The Magnificent Meyers Manx

Updated: Apr 7

Bruce Meyers enjoying his Manx
(Image credit: Meyers Manx)

The essence of the 1960s! The go-to vehicle for any Scooby Doo chase scene! The car built for the world to enjoy! The Meyers Manx was made to make you smile. The Meyers Manx story begins with a guy named Bruce Meyers. Bruce Meyers was an artist, a sailor, a fiberglass expert, a beach bum, and a Navy hero. He was a man who lived a remarkable life, the best part being the icon that bears his name. Like many Southern California teenagers growing up in the 1940s, hotrods were a huge influence on Bruce Meyers. However, most of his time was spent surfing and building boats. Bruce Meyers was living a pretty basic California beach life. Then, the world went to war and Bruce joined the Navy. During World War II, Bruce Meyers survived two kamikaze attacks and saved multiple lives all in one day. Returning from the war, Bruce went back to his old life, he even attended art school for a couple of years. In the Postwar 50s, Bruce Meyers worked for Jenson Marine, constructing sailboats out of fiberglass. He was extremely talented with fiberglass design, which later came in handy when creating the first ever fiberglass dune buggy. Bruce was a very busy guy, but he still spent plenty of time by the sea. Bruce Meyers was interested in everything involved with the ocean, so when tuned up jalopies became a common sighting around California beaches, Bruce was quick to the scene. The jalopies, or early dune buggies, were incredibly fun, but needed a lot of improvements to function in the sandy terrain. Bruce Meyers was the perfect guy for the job. In the early 60s, Bruce started work on his own beach buggy. His experience in fiberglass construction drove him to create a lightweight body for his dune buggy. Bruce’s artistic talents and great sense of humor led him to design a gorgeous shell for the buggy. The shell was based upon Mickey Mouse’s tiny car, which definitely explained why the Manx has a comically small frame with enormous wheels. The countless hobbies Bruce Meyers had all served a part in creating the “Original Dune Buggy.” When the Meyers Manx first rolled out of Bruce’s shed in 1963, it was an instant hit! Tearing up Volkswagens and making hilarious beach buggies became a huge part of California car culture. The magic of the Manx was clearly creativity. It inspired people to build dune buggy kits and Meyers Manx replicas of their own. It’s just a good vibration!

From 1964 to 1971, B. F. Meyers & Co. built over 6,000 Meyers Manx kits. This was hardly enough! Everyone adored Bruce’s life-sized Hot-Wheels, especially after a Meyers Manx won the Mexican 1000. Oh yeah, it even beat a Shelby Cobra up the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb. If that wasn’t enough, it landed the cover of Road & Track magazine many times. This homemade dune buggy skyrocketed to fame, even in Hollywood. The King of Cool himself, Steve McQueen, had a Meyers Manx. McQueen’s Manx appeared in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair, another vital ingredient in the Meyers Manx legacy. Unfortunately, the intense pressure to build more forced Bruce Meyers out of the business. It was too much stress for him, so he stopped production of official Meyers Manx kits in 1971. Since then, there’s been multiple Meyers Manx revival attempts. Most recently in 2020, Trousdale Ventures purchased the entire company from 94 year old Bruce Meyers. Sadly, in February of 2021, Bruce Meyers passed away at his home in San Diego. His legacy will only continue to grow as Trousdale Ventures announced their plan to build a fully electric Meyers Manx with the same design drawn by Bruce Meyers on a restaurant napkin over 60 years ago.

(Image credit: Meyers Manx)

Fun Fact:

The Meyers Manx was named after the Manx cat, due to the hilarious resemblance between the stubby car and the stubby cat.

(Image credit: Meyers Manx)

The Happiest Car in the World

(Image credit: Meyers Manx)

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