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From the March 2014 issue

“I don’t know what I was thinking or why I was thinking it when I did it,” Bruce Meyers exhales while standing next to his Manx Kick-Out S.S. “But here it is. And here I am.”

What it is, is a dune buggy—a swoopy lump of fiberglass atop an old VW Beetle’s chopped-down floorpan that is the most iconic shape ever crafted in ­California. Elvis drove one in Live a Little, Love a Little. Steve McQueen used one to seduce Faye Dunaway in The Thomas Crown Affair. It was Speed Buggy on the ­Saturday morning cartoon block. It is ­sunshine and SoCal rendered in composites. A vapor trail of bikinis and beach ­volleyball games follows behind it. The Meyers Manx should be powered by Coppertone.

And it’s a shape—constantly copied, cloned, and ripped off—that’s been around since 1964. But it’s still around and, more surprisingly, so is Bruce Meyers.

ROBERT KERIAN

Now 88, Meyers survived kamikaze attacks while serving on the USS Bunker Hill in 1944, competed in the first Baja 1000-mile race in 1967 with a jerrycan of gas clamped between his legs, and is currently working on marriage No. 6. “I’ve got a lot of stories,” he says. Bouncing around the five-acre spread in rural eastern San Diego County where he lives, Meyers is still doting on his one great contribution to American culture, coming up with new variations and shipping out fiberglass bodies starting at $4700. The Kick-Out S.S. kit starts at $5700; this one cost $7755.

Approaching the Manx with a fresh eye isn’t easy. After all, one was on the cover of Car and Driver’s April 1967 issue (“You Can Build This Fun Car For $635!”). Back in 2006, this magazine profiled Bruce Meyers and drove the larger Manxter 2+2 he had designed as a follow-up. It’s easy to dismiss the Manx as an artifact of a bygone moment. Sorting out its relevance in the 21st century is tougher.

His latest yellow screamer, pictured here, is powered by a water-cooled Subaru 2.5-liter four. Despite the Subie power, however, the basic chassis is still vintage VW, in this case a 1970 Beetle with the p­referred later-model trailing-arm rear suspension. Meyers says he has “about $35,000” into this one and will raffle it off this July to someone who buys a ticket through the MeyersManx.com website.

“The ‘kick-out’ is the maneuver a surfer makes at the end of riding a wave,” Meyers says. “S.S. is for ‘Strictly Street.’”

So this Manx rides low over 15-inch, five-spoke wheels inside BFGoodrich Radial T/A all-season tires with ridiculously skinny 155/80R-15s in front and ­relatively enormous 275/60R-15s in back. “Where did we get these wheels?” Meyers asks his sole shop employee, Miguel. “I don’t know,” is the answer; “eBay?”

The street-oriented character of this Kick-Out is also apparent in the Griffin aluminum radiator hanging vulnerably low under the nose. Also the fiberglass pods that fill in the bottoms of each side and feature a duct to nowhere. Could radiators be fitted behind those side pods? “Sure,” Meyers shrugs. “You can do whatever you want.” With its color-impregnated finish, nose-down stance, creased fenders, nerf bars, twin roll-bar hoops, and a curved Super Beetle windshield, the Kick-Out is both unmistakably a Manx and gorgeous.

Specifications

VEHICLE TYPE: rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 0-door roadster

PRICE AS TESTED: $35,000
BASE PRICE (Meyers Manx S.S. kit): $5,700

ENGINE TYPE: DOHC 16-valve flat-4, aluminum block and heads, port fuel injection

Displacement: 150 cu in, 2457 cc
Power (mfr's claim): 170 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque (mfr's claim): 166 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 80.0 in
Length: 132.0 in
Width: 68.0 in Height: 48.0 in
Curb weight: 1631 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 5.2 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 5.7 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 14.2 sec @ 94 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 226 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.68 g (right-turning only)

TEST NOTES:Due to prodigious aerodynamic drag, acceleration is glacial above 90 mph; left-turning performance is severely inhibited by fuel starvation.


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Sours: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15111111/meyers-manx-kick-out-ss-dune-buggy-tested-review/

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Welcome to Dune Buggy Warehouse

Your Source for Affordable Dune Buggy Parts and VW Bug Parts

At Dune Buggy Warehouse our passion is fueling your dune buggy, woods buggy or air-cooled VW habit with great parts and expert service.

We have been a dune buggy and air cooled VW shop for 30 years. We aim to provide a variety of quality VW beetle parts, dune buggy parts and woods buggy parts at the best bang for your buck.

We know you will push your dune buggy, woods buggy or off road rig as far as you can. We want to help you make it tough enough that even you struggle to break it!

For air-cooled VW street cars we provide performance and factory engine and chassis components. We want to keep that sweet air-cooled VW engine singing in the back of your VW bug, bus, type III or Karmann Ghia.

We happily ship worldwide with same day or next day shipping on many parts. Economy, expedited and overnight shipping options are available.

We are located in Ohio and offer standard two to three day shipping of our VW Bug and dune buggy parts to Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, the Carolinas and many other Midwest and East Coast states via UPS and USPS.

Have questions about a particular product or application? Please do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you tackle your next VW bug or dune buggy project or find a solution to a persistent issue.

 

Sours: https://dunebuggywarehouse.com/
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How to Build a Dune Buggy: Frames, Chassis and Kits

Now that spring has sprung, it’s not too early to start planning for long hot-weather days on the dunes. That means it’s time to get busy building the vintage dune buggy of your dreams. Here’s what you need to know to get started.

Shop now for Dune Buggies and Sand Rails

Based on the Classic Beetle

The classic dune buggy is based on the Type 1 Volkswagen Beetle. Finding one of these is your first step. Early Beetles used to be available everywhere. Today, these cars are “classics,” and finding one is more challenging. But they’re still out there, perhaps with rust or other reasons that make them un-restorable.

Start with a search on eBay. Prices for Classic Beetles climb fast. So keep in mind that the body will get junked. You’re looking for an affordable chassis with engine, suspension, and brakes. The seats, too, if you go that way.

For a classic dune buggy, you’re going to have to shorten the chassis by 14.5 inches. Get out the welding torch. If you don’t want the hassle of finding a Bug and altering the chassis, you can buy a tube chassis. It will take a little patience to find a suitable tube chassis on eBay because there’s not a dedicated category for them.

Nonetheless, searches do turn up suitable tube chassis. Full kits are hard to find.

In a sand rail, passengers sit inside a frame like this.

Assuming you have everything stripped down, your next task is buying a dune buggy body. These are available in two- and four-seater variants. Or you can find one used and vintage. Here’s one on eBay in classic purple, but it comes from Hungary. Speciality retailers are a great resource.

Since the underpinnings are mostly VW Beetle, that car’s parts bin is useful. A search for dune buggy parts on eBay will bring up just about everything mechanical you’ll need to finish one of these babies.

How to Build a Dune Buggy: Types to Consider

Old School Buggies uses three different terms for the dune buggy category: pan buggy, tunnel buggy, and sand rail.

  • A pan buggy typically uses a shortened VW Beetle pan/chassis.
  • When the floor pans are removed and replaced with an alternative, such as expanded metal, the remaining structural part is the tunnel. Thus the term tunnel buggy.
  • By the mid-1970s, the most common buggies were VW-powered sand rails. The setup uses a lightweight, minimal frame  designed to mid-mount the VW powertrain. The engine and transaxle are rotated so the engine faces the front of the buggy. This provides superior weight balance and handling.
2010 custom, 240-horsepower sand rail

2010 custom, 240-horsepower sand rail

eBay offers dune buggies and sand rails in a single group. There are usually two or three dozen available at any one time. We make the distinction as follows:

  • A dune buggy is a vehicle that has large tires designed for traveling on sand. It usually has no roof and has a motor in the back. Many dune buggies are made from existing motor vehicles. A VW bug is a common model for turning into a dune buggy.
  • Sand rail frames are built from a tubular space frame chassis that incorporates an integrated roll cage. On most sand rails, the engine is typically at the rear. Some sandr ails also use a mid-engine configuration. This design offers favorable weight distribution and traction, which is very desirable for dune “hill-climbing.”

Consider the Alternatives

The dominant design of today’s dune buggies points back to Bruce Meyers and the Meyers Manx buggy. Meyers had a background in lightweight sailboat design. So, he chose fiberglass for his car bodies. The resulting Meyers Manx had the advantage of being simple. The fiberglass shell was just one molded piece, or “monocoque,” that fit onto a shortened VW floor pan. More than 5,000 kits were sold, priced at $995.

They didn’t come with an engine or transmission—the buyer had to supply those—but they did include pedals, seats, lights, and a windshield, which is about it for a dune buggy. There were as many as 225 Manx-derived designs during the buggy’s heyday in the late 1960s.

But these days, there are less-well-known dune buggy variations to consider for inspiration, according to Hagerty:

  • The Dearborn Automobile Company Deserter offered the Cadillac of dune buggies. It had gull-wing doors incorporated into a leather-grain fiberglass hardtop, a covered engine bay, glassed-in headlights, and even a heater.
  • The EMPI Imp had only 12 inches chopped out of the VW floorpan, yielding a more spacious interior. There was also a four-passenger version.
  • The Sears Rascal. In 1970, Sears sold a kit for $329. It included the body, hood, windshield, and headlamps.
  • Kellison Sandpiper built fiberglass sports cars, including the J-4, J-5, and the Astra X-300 GT. There were four versions of the Sandpiper.

Get more ideas from the Dune Buggy Archives. It’s an exhaustive depository about these entries and many others.

Sours: https://www.ebay.com/motors/blog/how-to-build-a-dune-buggy-frames-chassis-and-kits/
Pod Headlight Install Gives VW Beach Buggy Charm \u0026 Character! - Wheeler Dealers

Dune Buggy Kits. Dune Buggy Parts. Baja Bug Parts.

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If you are having trouble finding the Dune Buggy Parts you need, please call Joe.

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As a company that has been in the VW Buggy industry for over 34 years, we have refined the Volks Wagon warehousing business. Our technicians are passionate about VW Dune Buggies, Sand Rails, and Bajas.

Since we are top Tucson local and national distributors of VW parts, you know you can get what you need all in one place. Browse our selection below and feel free to call with any questions at 1-800-955-9795!

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Off-road tires, wheels, engine parts, Baja kits, exhausts, LED Lights, whatever you are looking for, we have what you need! Established in 1984, Chirco Performance has been supplying fellow VW enthusiasts with the Off-Road equipment they need to tear through rugged terrain with style for over 35 years!

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