Meyers Manx V Dune Buggy: Electric Beach Boogaloo

The surf will rise again! Fifty years after the original Meyers Manx dune buggy first ripped the sands, 88-year-old Bruce Meyers is welcoming a worthy successor: the electric-drive Manx V.

It was in May of 1964 that Old Red, the very first Meyers Manx dune buggy, rolled out of Bruce Meyers' Southern California garage and into automotive history. Consisting mainly of a molded fiberglass body tub mounted over a shortened VW Beetle chassis, the Meyers Manx was to 1960s car culture what the Beach Boys were to the California surfing scene: iconic.

Often imitated but never precisely duplicated, roughly 7,000 Meyers Manx dune buggies and variations on the theme were manufactured by B.F. Meyers & Co. over the ensuring years and decades.

Now Meyers wants one more kick at the cat before he crests life's final dune. The all-new Manx V prototype is instantly identifiable as a classic Meyers dune buggy, especially when parked next to Old Red itself.

This meeting of the greatest and the latest Manx's occurred in Newport Beach where the original Meyers Manx was being celebrated for being only the second car to be inducted into the National Historic Vehicle Register.

Can Old Red's descendant recapture the glory achieved by its VW-based forefather? There are differences to be sure, mainly revolving around the powertrain.

Las Vegas-based Rev-TEC goes where only Bugs had gone before, providing the Manx V with a rear-mounted electric motor running off a 10-kWh lithium-iron manganese battery. The motor's 84 HP can boost the 1,714 lb (777.5 kg) roadster to a top speed of 62 mph (100 km/h).

Mind you, straight-line speed isn't what the Meyers Manx is or was all about. How does one put a numerical value on fun? That's up to the individual driver, and with any luck those fun-lovin' individuals will catch an electric wave behind the wheel of a production Manx V someday. (via Gizmag and Los Angeles Register)