The simplicity of Bruce Meyers' original Manx made it easy to counterfeit. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe SR2 is his follow up, and a design that truly stands apart. But would you part with $8,900 for it?
When it comes to Abarths, the best ones have their motors in the back, seemingly exploding from the engine bay, and requiring propped-up engine covers for heat dissipation and showing off. That was the opinion advocated by the majority of commenters yesterday, and the rough and almost ready Ritmo - an Abarth that shared none of those attributes - fell victim to that derision, and its own funky monkey-ness, with a 74% Crack Pipe loss. Molto triste.
Also funky, but far from sad, is today's Lambo-doored dune buggy from the future 1972 Meyers Manx SR, hailing from Leesburg Florida. As you may know, Bruce Meyers for all intents and purposes invented the modern dune buggy. An inveterate sailor and surfer, Meyers applied the fiberglass technology of those two sports to a shortened VW platform, and presto-change-o girls were getting bounced right out of their bikinis around the world. That resultant car, the Meyers Manx, was named after a tail-less breed of inscrutable cat, and won the inaugural Mexican 1000 race. It also set off a spate of copy cat builders, seeking to fill the demand that Mayers had created, but lacked the production capacity to satisfy.
Having been burned with the Manx copies, Meyers decided to make his next car harder to xerox, as well as designed for the street only. The 1970-'73 Manx SR (for Street Roadster) eschewed the single-tub-and-a-hood bucket body for a complex 13-piece interlocking Jenga game of a design, incorporating both a targa roof and radical scissor doors. This intricacy made garage-based assembly a more daunting task for the home-builder, but it had the desired effect on the cloners, as there haven't been any knock-offs of which I am aware.
This 1972 Meyers Manx, in metallic green, is one of only 244 that were produced by Meyers' company (a few more were built by companies like Karma and Heartland Glassworks after Meyers sold off the molds- those are referred to as the SR2s). Sitting on a Type 1 platform, shortened 14.5," it has the claimed benefits of a new pan and disc brakes all around. The engine is a typical VW 1600, although the seller doesn't go into detail about the motivator other than displacement. Even that small an engine should have no problem moving the SR's around 1,500 lbs. In front of the flat four as a VW four-speed gear box, and that's pretty much it for the mechanicals. There's no power steering, no power brakes, and instead of windows there are side curtains you stick on the tops of the Ginsu Knife doors.
The Styling of the Manx was handled by a designer fresh from Art Center named Stewart Reed, whose wild arched body and gaping flared wheel wells were once described by Car and Driver as being everything the Porsche 914 should be, but isn't. Up front a pair of frogeye lights recall the first Austin Healey Sprite of more than a decade prior, while the heavily tapered rearend offered little more than trailer lights and a frame for the motor encouraging the purchase of a butt-load of dress-up parts.
In between there's those doors that fit into a wide sill making egress a little difficult. Once you get into this particular SR you'll find yourself in a thinly padded fiberglass seat facing a no-nonsense fiberglass dashboard and three-spoke sport wheel off of a go-kart or lawn tractor. The shift knob is a spare piston, in case you ever run out.
The seller says that this is a project that is 90% complete, and in demonstration of just how simple this car is, that final 10% is described as being adding wipers (fun fact- they're off of a VW bus) and putting on a fresh pair of door struts. Other than that it looks complete, with only the sidecurtains not in evidence in the pictures. It's even got Bruce Meyers signature on the. . . um, what the hell is that? Whatever it is, it's just like the Cobra guys and their Shelby script-marred glovebox doors.
Like Shelby, Bruce Meyer is an American automotive legend, just not quite as legendary. That being said, while not as brutal as the Cobra, the Manx and Manx SR are alot easier to drive, as well as being easier on the wallet to buy and maintain. This one has an asking price of $8,900, with about $100 worth of parts outstanding if you want to be able to drive it in the rain and have your grandma open the doors.
What's your take on this Manx for $8,900, is that a price that‘s the cat's meow? Or, does that price make you glad you've always been a dog person?
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