When Bruce and Winnie Meyers sold Meyers Manx to Phillip Sarofim and designer Freeman Thomas in 2020, the particular transaction left many questioning what the new owners would do with the company known for its dune buggy kit car based on a 60-year-old Volkswagen platform. Sure, they could keep knocking out bright little fiberglass bodies depending on Bruce’s brilliant original design, but Sarofim plus Thomas don’t seem like guys who want to run the small-scale nostalgia business.
Recently, we got a look at the new offering from Meyers Manx . The latest iteration of the classic dune buggy is a complete redesign that maintains the particular retro looks of the original but is powered by electric motors and promises notable improvements to performance plus comfort. The Manx two. 0 was well-received and during The particular Quail (an event, which like the particular Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance , is part of Monterey Car Week) we had the chance in order to sit plus talk with Thomas about the challenges and thrills of reworking a vehicle as legendary as the Manx.
C/D : The Manx 2. 0 won’t be a kit car like the original Manx and will instead be a street-legal turn-key car, right? What kind of testing does it need to do?
Freeman Thomas : Correct. It will be turn-key. This fits under the new low-volume vehicle act [ an NHTSA regulation that allows for small companies to build and sell classic-themed cars without having to do all the testing a large OEM must do ]. This allows us to build up to 325 of these vehicles the year.
But we want to make sure that the automobile has integrity and that this works as an everyday vehicle. We’re developing a door system with windows, air conditioning, and heating. We want to make sure that will the suspension handles perfect. It isn’t according to an old VW now, it’s a lightweight aluminum monocoque that’s also a crash structure, and the roll bar and roll cage will tie in beautifully to this.
C/D : Are you building this in-house, or are you working with another company?
FT : A combination of both. We’re developing it in-house and working with a manufacturing partner.
C/D : Would you say this particular new one is more street-oriented than the particular original dune buggy?
FT : We want it to be as capable as the original, plus then of course there will be versions that will be more extreme to cater in order to people’s tastes. The first one that we will start producing will be a great all-arounder.
C/D : Is there anything on the new Manx that will be a VW part?
FEET : The particular headlight bucket. Currently, the front suspension on this design prototype is also Volkswagen, but we are evolving that.
C/D : How about the body itself, is this still fiberglass?
FOOT : On this design prototype, the body is actually carbon fiber, but for production, we’re looking at the lot of different options including thermoforming. Thermoforming is recyclable as well, which we like, and you can do it using the color impregnated into the material. It’s important on a Manx to offer the wide colour range and the big metal flakes. So all of us may have different types associated with materials or processes with regard to the body depending on the customer’s color choice.
C/D : Do you envision special editions, maybe referencing other Manx variants, such because a Mod Top or a Tow’d?
FT : Absolutely. Because a Manx, it’s really a canvas. It can be serious, fun, playful, or retro. We could do a version with the bright color and white wheels, a white top, and a fun interior. It’s really a chameleon. It can adapt to anybody’s taste.
C/D : Are a person going in order to race one? Hit up Baja the particular way Bruce did?
FEET : There’s technology that will we’re taking a look at for racing, but that’s a separate discussion right now. I do such as the idea of testing what you build via racing.
C/D : Was it difficult to try and reenvision the Manx in a way that made it a good evolution in a good way rather than, you know, the bummer?
FOOT : It’s a high-wire act. This was one of the most challenging things I’ve done in my design career. First of all, it’s an icon, and we would like to take this symbol to a wider, broader audience without losing that magic plus the secret sauce that will made the original. We knew that if we did it wrong, it would be highly criticized. Getting all the feedback from the reveal and through today has really given us a lot of confidence that we are going to doing the particular right thing.
C/D : What was the most challenging a part of redesigning the Manx?
FT : The rear end is completely new. Because it doesn’t have an engine hanging out the back, I didn’t want this to be a gaping hole or even some pretend engine. It is about the particular honesty of design. The body looks similar, yet every single surface has more volume to the radius and corner, plus that animates it a little bit more.
C/D : Can there be still a flat spot upon the fender to rest your beer?
FT : Of course , associated with course.
C/D : Do a person have a favorite Bruce Meyers story?
FT : There are usually many. One of my favorites is the way that he developed the height of the shoulder here, the particular beltline [Thomas pats the side of the Manx]. He had the mock-up in his shed by the beach, and he had a piece of wood mounted which he could raise and lower to test the peak plus angle. He was friends with the local abalone divers, and they’d come in to hang out, plus he’d ask their input on their mock-up, and eventually, they got it all locked in, plus later this individual found away it was the particular exact height of a rowboat, just like the divers getting into the rowboat. Yet it’s perfect, comfortable, and high enough to feel safe. You don’t feel vulnerable.
C/D : What do you think made Bruce’s design so long-lasting?
FEET : Bruce was simply such a wonderful, fun, spirited, whimsical soul. That’s what I wanted to instill in the particular car. It’s not threatening. It’s fun, it can playful, but at the same time, it’s severe. You know, the particular seriousness associated with Old Red [the first Manx, in which Bruce Meyers set a Baja peninsula record in 1967] is usually the method it’s engineered—its capability, the accomplishments. All of us tried to take the same approach with this, yet everything is a modern element of what has been there.
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