1959 Volkswagen Manx-Style Dune Buggy
The Dune Buggy, also known as the Beach Buggy, is a recreational vehicle with larger wheels and tires designed for moving through the sand of the beach or desert. It was originated in 1964 by Bruce Meyers, who took a Volkswagen Beetle chassis, eliminated the body, and added huge sand tires. Fiberglass bodies became a huge hit, and with an open-top configuration they gave the ultimate freedom to the driver.
Made mainly for mild climates and sandy beaches, this Dune Buggy was all fun and no work. Bare-bones driving in pursuit of fun allowed owners to throw their surfboards in the back and take off to wherever they pleased—a true off-roader from the mind of Bruce Meyers.
Many of these Dune Buggies made their way to the coastal areas of southern California. Catching the surf was the name of the game. The Beetle platform and chassis were used because the rear engine layout and improved traction. The air-cooled engine from VW helped avoid the complexities and risks associated with a water-cooled engine. The front suspension was both inexpensive and tough, as the spare parts from Volkswagen were readily available and affordable. Dune Buggies came in many shapes and sizes, matching unique fiberglass bodies to chassis of all different dimensions.
This particular Dune Buggy is a 1963 Meyers Manx-style body on a 1959 VW chassis, powered by an 1800-cc Karmin Ghia engine. Finished in orange flake with a two-tone black-and-orange interior, this is the ultimate beach buggy. It’s similar to those driven in movies such as The Thomas Crown Affair starring Steve McQueen. The transmission is a 4-speed manual.