Winter Surf | Morton St. Partners

Meters Manx - ‘Rose Copper’ Classic Kit, 2021


Winters are tough in New York City, the short daylight, cold temps and inevitable grey icy slush that typically coats the streets make it particularly sad times. However, Morton St. Partners offers an escape to warm sandy beaches and ocean breeze vibes with Winter Surf.

Borrowing the title from a vintage Ocean Pacific t-shirt, Winter Surf presents a collection of new and vintage dune buggies that offer a look at the influential aesthetics of 60s-70s oceanside counterculture. The exhibition also includes a collection of surf boards from NY-based Noah that capture the nostalgic graphic style of surfing’s roots.

Core to the exhibition are cars from Meyers Manx, and founder Bruce Meyers who developed the original dune buggy kit. Meyers was a surfer himself and not an auto industry insider. He developed the Manx solely to be fun. The company has been reborn in recent years and will offer the original Manx and an all-electric version. I’d like to see a Speed Buggy special-edition at some point.

Photos and Text: Dave Pinter

Vehicle descriptions: Morton St. Partners

Meters Manx – ‘Rose Copper’ Classic Kit, 2021

The Meyers Manx Dune Buggy is an American classic, symbolizing the spirit of adventure. It first hit the scene in 1964, designed by Bruce Meyers, and quickly gained recognition for its lightweight build and reliability. An air-cooled Volkswagen engine provided plenty of torque for off-road conditions, while the fiberglass body allowed for a plethora of finishes. Drivers could customize their buggy with different colors, accessories, and engines – it was all about making it your own. Today, the Manx remains a popular choice among thrill seekers looking to make the most out of their journey. The Meyers Manx: maximizing smiles-per-mile since 1964.

Bertone – Shake Concept Car, 1970

In 1970, Italy’s Carrozzeria Bertone released the Shake, a two-passenger off-road vehicle using either Simca 1200 or Fiat 128 components. The water-cooled engine and manual transaxle are mounted to the rear of the passenger compartment,, driving huge wheels and aggressive tires.

The windshield folds flat, while headlamps and air horns are mounted on a chrome roll bar. Though intended for the Middle East market, the Shake eventually arrived in the US, where it was owned by a Manhattan collector, an R.J. Reynolds executive, and others. It remains an iconic example of Bertone’s attempt to create a light, sporty vehicle for use on sand – whether desert or beach.

Citroën Méhari, 1970

The Citroen Méhari is a go-anywhere utility vehicle produced by the French car manufacturer Citroen between 1968 and 1988. It was designed as a rugged, utilitarian vehicle, with a simple and lightweight construction that made it suitable for both on-road and off-road use. Powered by an air-cooled engine, the little Mehari is capable of producing up to 34 ho in its highest specification. It had an open top design and was available in either two or four seat configurations. The Mehari was extremely popular in France, particularly during. the 1970s when it became a symbol of the country’s ‘yé-yé’ youth culture. It also gained popularity in other European countries, such as Italy and Spain. Today, the Mehari remains an iconic part of automotive history – its unique design and versatility making it a timeless classic that continues to be admired by collectors around the world.

Meyers Manx – Con-Ferr Dune Buggy, 1967

Steve McQueen’s iconic dune buggy from the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair is a one-of-a-kind Manx built by Con-Ferr. With its bright orange / red bodywork, speed boat inspired wraparound windscreen, sunken headlights, and luggage rack on the back, this unique vehicle was designed with McQueen’s love of cars in mind. It runs on a Volkswagen floorpan with swing arm rear suspension and four-speed VW transaxle. Firestone racing tires on American Racing wheels give it a sporty look. Power comes from a Chevrolet Corvair engine that produces around 140 horsepower-although McQueen claimed it was 230! The custom interior features Datsun Fairlady sports car seats stitched together by Tony Nancy. To add to its impressive performance, the buggy is fitted with handbrake levers allowing McQueen to lock either rear wheel for dramatic slides and turns.