Owing to a dearth of donor VW Beetles for the chassis, few people are building fun cars like today’s Nice Price or No Dice dune buggy anymore. That’s too bad and makes street-legal fun cars like this a rare commodity. Let’s decide what that might all be worth.
While it had a 302 horsepower quad-cam V8 and a badass aesthetic, quite a few of you felt yesterday’s 2003 Mercury Marauder was still a grandpa’s car. That opinion could be argued, but in the car’s—and imagined owner’s—defense, Marauder ownership would imply a pretty cool granddad. Not so cool was the Marauder’s $19,500 asking price. According to the vote, fully 78 percent of you felt that deserved a No Dice loss.
When Bruce Meyers invented the Dune Buggy in a small garage in Newport Beach, California back in 1964, he wasn’t planning on creating an automotive icon. Instead, he was just trying to make something that he and his surfing buddies could drive on the cheap down in Baja so they could cart their boards and themselves to the beach. Cue Surfer Girl by the Beach Boys.
That original Meyers Manx, as Bruce named it for its nearly non-existent rear overhang, started a whole new class of cars and spawned innumerable copycat companies making bank on Meyers’ hard work. In fact, so many companies ripped off Meyers’ original design that he purposely made the following car, the Manx SR, a much more difficult design to copy.
This 1964 Dune Buggy is described in its ad as a “Manx Replica” but if you look at its twin nostril nose and 2+2 seating, you can see it’s a bit off that mark. Still, it looks to be just as much fun and seems to be in terrific shape as well.
According to the ad, the car rides on a 1964 Volkswagen Type 1 chassis and sports a 1600 cc VW flat four in the back of that. The transaxle, naturally, is a four-speed manual. The odometer is said to be broken, so the mileage on those mechanicals is unknown.
This isn’t a one-trick pony as it’s claimed to be street legal and does indeed carry a license plate with what appears to be current tags. It’s not 100 percent road-able, however, as it’s lacking windscreen wipers and any sort of turn signals other than an outstretched or crooked arm. There are little bumps on the cowl for placement of the former and the seller says the latter comes with the car and just needs to be installed.
All the existing lights are LEDs, including a horizontal light bar that’s mounted to the top of the cage. The ad claims the metal roof panels behind that are removable. There doesn’t seem to be any other sort of weather protection on the car but that shouldn’t matter since this isn’t something you’d take on a rescue mission during a typhoon or something.
Instead, it’s for a fun trip to the beach or maybe actually bounding over the actual dunes on that beach once you get there. To keep everybody in the car, there are Crow four-point harnesses all around.
The fiberglass looks solid and the tires appear to have a good bit of nub so there doesn’t really seem to be much to do to improve the buggy outside of installing those turn signals and maybe some wipers. With that sweat equity in mind, what should we make of this Dune Buggy’s $8,500 asking price? That gets you an impractical but fun car, and one that represents a bit of automotive legend—that of the Dune Buggy craze of the late 1960s and early ’70s.
What do you think, is this Dune Buggy worth that $8,500 as it’s presented in its ad? Or, does that price drive you buggy?
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