August '00 Buggy of the Month:

Michael Cates - Ventura, CA

Michael sent in this description of his buggy. Send in yours for a chance at Buggy of the Month!

Michael writes :

Hey Dave, Michael Cates aka Michael the ManxManiac member # 958 here. Winnie said I should email these pictures to you for Buggy of the Month consideration.

Here is the story,

I bought my Manx in Dec 98 for $500.00. The fellow I bought it from had owned it 22 yrs & it had been sitting covered up for the last 11 yrs. I towed it home & actually started the engine & let it run for a few minutes. I decided to completely redo it for safety & dependability sake.

I finished it in May 2000. The ID tag no. is M1609C8S22. That Yuma Yellow had to go, so I decided it had to be orange or bright yellow! As you can see the orange won! I totally striped it & sandblasted the chassis.

Here is a list of what I did:

Filled 30+ holes in the body & painted it Plasticote Orange, Varsity Gloss Black & Varsity Gray Primer, yes I "rattle-canned" it, but most people can't tell!
Installed polished aluminum diamond-plate floors.
All new brake system.
New fuel tank & fuel lines.
Complete new electrical system.
Custom drop-down dash with a Porsche 356A speedometer that has a tripometer.
The fuseblock is behind an access door on the left side of the dash.
Removable steering wheel with Quick-release coupler.
Completely rebuilt 1600 DP, only thing I used from the original engine was the 36hp style fan shroud, crankshaft & engine case & stock oil cooler.
New fuel pump,alternator,carb, fullflow oil system/HP1 filter/8 pass oil cooler, aluminum pulley, engine tin & cool tin.
New clutch set.
New transaxle nosecone & urethane mounts & trans strap.
New shifter, shift rod & urethane shift coupler.
Reupholstered the 1965 Mustang Bucket seats with original style covers.
HD Coil-over rear shocks.
235/70r15 Pirelli Scorpion A/S tires on rear, they're 27.5" tall.
27X8.50X14 BF Goodrich All Terrains on front for off-road.
P185/65r15 Dunlap street tires on front for highway cruising.

I still have to modify/install my rear engine cage/bumper & install a skidpan & a rollcage & I just bought a different exhaust system, a Tri-Mil BobTail Quietpack. I did ALL of the work myself, except the recover of the seats. I bought a lot of new parts, but I wheeled & dealed & purchased & traded for a lot of good used stuff too. My total investment is only about $2500.00.

Several days after I started driving it around town, one gentleman offered me $6000.00 & another one offered me $6500.00, but I can't sell it, it took me 31 yrs to get it. I've owned a lot of vehicles in the last 30+ yrs & I've had several opportunities to buy a fiberglass buggy & even though I wanted one, I didn't buy one! Of course I only wanted an original Meyers Manx! So since it took me so long to finally get this one, I think I'll hang on to it for the rest of my time on this earth!

I've driven almost 3000 miles with no problems. The longest trip was about 300 miles round-trip & this Manx rides so smooth & the seats are so comfortable, we could have gone another 300 miles! We are going to go to Baja in Nov & do the 5 day trip.

Well, that's about it! Here are a few photos.


Michael Cates