Never Seen One: 1972 Meyers Manx Shark

In the 60s and 70s, Volkswagen-based fiberglass kits were a dime a dozen, with myriad styles and colors to choose from. This listing on craigslist labels this particular model as a “Meyers Shark”, for which I can find next to no information on. The holes are many in this listing, but it still looks like a compelling project worth saving if you’re a vintage buggy fan looking for some additional comfort. Find the Shark here on craigslist for $3,500 in Phoenix.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Pat L. for this unusual find. I truly am stumped as to what exactly this creation is, and it looks unlike many other Meyers Manx-derived builds that I’ve seen. It does feature the trademark look of cramming two headlights next to each other in the center of the nose, much like the Meyers Manx SR coupe. From there, the similarities end.

The interior remains in good condition, with clean, straight panels and a complete dashboard assembly. Bucket seats are intact and usable, but the aftermarket steering wheel should be tossed. Really, there’s not a lot to worry yourself about with these cars other than whether the pan is still in good shape. Even then, replacing a rotten one is a straightforward process and replacements are cheap.

Power comes from a 110 b.h.p. Chevy Corvair engine, a nice upgrade over the traditional air-cooled Bug engine. The roll bar looks sturdy enough, and the rear spoiler is a good place to have a burger and fries. While these period garage builds have a strong following, determining  their origins and who the original builder was is a significant undertaking – does anyone recognize this so-called Shark?

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Comments

  1. Keith

    Seems to me back in the seventies a dude down the street had one of these but it was light blue, I could be wrong though…..

    1
  2. Nate

    Dang, that’s ugly.

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    • bruce baker

      I agree, but it’s just the front quarter fenders that look like an old Land Rover or jeep, not a buggy or Sports Car. If i can still get this thing, i want to Vee the front of this like a Vett. Sting Ray or 240 Z . I do like the headlights. But i doubt a on duty Cop will? I love that engine.

      • carbuzzard Member

        I like the blunt front end. But then I like the Porsche 914.

        And I searched on the internet to see whether I could find any standards about how far a car’s headlights must be apart, but couldn’t find any. I suspect your county mountie wouldn’t be able to cite a regulation either. It’s not something they see very often, I’d think.

        2
      • bruce baker

        At carbuzzard, i seam to remember something about the Bullet Mustang, & making a clone of it. The center headlight were not legal then.
        I know it was in traffic school, & that great car was mention as “making a exact copy of as to own the coolest car on the planet. . The sheriff teaching the class, loved old mustang’s but came down hard on the headlight location in the middle for both it and the Super Snake he just spotted parked outside the class. He said “it’s against the law, because if the outer two lights burn out then the car can get mistaken as a much narrower motorcycle at night”..

        1
      • carbuzzard Member

        Bruce Baker, but the cars with the center headlights were produced and sold by manufacturers, and they were legal, so… Actually, if you think about it, you’re not prevented from mounting fog lights in any particular location, and if you can turn your fog lights on without your headlights, it could give that motorcycle look, I’d think.

        From what I saw, the only reference to headlight position was that they had to be a certain height…which is why so many cars had popup headlights. I could find no reference to regs on how far apart they had to be. I think I’d take the ticket to the local magistrate and say, uh, what law did I break?

        2
      • bruce baker

        @ carbuzzuard, yeah their was the 1997 Saturn Ion that had near center head lights too. I drove my Uncles new silver 97 Saturn Ion to Las Vegas once, a Cop past us then slowed down pulled us over for “illegal head lights” . My Uncle chewed out that Cop telling him the car was “factor stock, give Detroit the @%& #ing ticket”.
        I stopped buying red cars because “Cops see red better”. I have not been pulled over since my red Grand Am GT got totaled in 1998 by a colored blinded 16 yr. old girl. She put in the accident report that ‘It was his fault for driving a too slow blue car in the rain”. Her totaled Ford car was aqua blue.
        PS what ever happened to yellow fog lights only?

  3. RayT Member

    I sure don’t remember it, Jeff. I was a bit of a fan of Bruce Meyers’ work, and remember Manx, SR and Tow’d. No Shark.

    Growing up in SoCal, I’d expect to have seen at least one if they existed. Maybe some other Meyers?

    There was an endless supply of knock-offs, some pretty faithful to the originals, some not. I’ll say this was someone else’s work.

    3
  4. Paul Koetsch

    Super Shark by Turchan Industries in Ontario Canada. Not a Meyers at all. Meant as a kit for either VW or Corvair chassis. http://www.vintagebikebuilder.com/turchan-super-shark.html

    16
  5. MFerrell

    Curiosity inspired Google search yielded this:

    http://www.vintagebikebuilder.com/turchan-super-shark.html

    1
  6. Carlton Madden

    Should be relatively easy to make a couple of smoked plexi covers for the headlights. That would go a long way towards cleaning up that front end. I like it. Wish I was in the market for one.

    1
    • SubGothius

      Or just one wide cover spanning both buckets and the full front clip from one fender seam to the other.

      1
  7. Christopher P Cole

    Plenty of claimed Meyers “style” dune buggies with zero DNA tracing back to actual Meyers cars. Buyer beware.

    2
  8. JOHN

    Interesting vehicle… I like the Corvair engine, among other’s I’m a Corvair guy, but that body is certainly not one of the best styled of that era. I also wonder about the structural rigidity of that body with opening doors, convenient, sure I can’t imagine the results from getting a little air now and then.

    3
    • KevinLee

      Never seen before? Wish I hadn’t seen it.

      2
  9. mtshootist

    The article that Paul provided says that the Super Shark was manufactured in Ontario, California, not Canada. Makes a lot more sense. I had a buddy of mine who had one of the fiberglass dune buggys, he traded it for a 64 or 65 Corvette fastback, without an engine. straight across as I recall, he still owns the Corvette…. best trade I ever saw..

    9
  10. Mr. Bond

    It ain’t no hammerhead.

    1
    • bruce baker

      Really ? If you look down at it from above (not shown here). A “Hammerhead” Shark explains the absence of a Vee’d front end like a Sting Ray or 240 Z, GT 6 etc. The Sting Ray Vett design was inspired by the sleek Macco Shark not a “Hammerhead” Shark, i heard this on TV last week. I believe the Datsun 240 Z was inspired by Triumph Gt 6 but i have no proof. Or is it the other way around?

      1
  11. Rodney - GSM

    Just to be sure, I sent this to Bruce Meyers wife to confirm that this is not a Meyers Manx. Everyone is correct, this car has no connection to Bruce Meyers.
    Buyer beware.

    1
  12. paul oberman

    Those door handles tell me someone has been doing recent modifications.

    1
  13. carbuzzard Member

    One thing about kit cars is that they don’t have to be absolutely “original” because, well, owner expression is part of the game.

    So that said, yes, I’d find a plexiglass bender to make clear covers–I want to see if I ever drive it after dark–with, I dunno, some sort of paint treatment over the plexi. Horizontal or vertical stripes?

    The “wing” is gone.

    Dang, that carburetor/air cleaner sticks way up there. We’re looking for some way–didn’t the Corvair come with dual cars, one of each bank?–to lower that ugliness. Might even want to go with a well-prepped VW engine, just to not be quite so rear weight biased.

    Tires and wheels. Dirty white sidewalls don’t exactly flatter the vehicle.

    The doors? Why exterior door handles? Can’t you just reach over the side to open them from an inside door? Actually, I’m impressed with how well the doors appear to fit for a limited never-heard-of-it production buggy.

    And yes, there are ways to stiffen the VW platform. There’s gotta be.

    The color is atrocious. Primary color, yellow, orange, French racing blue. It looks much better in my mind’s eye in another color.

    Contrary to what some have said, I like the overall shape of this buggy. If I were inclined to take on such a project, just to have something that I could rarely drive and had the garage to keep it. I would would do it.

    1
  14. Joe Haska

    I live in Phoenix and I like this buggy, I could drive it in all the golf course niegborhoods and tell everyone its a golf cart.

    • JOHN

      Haha, it wouldn’t sound like a golf cart!

      1
  15. bruce baker

    I could have fun popping wheelies in this thing. Veeing the front might lighten it up to help a bit. Dual Corvair turbo’s or turbo would help with the Fun Factor. Full roll cage, & high sat wheelie bars might be smart too.

    1
  16. Doug

    I once owned a Kelmark buggy built around a 180 hp gen 2 Corvair engine and rear suspension, VW beam axle up front. If you can imagine a Meyers Manx with a pickup box instead of a back seat, metallic blue, that’s what it looked like. The side and rear view was very similar to the Manx, until you got close enough to see the bottom of the pickup bed. The body was cut across the bed and hinged to allow access to the engine, and there was a hole in the bottom of the bed to clear the turbo. Scary quick ! Actually quicker starting in 2nd gear- the increased exhaust pressure spooled the turbo up sooner, and you didn’t have to shift 1/2 way across an intersection ; also kept the front wheels on the ground….

    2
  17. JOHN

    The Corvair 180 engine, in stock form isn’t much of a performer until you get over 2000-2500 RPM, and they only produce maybe 12 lbs of boost. They are a lot of fun, but the 140 4 carb motor will produce way more low end power, and will pull the turbo car up to 50 MPH or so. Twin Corvair stock turbo’s, wouldn’t work, you would need some serious modifications as well as a pair of smaller turbo’s to even make it work. Can and has been done! Starting in 2nd gear as Doug said is what you want to do with a stock VW transaxle, they run just fine as a 3 speed. 1st gear is so short, it’s really only good for idling along through traffic. The stock VW in those days only had 65 foot pounds of torque, the 180 Corvair had 265. Corvairs are quirky, but have a strong and dedicated following.

    2
    • bruce baker

      @ John, i got great mileage from my dads 61 4 speed stick Corvair. Plus got good performance, & great handling.. Ralph Nader was picking on the wrong Chevy’s. The over heating Vega or crush easy Chevett. The on fire Ford Pinto, & Pinto wagon maybe? What would Ralph think of the tinny Fiat 500, & the tinny tiny Smart Car?

      • JOHN

        Old Ralph was trying to make a name for himself, and did. I can tell you I never knew of an old Corvair rolling over, I’m sure it happened, no doubt. But… what about the VW Beetle? I have witnessed 2 roll over, and seen many that showed the tell-tale scars! One interesting thing about that whole debate is that NHTSA exonerated the Corvair in 1972, but it was long over with. The popularity of the Mustang, Camaro was what really sealed it’s fate, Ralph certainly helped. I have had a few, currently have a mid-engine V8 conversion, and intend to purchase an original convert in the future.

        1
      • bruce baker

        @ John, yup i agree with you. A V-8 Covair sounds like heaven.
        I have raced against a 350 small block MGB with my 73 350 Sig Erson Camaro, i won by a car. I have also seen two bugs “turn turtle”.Plus i saw my middle school graduating Football team roll the schools VP’s parked 66 bug down a 12 foot ivy embankment. Yeah like 3 rolls before it stop upright somehow. He saw it happen from his office window. He was real mad at me for not stopping them as two of them were my neighbors. I said i thought they were joking around. Plus i am only 105 #’s so how could i stop them all?
        PS: Then he drove it home that night after i looked for gas leaks.

    • carbuzzard Member

      Actually, Nader took VW to task in Unsafe at Any Speed, but the media ignored it, largely because GM tried to prove Nader had some sex scandal going. Really? There’s barking up a dead tree.

      1
  18. CJinSD

    I think this may have been the basis for ‘the Bull car’ from “Death Race 2000.” It may have been used in the construction of Machine Gun Joe’s car too.

    [i]https://i.pinimg.com/736x/1c/5a/fc/1c5afcf6ff4921e949d60d6ddfedfee9.jpg[/i]

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