Bruce Meyers sells Californian beach buggy brand at age 94

Bruce Meyers, the man behind the original Volkswagen Beetle-based beach buggy, has sold his eponymous company at age 94 after 56 years at the helm.

Meyers Manx will now trade as Meyers Manx LLC under its new owner, Trousdale Ventures – a Texan investment firm with an array of mobility companies in its portfolio already.

Trousdale has named Freeman Thomas as the new CEO of Meyers Manx. Thomas brings with him nearly four decades in the automotive industry, having worked as a designer at Porsche, Volkswagen, DaimlerChrysler and Ford.

He is perhaps best known for co-designing the 1994 Volkswagen Concept 1, which would later be put into production as the New Beetle.

Thomas said: “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.”

Meyers will continue as an ambassador for the brand and to manage the Meyers Manx registry alongside his wife Winnie. The couple called Trousdale’s acquisition of their company “a wonderful rebirth for what we have created”.

Terms of the sale haven’t been disclosed.

Trousdale Ventures chairman Phillip Sarofim hailed the transaction as “the beginning of an exciting journey in bringing new life to a legendary California icon” and said that the firm is putting together an “international dream team” of individuals to “carry on the Meyers Manx legacy”.

Details of any future products from the firm are yet to be revealed, but a range of fibreglass bodyshells remain available to order from its website, including the flagship Classic Manx design that made its debut in 1964.

Felix Page

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