Chouinardian designer, surfer, and creator of the Meyers Manx fiberglass dune buggy Bruce Meyers passed away on Feb. 19, 2021. He was 94.
Meyers was born in 1926 in Los Angeles, and grew up around popular surfing spots in Southern California. After serving in the Merchant Marine, Meyers attended Chouinard Art Institute. Meyers credited his art school training to the Manx’s iconic design in an interview with Automobile Magazine: “Good figure drawing is probably the best [explanation of the] essence of the dune buggy.” Around this time, he began building boats out of fiberglass, which would prepare him for the creation of dune buggies that he and his friends could ride to traverse the sand dunes of Mexico’s Baja California.
The revolutionary Meyers Manx dune buggy became an overnight sensation upon shattering the record at a road race that would eventually be known as the Baja 1000. The Manx boasted a uniquely dynamic design, which, as noted in the Los Angeles Times’ tribute to Meyers, made the Manx the most replicated car in history, per the Historic Vehicle Association.
B.F. Meyers & Co. closed in 1971 due to the proliferation of dune buggy copycats, but Meyers reestablished the company in 1999, after which he began doing limited runs of the famed dune buggy. The company finally closed in 2020, according to a November 2020 Autoweek article, in which automobile designer Freeman Thomas was quoted that he had “a lot of reverence for what Bruce created. It transcends being this four-wheeled thing. It’s a pop culture icon.”
Meyers’ other notable pursuits included designing surfboards, lifeguarding, sailing, surfing, and working as a commercial artist.
“He had a life that nobody else has ever lived,” his wife was quoted in the Times’ tribute.