Bruce Meyers grew up in Southern California during the early days of surfing, drag racing, and hanging out at the beach. It was at Pismo Beach that Bruce first became acquainted with “dune buggies”. These “water pumpers” were crude and heavy, so Bruce took it upon himself to design a lightweight version that would be fun on the beach or in the wilderness of Baja. After modifying a VW Kombi bus with wide rims, called “Little Red Riding Bus”, Bruce used his expertise in boat building to design the first fiberglass-bodied dune buggy, the Meyers Manx.
The first 12 buggies produced beginning in 1964 were all-fiberglass Monocoque bodies that had a steel structural frame within the fiberglass that attached to the VW suspension and running gear; Old Red, the #1 buggy, now resides with Bruce. These cars were expensive for their time and Bruce felt that their build was redundant. Bruce redesigned the body to fit on a shortened VW floorpan, 14 1/4″, which ultimately reduced the price as well. As a result, the Meyers Manx took off. In subsequent years B.F. Meyers & Co. built 5,280 Meyers Manx kits, several hundred Manx II’s, about 1,000 Meyers Tow’ds, a couple of hundred Manx SR’s and 75 Resorters/Turista’s – a total of nearly 7,000 kits. The Manx took the country by storm when magazines like Hot Rod and Car & Driver featured the fiberglass car on their covers. Not able to immediately fill the orders that flooded in, other manufacturers sprang up overnight and ended up producing over 350,000 copies and look-alikes. Eventually over 300 companies worldwide copied the Meyers Manx in one form or another. Bruce tried to stop the floodgate of imitations with patent infringement laws but was unsuccessful.