The cult-classic Meyers Manx – a Volkswagen Beetle-based beach buggy that dates back to the 1960s – has been reinvented as a retro-styled EV for 2023.
It has made its debut at Monterey Car Week in California, but details are thin on the ground. Clearly the company is committed to the spirit of the original Manx and has sought to preserve it even while swapping its air-cooled flat four for batteries and electric motors.
The design of the Manx 2.0 – as it is called – holds true to the general design conceived in 1964 by the legendary Bruce Meyers, who sold the marque in late 2020 after 56 years at the helm, before passing away in March 2021 at the age of 94.
It is built around a familiar one-piece bodyshell – though now aluminium, rather than fibreglass – and apart from a lightly modernised rear end, deeper-dish steel wheels and an overhauled cabin, it is difficult to tell apart from its namesake. Though electrically assisted steering, an electronic handbrake and disc brakes all round (regenerative at the rear) help to bring the formula up to date.
The creation is the work of Freeman Thomas, who became CEO of Meyers Manx LLC following its founder’s departure in 2020, working under new owner firm Trousdale Ventures. Thomas has worked as a designer for a raft of high-profile car marques, including Porsche, DaimlerChrysler, Ford and Volkswagen - where, notably, he found fame in 1994 with his design for the radical Concept 1, which evolved into the New Beetle later that decade.
He is expected to give more details of the reinvented Manx in the coming months, but previously spoke of his enthusiasm for the classic buggy’s design: “As a California native, I grew up on the beaches of southern California, surrounded by its unique and creative lifestyle culture.
"As I became an automotive designer, the philosophy of Bruce Meyers became a huge inspiration, and I'm sure I'm not alone in thanking him for injecting a huge dose of disruptive creativity into the automotive scene."