From the April 1967 issue of Car and Car owner.
The particular Meyers Manx is all things to all men. Our first glimpse of one was from directly astern, and it looked like some kind of crazy scout car, a mixed-up command vehicle. Its maker senses in it something of the classic character associated with Mercer Raceabouts and Apperson Jackrabbits. No two of its 250-odd owners see this exactly the same way.
The outdoor types say it’s perfect for pack trips and hunting expeditions. Hot-rodders hail it as the reincarnation of the street roadster. Kooky girls think it can kinky, or is it vice versa? Frustrated executives can’t decide if it’s better suited as a station car or as an escape module. Surfers swear is actually the woody of the particular future. Sober, pragmatic men rationalize their passion for it by telling themselves that it’s a sensible, low-cost, all-purpose utility runabout. Motorcyclists allow as how it’s almost as good as having two bikes. Sports-car enthusiasts say it delivers more excitement per pound than a Ferrari GTO. Pontiac GTO proprietors try to look the other method… unsuccessfully. And dune buggy racers say it’s the particular end. The particular only thing they all agree on is that it’s a lot more soul-freeing, leaping, bounding, uninhibited fun compared to anything else they’ve ever driven—on or even off the road. We’ll buy that.
The Meyers Manx is the perfect answer for the man who’d rather roll his own. It’s the kit car. It costs $635, plus whatever you have to spend for the Volkswagen parts necessary to complete this, plus labor—unless you do it yourself. It’s not difficult to assemble; any guy with average mechanical ability could do the job over a couple of weekends. And for power: Vw, Corvair, Porsche—you name it.
That’s one of the great things about the Meyers Manx—its only limitation is your own imagination. You can buy the basic kit (there’s an even more fundamental, stripped kit for $498), pay $100 for a wrecked VW, throw it together and forget it, or you can build this up with all new parts and tender loving care. It’s your choice—all the way up in order to a 200-hp engine, metalflake paint job, luxury interior, hard top, side curtains, mag wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, fully adjustable suspension, and racing tires.
The Meyers Manx may be the car for the man who’s fed up with dealers, wheelers, factory-installed options he doesn’t want, trade-ins, discounts, high pressure, hard sell—the whole bag. About half the customers of B. F. Meyers and Company are tired businessmen who buy a Manx to put together in their own spare time, a project they think will take their particular mind off their work. They state they’ll give it to the kids because a present when they’re finished, but like electric trains at Christmastime, they can’t let go. The kids don’t see much of the particular Manx that will Daddy built, nor associated with Daddy, for that matter—he’s away blowing his mind on some winding country road.
Which another excellent thing regarding the Meyers Manx. It’s a real vehicle. You may license it, and insure it, plus drive this anywhere, anytime. With the best and side curtains in place, really as snug and watertight as any little imported roadster. You can hook up the heater and make it all warm and toasty in sub-zero weather. With snow tires, it’ll go through blizzards that would stop the snowmobile in its tracks. Along with super-balloons, it’ll dust dunes with the best four-wheel-drive Jeeps and Broncos. Plus with race tires, its outhandle plus outbrake any kind of sports car we’ve actually tested.
Although the Manx was originally designed as a dune pushchair, it’s equally at home on pavement. One of the maker’s favorite tricks to demonstrate the mountain-goat agility of the Manx is in order to drive it onto one of those 45-degree cobblestone slopes under a freeway bridge. The particular demonstrator steers the Manx straight upward under the girders, racks the particular wheel over, and leaves it racing around within a small circle up there upon the steep incline like it was gyro-stabilized, while the passenger hangs on for dear, sweet life. This act is usually followed by a leap away from a precipice onto plus across the field associated with basketball-sized rocks, overland to the beach, a quick tour in terrifying angles over the sand hills, then down to the particular water’s edge to speed along, playing tag with the waves, and finally—mercifully—home again.
We managed to maintain our equilibrium during this phase of the test, yet really got unhinged when we slipped behind the particular wheel for that panic stop from 80 mph. It squeaked to a halt in an unbelievable 204 feet, or even 1. 05 g—the kind of performance you only expect in order to find in a Chaparral. Impossible! At least with stock Volkswagen brakes, we thought, and tried again. Hmmm, 210 feet (1. 02 g). Everything was checked. Again: 207 feet (1. 03 g).
The Manx’s handling is hard to describe, but in a word, it’s quick. It’s like wearing a pair of pants—you turn, this turns. This darts rather than steers, also it sticks such as mad. Understeer it’s obtained, but after sending almost all our instruments off scale at well over 1 . 00 g, we gave up trying to allow it to be break traction plus slide.
One Corvair-powered Manx will be the scourge of the gymkhana circuits, having won the particular Southern California autocross championship two years running—including taking 22 events within a row—against all comers: Cobras, Lotus Super Sevens, and just about all. Another Manx won some kind of nutball race over rock trails in the Colorado foothills. A stock Manx could probably win the Big Bear motorcycle enduro outright, if it was eligible. In fact, one 4wd club outlawed the Manx from its dune races because the Manx has just two-wheel drive, which the outraged club members said gave it an unfair advantage. Sour dune grapes.
But the Manx’s greatest victory—the legend that will be passed through generation in order to generation—was at last year’s Pikes Peak hillclimb. Ted Trevor, owner of the Crown Manufacturing Company, maker of kits to adapt Corvair engines to Manxes, Volkswagens, plus Porsches, towed his race Manx from California to Colorado with his street Manx. Don Wilcox, who had never seen the hill before, qualified Trevor’s Corvair-powered Manx over the short course in 6: 03. 4. Running within the under-305-cubic-inch sports-car class, the Manx was faster than most the sports cars, including Ak Miller’s undefeated 427 Cobra Kit Special, and faster than all but seven associated with the highly specialized Championship hillclimb cars. During the particular race itself, Wilcox was handily ahead of Miller’s time, plus practically within sight from the finish, when a line fell off the fuel pump. Wilcox hopped out, ran in order to a phone, and called Trevor straight down at the particular start line, urging him to competition the street car—just with regard to kicks. Trevor jumped into the heavier, less-powerful road Manx and won the class by a 22-second margin. Shaken, USAC abolished the particular sports-car course for 1967.
Bruce Farrenheit. Meyers , 40, sole proprietor of Bruce Farreneheit. Meyers plus Company, will be the originator, designer, and builder of the Meyers Manx. Meyers is usually possibly the most gifted fiberglass artist ever to work in that challenging medium. He had built a 42-foot fiber glass catamaran, the particular “Hinano, ” with their bare hands, and has been looking regarding new designs to conquer. He previously sold his old, beat-up Volkswagen to buy an old, beat-up Porsche from a guy within Texas, who had neglected to tell him that the vehicle had been rolled and its chassis was somewhat out associated with alignment. Okay, said Bruce F. Meyers, I’ll build my own damn car.
Thus, the Meyers Manx was born, and suitably adorned with a fine escutcheon: the rampant Manx cat hoisting aloft a dull, chipped sword. The first Manx was a full fiberglass bathtub carrying Volkswagen running gear, and it was as strong like a redwood stump. Contemporary dune buggies, mostly constructed from sheet steel plus having no compound curves, were ugly as sin. Bruce F. Meyers, being an artist along with fiberglass, designed the best-looking dune buggy ever. He and his pretty, zany wife Shirley (who had been at the time a good advertising assistant at R— & T—-, which is why we haven’t told this story sooner), drove proudly around Newport Beach, showing off the particular Manx to all their friends. All their friends wanted a copy, and talked him in to building more. So Bruce F. Meyers set upward shop within an old garage, and began selling Manx kits from $985 each.
Bruce F. Meyers may be a great artist, yet he is definitely no great businessman, so it was some time before this individual discovered that he was losing money upon each car he offered. At this point, he or she got some very big offers from prospective manufacturers, mostly competitors who had been selling inferior buggies until the Manx stole their sales. Bruce Farrenheit. Meyers may be no excellent businessman, but he can be a perfectionist. He desired to develop Manxes himself so that will he could become sure that they were being built right. It was a few time before he discovered just the right solution. The Mark II Manx is not a full fiber glass bathtub, although it still looks like one; they have a fiberglass body that will bolts onto a Volkswagen bellypan. This particular resulted in a shorter, stiffer, better riding, much better handling, lighter, stronger, cheaper Manx, and Meyers the particular perfectionist has been satisfied.
Almost. This individual would like to market the Manx being a completed vehicle (as nicely as the kit), built to the particular customer’s exact specifications, yet he cannot because Vw won’t sell him Beetles without bodies. Assembling all the pieces from the VW components bin would run the labor expenses up too high, and Bruce F. Meyers isn’t the kind of guy who would sell you a car built from parts scrounged from wrecks (not unless he examined everything, right down to the last nut plus bolt). Maybe an excellent businessman might sell a car like that, but not really Bruce Farreneheit. Meyers.
So the Meyers Manx is certainly only available as a kit car, and destined to remain so until Volkswagen relents—if it actually does. (Volkswagen doesn’t market sub-assemblies in order to anybody except a small company making VW-based mail trucks intended for the German government. ) Meanwhile, it could probably just as well; the people who have put Manx packages together possess loved every minute of it. From the kind associated with occupational therapy; there’s nothing such as the pride you can take within something you built your self.
The $498 Manx kit consists of a beautifully finished, laminated fiberglass body shell and front deck lid, and the vacuum-formed Cycolac dashboard. The particular $635 package includes the particular above, in addition windshield and frame, headlight housings, cowl frame, rear deck cover, aluminum trim, rubber weatherstripping, fender welts, and all of the necessary hardware. The only function on the body consists of sanding the fender edges and drilling a few holes. The color is impregnated into the particular fiberglass; a person can pick from Tangerine Red, Royal Blue, Yuma Yellow, Marine Green, or Off White since standard colors.
Preparing the VW chassis to receive the Manx body is a little more involved, because this must be shortened 14¼ inches. This can be done with a torch, chisel or even a hacksaw, but chances are you’ll want in order to have it done by the same people that will have got to weld it back together to get you, after all the cables and such inside the backbone tunnel are usually shortened the particular corresponding amount.
From there on in, it’s a snap, because all the VW stuff bolts correct in, either to its original mounts or to brackets provided in the Manx. Even the particular stock VOLKS WAGEN wiring harness is used. To date, Meyers has marketed 245 of these kits, plus 12 of the old vehicles, making B. F. Meyers and Company America’s seventh-largest auto producer (after General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, American, Shelby, and Checker), plus Manxes are being cranked away at the rate associated with three the day to meet heavily backlogged orders.
The Manx all of us tested had been put with each other by Meyers himself and is something of a rolling showcase. There are fancier Manxes close to, and plenty of quicker ones. A well-known “millionaire-sportsman” is getting one constructed with the 210-horsepower Porsche Carrera six engine and a five-speed gearbox. The gymkhana championship car is powered by a hopped-up, turbocharged Corvair engine and can turn over 100 mph in the quarter-mile. Bruce’s personal Manx is the little overweight, being among the early prototypes, and it’s actual powered by a tired old pushrod Porsche motor Bruce picked up somewhere pertaining to $650. The running gear and transmission are share VW, with the exception of the wheels and tires (a Porsche gearbox could be used, but isn’t in this car).
Due to the Manx’s unique styling, almost any combination of wheel and tire may be used. Bruce’s Manx has outlandishly large Goodyear Formula One wheels snitched through the Honda team, and the wide-rim tires sold as an option meant for the car. The particular paint work, a dazzling metalflake gold, is also an option, as are the fiberglass hardtop, the side curtains, as well as the roll bar. Normally, VW seats and instruments are retained, yet Bruce’s vehicle has Triumph Spitfire seats and Porsche instruments. There are also several off-the-road options, like dual back handbrakes designed for directing the power to the particular wheel that has traction in the sand, air-lift shocks with the back again for fast changes within camber plus ground clearance, and a device for quick adjustment of the front side torsion pub angle. Bruce’s Manx also sports a wood shift knob and a wood-rim steering wheel.
This Manx, in particular, had been difficult to get into or out of because the particular windshield offers been cut down three ins for the more rakish appearance, plus the steering column lowered an inch at the cowl just for a sportier driving position. The Triumph seats are usually tilted slightly aft, making them 100 percent more comfortable than as positioned in the particular Spitfire, but their angle also complicated entry and exit. It’s still easier than, say, clambering directly into an Excalibur SS or a Lotus Seven. Anyway, not having any doors makes for an extremely rattle-free structure, which otherwise might not be the case.
The interior is surprisingly roomy, with more compared to ample room for two individuals and, upon the carpeted shelf behind them, their luggage. There is a recess in the particular shelf with regard to the spare tire, but none of the experienced Manx owners carries 1. There will be so little weight on the front end that the car can be driven to some service station without damaging a flat front wheel. If a rear tire blows, it’s simply swapped regarding one from the fronts. Since the VW floorpan is shortened behind the front seats, legroom is on least equal to the VW’s. Using the Spitfire chairs, it is usually measurably better.
The Manx’s aerodynamics are poor, plus high-gear acceleration above 70 mph is definitely slow along with the 88-hp Porsche engine. Many Manx owners use the 1500-cc motor from VOLKS WAGEN transporters and ’67 Beetles and may outdig the particular Porsche-engined car up to 50 mph. The best compromise seems in order to be a VW engine with Corvair barrels plus pistons, the 1700-cc setup that gives very high torque within the low speed ranges, and enough at the top end to cruise easily at 80 mph. Even a Manx with an old 25-hp Beetle engine moves out pretty smartly because the vehicle weighs a third less than the Volkswagen sedan.
Bruce’s car had a surprisingly soft and supple ride, considering the stiffness of the Goodyear racing tires. Almost any combination associated with ride and handling can be possible. In addition to the almost endless combinations of tires and wheels, there is a variety of different-rate torsion bars from your VW parts catalog, different anti-sway bars (or the particular Formula V trick associated with uncoupling the upper torsion bar peg so that will it acts like a good anti-sway bar), and a wide range of shock absorbers plus handling equipment from outside suppliers, such as Ted Trevor—he from the Pikes Peak assault—and his Crown Manufacturing Organization (651 W. 17 St., Costa Mesa, Calif. ). Trevor, working in close conjunction with Meyers, developed the dual rear handbrake and many special suspension pieces, because well since the Corvair conversion products.
One item sorely missed on Bruce’s car was the rear bumper. It’s a fairly sturdy one, available as an option and strongly recommended, but was off the test vehicle for chroming. The Manx’s only practical drawback is the fact that it’s therefore open. The particular engine hanging under the particular tail might be the temptation if you left this parked inside a bad neighborhood, but few cars have locking motor compartments anyway. You can mount a lock on the front side decklid to keep your valuables safe, yet otherwise you’ll have to take them with you.
So that’s Bruce F. Meyers and his Manx. You could duplicate the one shown here intended for less than $2500. You could create a considerably less interesting one to get as little as $800, or an all-out model for as much as $4000. No matter how you slice the cheese, if ever there was the better mousetrap, this provides got to end up being it. A little scout car with the particular performance associated with a sports car. The dune duster that’s as practical because any street roadster actually built. An off-the-road vehicle that handles on sidewalk like a racing vehicle. A pushrod Porsche-powered bug using the speed of a 911. A VW-based kit along with quality plus workmanship to match the Beetle by itself. A do-it-yourself project that you can get serviced anywhere. Transportation that’s both practical and fun. If Rommel experienced these things within the North African campaign, it might have been Monty who was pinned towards the desert floor in El Alamein.
Do yourself a favor. This spring, build a Meyers and put the little Manx in your own life.
Vehicle Type: rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, dune pushchair
As Tested: $2621. 83
Options: anti-lock brake systems, $950; power seats, $780; alloy wheels, $420; sound syst4em upgrade, $240; floor and trunk mats, $144 Used Volkswagen parts, $400. 00; used Porsche Super engine, $650. 00; utilized Triumph Spitfire seats, $50. 00; used Porsche devices and miscellaneous, $50. 00; Goodyear race tires, $155. 28; four wide-rim tires, $103. eighty; roll club, $27. 95; hardtop, $85. 00; Metal-flake paint, $85. 00; upswept exhaust, $54. 95; carpet kit, $26. 95; front bumper, $22. 95; Delco Superlifts lifts, $48. 00; front suspension system quick-adjuster, $22. 50; Select-a-traction dual rear handbrake, $19. 50); woodrim steering wheel, $25. 00; wood change knob, $5. 00; “knock-off” hub caps, $24. ninety five
Air-cooled opposed-four, aluminum block and heads, 4 main bearings
Displacement: 96. 5 in 3 , 1582 cm 3
Power (SAE net): 88 hp @ 5000 rpm
Torque (SAE net): 86 lb-ft @ 3700 rpm
Suspension, F/R: multilink/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 9. 0 x 1. 57-in cast iron drum/9. 0 x one 18-in cast iron drum
Tires: Goodyear Formula One
F/R: 5. 50-13, 2-ply nylon tube-type/7. 00-13, 2-ply nylon tube-type
Wheelbase: 80. 0 within
Length: 175. 8 in
Width: 63. 0 in
Height: 50. 0 in
Curb Weight: 1235 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
30 mph: 2. 7 sec
60 mph: 9. 1 securities and exchange commission’s
1/4-Mile: 16. 6 sec @ 78 with
one hundred mph: 36. 7 sec
Top Speed (observed): 107 mph
Braking, 80–0 mph: 204 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1 ) 05 gary the gadget guy
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Fuel mileage: 20–24 mpg on premium fuel
Range: 212–254 mi
This particular content is certainly imported from OpenWeb. You may be able in order to find the same content within another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their own web site.