There are several different documented story variations of the history of both the dune buggy and that of the Meyers Manx, so instead of just picking one, here is an opportunity to check out several versions of each; you can be the judge as to which one is most accurate.
After the Deserter GS was sorted out and kits were selling smoothly, I wanted a new body design for our cars. Most Deserter customers were using their cars on pavement, so I envisioned a sleeker body with the same adequate engine and tire coverage.
A stunning, clean-looking new design emerged among all the "second-generation" buggies....... the Bounty Hunter. I quickly made arrangements with its talented designer, Californian Brian Dries, for the rights to use his design for the next Deserter body style.
Our challenge for this new Deserter GT was to take the Dries style, stretch it 4" to fit VW floor pans of 84" wheelbase, assure that it could be licensed for road use in every state, keep the kit pieces to a bare minimum for easy manufacture, and retain the quality of easy assembly by amateur kit builders. This new body also had to be useable for the next iteration of the mid-engined GS. In the end, no single body part or curve was retained from the Dries design, but the distinctive look was honored. Various tricks were used to enhance body rigidity without adding too much weight. Windshield posts were cast in aluminum, and were similar to the Dries design for Renault Dauphine windshields. They had threaded holes in the top of each post for the attachment of a soft or hard top header. A hard top was designed with gullwing doors. The rear fender wells were made wide to accept the longer 1967 and later VW swing axles with 15X10 wheels mounted.
I sold the business to Autodynamics in late 1971, and Reeves Callaway became the sales manager. Deserter cars and kits are no longer made by Dearborn Automobile Co., and we do not sell or trade used Deserter cars or parts. The Deserter information contained herein is for historical purposes only, and it is hoped that it will assist restorers.
(Webmaster's Note: the article and photo below has been posted here with the permission of Alex Dearborn; owner and designer of the Deserter GT concept. Alex is scheduled to be a featured speaker at 2012 Carlisle Import & Kit Nationals, Carlisle, PA. The Deserter GS mentioned below was a mid-engine version of his Manx-style Deserter Series One body. www.dearbornauto.com)
Do we all agree that there would be no Meyers Manx, or no fiberglass dune buggy at all, if it was not for the VW Beetle?
The original VW Beetle concept was conceived by (drum roll please) Hans Ledwinka in Czechoslovakia? More
East Coast Dune Buggies/eastcoastdunebuggies.com is in no way representing or affiliated with Volkswagen of America, or Volkswagen of Germany. Volkswagen, VW, and the VW logo are Trademarks of and owned by Volkswagen of America and Volkswagen AG.