Rediscovering the Joy of Rolling Your Own:
The NORRA Mexican 1000 and the DIY Spirit of Meyers Manx

JUNE 12, 2024

The NORRA Mexican 1000 is not only a grand adventure and a pilgrimage to dirt. It is a celebration of the raw beauty of Baja California. This year, the Meyers Manx team, including legendary driver Jim Chamberlain and Bruce Meyers' grandson, Jagger, set out to honor the 60th anniversary of the brand by embarking on this storied journey.

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The NORRA Mexican 1000: A Call to Adventure

The NORRA Mexican 1000, known as "The Happiest Race on Earth," is a rugged test of endurance and skill, starting in Ensenada and winding its way to San Felipe, Bahía de Los Ángeles, San Ignacio, Loreto, La Paz, and finally, San José del Cabo. Each leg of the race offers a unique challenge and an opportunity to experience the breathtaking landscapes of Baja California.


Freshly built Meyers Manx Remastered Classic Kit racing alongside Goldi2. Photograph: Michael Potiker

For Jim Chamberlain and Jagger, each day began with the roar of engines and the promise of adventure. They drove their freshly built Meyers Manx Remastered Classic Kits through rocky trails along the Sea of Cortez, across vast desert expanses, and down the sandy beaches where the cool sea breeze kept their air-cooled engines running smoothly. Along the way, they met locals, handing out stickers and sharing stories with fans who have made collecting these mementos a cherished tradition.

A Legacy Forged in Fiberglass

While an incredibly difficult project, the tradition of building your own Meyers Manx began in the 1960s when Bruce Meyers introduced the world to the original fiberglass-bodied dune buggy. Built on the chassis of the Volkswagen Beetle, the Meyers Manx was lightweight, durable, and perfectly suited for off-road adventures. This DIY approach not only made these buggies accessible but also fostered a deep connection between the builder and their vehicle built from the hundreds, to thousands of hours it can take to build a Meyers Manx.


Jim Chamberlain in two buggies of his own creation, left Fiat powered circa 1970’s, right built 2024 with Lyman Scherer

Jim Chamberlain, a pivotal figure in the Meyers Manx story, was instrumental in inventing the original Sidewinder exhaust as well as building the 1967 Baja 1000 winning Meyers Manx of Vic Wilson and Ted Mangels. This innovation not only enhanced the performance and sound of the buggies but also became a signature feature, beloved by enthusiasts for its distinctive roar and efficiency on the rugged terrains of Baja. This year, Jim’s buggy was fitted with the remastered sidewinder exhaust inspired by his original design, and optimized using computational flow dynamics.


Left: Bruce Meyers testing an original Manx hand built in the 60’s. Right: Jagger Meyers washing the Baja dirt off his freshly built car, 2024.

The Journey: More Than Just a Race

Participating in the NORRA Mexican 1000 is a dream for many, but the real magic happens in the moments between the checkpoints. Each night, after a day of conquering the trails, the team would gather around, recounting the day’s adventures over plates of fresh Baja fish tacos and cold margaritas. The camaraderie, the shared stories, and the laughter under the stars encapsulate the true spirit of the Meyers Manx community.


Top Image: Bruce Meyers at Newport Laminates, showcasing his self-assembly dune buggy kit, 1968.
Bottom Image: Meyers Manx Classic Buggy cruising PCH, fiberglass body produced at Newport Laminates, 2022.

The Call to Build Your Own Meyers Manx

Building a Meyers Manx is about more than just assembling a vehicle; it’s about embracing a lifestyle of adventure, creativity, and community. Here’s why you should consider building your own Meyers Manx:

1. Personalized Adventure: Building your own Meyers Manx means you can choose every component, from the color and finish to the engine and accessories. This level of customization ensures your buggy is a one-of-a-kind vehicle, perfectly suited to your needs.

2. Sense of Accomplishment: The pride of driving a vehicle you've built with your own hands is unparalleled. Each part you assemble brings you closer to the moment you hit the open road, knowing your hard work and dedication have created something extraordinary.

3. Community and Legacy: Joining the Meyers Manx community connects you with enthusiasts who share your passion for adventure and craftsmanship. Participating in events like the NORRA Mexican 1000 allows you to contribute to a legacy that spans generations.


Jim Chamberlain and Jagger Meyers cruising towards the coast of the Baja Peninsula in their freshly built buggy powered by an air cooled Volkswagen motor fitted with Remastered Sidewinder Exhaust

Get Started with Meyers Manx

To help you embark on this exciting journey, Meyers Manx offers a range of kits and parts designed for ease of assembly and maximum enjoyment.

Remastered Classic KitStart building your dream buggy with our Remastered Classic Kit, now available in a variety of incredible colors, including metal flake!

Remastered Sidewinder Exhaust: Enhance the performance and sound of your Meyers Manx with our Sidewinder Exhaust, a creation of Jim Chamberlain himself, designed to deliver a thrilling driving experience.

Parts Bundling Options:  Explore our parts page for bundled offers, including the Standard Bundle (10% discount) and the Enhanced Bundle (15% discount), to make building your buggy even more affordable. It's been shown on auction sites that buggies built using genuine Meyers Manx parts sell for significant premiums due to their higher quality.