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Baldwin Motion Minicar Manx SR


When most people think of the performance tuning company Baldwin Motion, they think of big block Camaros. But, did you know that for a short period of time in the 1970’s, they were one of the top sources for performance VW engines and parts? Pairing the Camaro tuner with Meyer Manx seems like an even more unlikely of events, but that’s what happened when Motion ordered a Meyer Manx SR to be used as a tow car for the ThunderBug drag car. After many years of faithful service, it was put into storage and forgotten. It is now back on the street and is for sale here on eBay with bidding currently at $6k. Unfortunately, the seller pulled the $8k BIN before we could finish the post.


Meyers was known for their Beetle based sand buggy kit cars, but in 1970 they decided to venture into the sports car world. They took their popular Manx sand buggy design, added scissor hinge doors, a targa roof, and a slightly more refined interior. They gave their new design the Manx name, but added an SR logo to the side to signify that this was their street race version. There has been much controversy about the SR’s Lambo style doors, seeing as the SR went on sale nearly a year before the Countach. So who really came up with the unique door design? Our money is on Bertone designer Marcello Gandini, who designed a prototype with scissor hinge doors that was displayed in Paris in 1968.


Regardless of who came out with the design first, this is still one interesting little car. The connection to Baldwin Motions makes this just that much more interesting, we just wish we knew more about what all Motion’s Minicar Division did to it. We know that they commissioned the radical paint job and that they stroked the engine, but that’s about it. The seller isn’t even sure if this is the original stoker motor. It was featured in several magazines and was on the cover of High Performance Cars Magazine, so hopefully there is more information about it out there waiting to be discovered.


We are glad to see that some of the interesting pieces of automotive history are still out there and that regular car guys can still afford them. Sure this isn’t a Baldwin Motion Camaro, but how many people can say they own a Motion car that was actually owned and driven by Joel Rosen and Bill Mitchell? Let’s just hope it’s as original as the seller claims it is. However, we are curious to know how they towed the infamous ThunderBug without a hitch. Does anyone remember seeing it at the track back in the 1970’s?


  1. Larry

    They also use to have a rail dragster with one wild VW engine. It would scream. I had a little dune buggy with a VW engine that they built, it would bring the front wheels off the ground. That was back in about 1972-1973. Good memories.

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  2. Horse Radish

    so this is a 1960 technology VW bug with a pre safety standards Fiberglass Deathtrap body ?
    hey, what’s there not to like.
    You can go grocery shopping in Pismo Beach…..
    .BTW the Buy it now disappears if bidding passes a certain percentage of the BIN price.
    Do you think that E-bay let’s YOU decide that on your own listing ?

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    • Jim-Bob

      Hey now… Just like a classic Mini, it’s perfectly safe as long as you don’t crash!

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  3. Robert J

    Well my motorcycles are bigger death traps than my cars. Everything is relative. Just don’t crash and you’ll be fine

    I always wanted a Manx SR, but like all VW kits there isn’t enough room for a six foot six inch driver. Also, be forewarned that SR doors are rather floppy. That having been said, sure wish I owned this one.

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  4. Tim H

    @ Larry With the majority of the weight out back picking the front wheels up might not take that much. :)

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  5. Sim

    Funny how you wanted something real bad when you were 15, then you see it again when you’re 50 and think “WTF was I thinking?”

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  6. Don Andreina

    I tested a standard Manx once. Drove it in 60mph traffic and scared the living crap out of myself. This is fantastic, but its definitely one for the beachfront estate along with a Fiat Jolly for guests. Wouldn’t touch the paint job except maybe seal it.

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  7. Gil Vigil

    A real car guy wouldn’t criticize, look at the craftsmanship, sweat , and sleepless njghts that went into building this car granted it not an automotive break through , but it has bee well thought out , designed and built , its a cool car, I wouldn’t mind having a one of a kind machine.

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  8. Dolphin Member

    For the best use for a Manx see the original Thomas Crown Affair with Steve McQueen driving Faye Dunaway around in one at the beach. That one had a hotted-up Corvair instead of VW power, tho.

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  9. geomechs geomechs Member

    I’ve seen a lot of fun kit cars that could be put on a VW chassis but I’ve never seen one like this. Looks like a lot of fun.

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  10. BradL

    Love it – even the paint!

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  11. Steve Vigus

    Man, Daddy-O. Dig that crazy paint job. Makes me want to go back in time.

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  12. Gary

    It’s definitely a Motion Performance built Meyer Manx. I should know, I painted it for Motion & that’s my handwriting on the back, a little worn I’m sorry to say.

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  13. archie

    I owned this car a couple years ago and had a blast with it.

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  14. David C

    I talked to the owner and would have bought this but the price kept going up and finally sold for about $2900. Too high for something that needed everything.

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    • it seems like a lot of money as you said considering I sold this car for $300 a few years ago, but as I look back I would probably pay this ant for such a nice piece of history…..those are my MANX lic plates

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  15. I owned this machine in the mid 70s -to somewhere in the late 80s give or take.that N.Y. MANX lic plate was mine , I got it for $200 from a real nice guy in a difficult place. when I sold it for $300 to a guy who said his kid would love it and I agreed but just couldn’t care for it as needed,I thought for sure it was gone and I missed it so ,,,Id really love to see it again,
    it’s a very pleasant thing to see it’s still around.I remember once it needed a battery but that was buried behind the engine so Id jump start it and if it stalled I just open the door and roll it like a wheelchair and pop the clutch.then one day I changed the battery and realized the engine would come out in 15 minutes on a floor jack…Lots of fun oh yeah and Chicks ,man what a ride could not be beat off the line by anybody, this car did not want to go slow .the original radio was Blaupunkt and sucked so I swapped it out for an 8track.my friends dad told me Id have trouble with it and gave me a helmet and machete ….
    Roll on THUNDERBUG

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