friend & I saw one of these at a show at the local fair grounds
    when they first came out.A local drapes & blinds business was selling
    them.Never saw another one (locally) after that,so not sure what happened.
    I also read that by shortening the VW floorpan,the ID number was eliminated.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo BrianT Member

      The one I saw shortened was in front of that area.

      Like 0
  11. Avatar photo Big Schwag

    @Howie- The prices there (E Bay) are also crazy. Lots of wishful sellers.

    Like 1

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