Find Of The Day: 16V Dune Buggy

Volkswagen will unveil an electric dune buggy concept this week, so we’ve found an incredible classic example for this week’s Find Of The Day. Not only is it stunning, its heart is a water-cooled; a 16V VW Passat engine sits out back. Old school meets newer-old-school.

If there’s one classic car that can be attributed to southern California, it’s the dune buggy. Take one shortened Beetle chassis, bolt a curvy fiberglass body to it, and it looks like you’re headed to the beach even when you’re going to get groceries. These feather-light cars could zip over sand with ease, especially with skinny front tires (for direction) and wider rears (they distributed the rear weight over a broader surface making them less likely to burrow into soft sand).

And this isn’t any dune buggy: this is a genuine Meyer’s Manx. Bruce Meyers pretty much invented the dune buggy, and genuine Manxes are much sought after by collectors. There were many companies that copied (read: stole) Bruce’s original design, so finding an honest-to-God Manx can be tough.

To increase the lust factor, this Manx has some serious power to back up its great looks. Instead of the typical Type 1 aircooled boxer engine, or even the more-powerful Type IV engine many builders upgrade to, this one has a water-cooled Volkswagen Passat 2.0-liter 16-valve engine. A lightweight body and chassis with a powerful and high-revving engine? Where do we sign? One note: the ad says this is a 180HP 16V, which may be a bit overstated. From some searching, the most horsepower the 16V ever made was 150Hp. Perhaps it’s a typo.

Rarity and power upgrades come with a price. And that price is $12,750. We should mention this Manx comes with 3 additional pairs of wheels/tires. It has the period-correct BRM wheels that are on the buggy, as well as a pair of skinny Type 1 “smoothy” wheels for the front, and two additional sets of widened rear Type 1 “smoothy” rims for the rear; one milder width set, and one aggressively wide set. If it were ours, we’d mount the steelies all around, with the super-wide rears, and raise the suspension up a bit to give it that classic dune buggy look.

Check out the ad for this 1967 Meyer’s Manx on thesamba.com, and there are additional photos on the oldbug.com classified. You can see this water-cooled dune buggy in Aguanga, California.