CC Outtake: Volkswagen Dune Buggy- The off-road Cobra

MainI wanted to include a REAL Dune Buggy as part of Volkswagen week, but I guess I’ll have to settle for this…

It looks something like the real thing, but like Shelby Cobras, most Dune Buggies found on the street are, in fact, knock off copies.


There are several similarities between the Cobra and the first Dune Buggy. They were both invented in the early sixties by a single innovator, and both started with an exisiting vehicle platform.

Of course, Carroll Shelby is well known as the creator of the Cobra, but Bruce Meyer, inventor of the Meyers Manx (the TRUE Dune Buggy), is only well known among Dune buggy aficionados. This is probably because the Dune Buggy is known by its descriptive name, and does not include Meyer’s name. Still, Bruce can take solace in the fact that his design is an iconic image that defines the sixties, beach time, and fun!


Both designers came from a racing background, and their designs stood head and shoulders above the competition. Using the VW Type 1 chassis, Bruce created a machine with an excellant power to weight ratio, good ground clearance, and the traction neccessary to dominate the terrain found along the Pacific Coast.


The design also provided a raw, visceral experience behind the wheel, and used inspired design to deliver a memorable driving experience (Just like a Cobra).


Because of the Meyers Manx was such a huge success, and so easily copied, I had to settle for posting one of the 250,000 copies. Details such as the fuel cap built into the hood and the body line around the license plate indicate this car is not a Manx. If I ever find a true Manx, I’ll be sure to give it a complete write up, and share the full story of Bruce Meyer and his Manx.