When you think of American hot-rodding, the Meyers Manx probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The brainchild of Southern California surfer, Bruce Meyers, the Manx formula is putting a great looking fiberglass body over a dune buggy with VW running gear. The original intent was to give people a kit where they could build a little piece of surf culture in their garage with their own hands. You build it yourself and you add whatever flavor you want to it. That’s the essence of hot-rodding. The Manx started off as a design success because it looked cool and then continued to be popular because they also worked awesome for desert racing and autocross. What a cool little nugget of American car culture.
Motor Trend’s Associate Road Test Editor, Carlos Lago, has a wonderful way with words. I’ve featured a lot of his videos here because he does an excellent job describing what a car feels like through video and he has a great understanding on what it means for a car to be balanced. It turns out he is also an exceptional story teller. Sit back and let him tell you about how Motor Trend teamed up with Volkswagen to try and set the record for the fastest production hybrid in the new Jetta hybrid on the Bonneville Salt Flats. The car they’re using is going to be the first turbocharged hybrid to be for sale in the US, but hopefully we’ll be seeing more turbo and diesel hybrids coming to market. The car gets a turbo upgrade to pump 300 horsepower out of the 1.2 liter engine with the factory electric drive system and battery pack.
This is the story of the Zombie Rabbit. It’s what we all envision when we take on project cars: rescue an old clunker from the crusher for $400, take it home and rebuild it with the help of your friends and the community of people who also loves that kind of car. The owner, Joel, cut his teeth working on this car learning how to weld and even upholstering the seats himself with old leather jackets. That’s something we can all appreciate. Long live the Zombie Rabbits of this world.