Meyers Manx is going back in time, signing on to become the presenting sponsor of the National Offroad Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 offroad race, which it won in 1967 — by five hours.
The race takes place each year in the Mexican states of Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur, and will give the company to show its new all-electric Manx 2.0.
According to a statement issued by the company, “Meyers Manx’s presenting sponsorship promises to boost the spirit of fun in Baja, where Manx will also debut the first of its remastered dune buggy kits in the Safari class.”
Unlike the more famous Baja 1000, the NORRA race takes place over the course of five days, with each of the five legs being separately scored. Since 2010, the NORRA 1000 has focused on pre-1998 historic cars, buggies, and motorcycles in addition to modern vehicles and side-by-side UTVs. The competition runs approximately 1,000 miles from Tijuana and through Ensenada to La Paz, Mexico
Remastered Meyers Manx
The Meyers Manx was the original dune buggy, developed in the early 1960s by Bruce Meyers in California. The idea was simple: a lightweight open-top fiberglass body without doors or windows was mounted to a shortened Volkswagen Beetle chassis. The buggy was in production from 1964 to 1971, and Meyers produced about 6,000 Manx buggies in both kit and turn-key form.
Meyers’ creation eventually became so popular that it spawned literally hundreds of imitators. Meyers attempted to defend his copyright on the design in court, but it was unsuccessful. Today, most buggies still on the road are not a genuine Meyers Manx, but one of the many copies.
Meyers himself passed away in 2021 at the age of 94. However, the Meyers Manx Remastered dune buggy kits have been made with access to Meyers’ original drawings, tooling and expertise.
The new kits utilize 3D scanning and digital tooling to deliver a new line of Meyers’ branded buggy bodies identical to the originals. With a purchase price under $10,000, the new kit will enable enthusiasts to build their own buggies. Those will be eligible for the NORRA 1000, providing an opportunity to explore the breathtaking landscapes of Mexico — a fitting backdrop for the competition that’s known as the “Happiest Race on Earth.”
“The can-do spirit of those who first raced Baja is truly inspirational, and that same spirit that drives Meyers Manx today,” said Phillip Sarofim, chairman of Meyers Manx. “As we innovate a new generation of vehicles, the trails of Baja will continue to be where we push the limits of what’s possible and uphold the legacy of adventure that Meyers Manx is built upon.”
Manx 2.0 EV
In addition to a new line of original-style buggy bodies, the Meyers company is developing a new buggy inspired by the original but made with an all-electric driveline called the Meyers Manx 2.0 EV. The new buggy has been designed by Freeman Thomas, the same man who penned the Audi TT and VW New Beetle.
The result is a buggy that certainly pays homage to the original, from the distinctive shape to the retro-looking VW Beetle-style gauge pod on the dashboard, but it is built on a modern platform with a powerful EV driveline.
The specs of the Manx 2.0 are impressive. The buggy will use rear-wheel drive with a separate motor for each of the rear wheels. Buyers will choose between 20 kWh or 40 kWh battery packs, yielding range of 150 or 300 miles respectively. The Manx motors are rated at 202 horsepower, with 240 pound-feet of torque. At a curb weight of 1,500-1,650 pounds, depending on battery choice, the Manx 2.0 will dash from 0-60 mpg in about 4.5 seconds.
The Manx 2.0 will meet all relevant safety requirements and crash test standards, according to the company. The car will have front and rear crash zones around a monocoque tub. The windshield frame will be an integrated roll bar, and the car will have a fully functional roll bar behind the driver and front passenger. A hardtop will be available.
Meyers is not the only company to look at the venerable dune buggy for inspiration. Volkswagen has shown a concept prototype of a buggy body atop their MEB electric vehicle platform. The MEB platform also underlies the ID.4 and ID.Buzz production vehicles. VW has no plans to actually build an electric buggy, however, leaving the field open for the Meyers company.
The Meyers Manx 2.0 EV is available for ordering now at www.meyersmanx.com, but final pricing has not been announced. Remastered Manx kits can be ordered from the site as well.