Dave Helland's New Yell'r

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The above photos (and painting) are of Y.B.D.B. Club founding member Dave Helland's award winning restored yellow genuine Meyers Manx "New Yell'r". Dave can be reached at dhelland@worldnet.att.net.

Dave Helland's Description of "New Yell'r"

The body of the car is an original Meyers Manx (1967 vintage) that was restored with the help of the car's original designer, Bruce Meyers. The body was in terrible shape when I acquired it in early 1996. Bruce filled in missing fiberglass around the license plate and reinforced several other areas and filled all the holes. Bruce then prepared the surface for painting and sprayed the primer coat on the car. After many hours of sanding on the primer coat, the body was taken to the paint shop where it received a base coat, color coat (chrome yellow), and four clear coats of paint.

The chassis of the car was rusted-out so a 1961 Baja Bug was purchased to get a new frame. The frame was shortened to match the wheelbase of the original Meyers body. This involves removing a 14-1/4 inch section from just behind the VW seat rails and then using a wire-feed welder to weld the two halves of the VW pan back together. The shift rod, brake lines, handbrake cables, clutch cable and accelerator cable all needed to be shortened. The frame was then cleaned and painted with rust-proof primer and then black enamel.

The transmission is a swing axle type with stock ratios and is hard mounted to the chassis (no rubber mounts) and then further restrained with transmission hold-down straps at the mid-section and around the bell housing. The front suspension is stock king-pin type with new pins and bushings installed in the trailing link-pins. The body was then bolted back on the chassis and given extra strength with a one-inch steel pipe inserted into the channel under the outer edge of the frame sides.

The rear of the car has Mickey Thompson 15" 11.50 X 29 off-road tires on 8" wide CMS spun aluminum rims. The small diameter of these tires gives excellent performance with the stock ratio transmission. The small diameter tires also give plenty of fender clearance. Larger tires would have required mods to the transmission and a body lift kit to obtain the proper clearance, thus ruining the "restored original" look I was trying to obtain. The front tires are 15" P205 - 175 street tires. The front tires I like to keep fairly big (not wide) to get ground clearance and to have plenty of pooch when I let out the air to get a comfortable ride off-road. The front rims are also CMS spun aluminum and are very light and can be repaired if damaged. The aluminum rims are polished to look like chrome.

The seats are from Beard and have a steel frame that supports soft upholstered bucket seats. The seats have been lowered to the absolute minimum that the original VW seat rails will allow.

The engine is a stock 1600 with dual port heads and a Solex PICT-1 carburetor. The engine provides all the power necessary for the desert cruising that I enjoy. Keeping the engine in a stock configuration also enhances its dependability (a very important feature when many miles into the desert). The exhaust is a Baja Bug style from Tri-Mil that has been metal sprayed with aluminum for appearance and rust-proofing.

The bumpers are Baja Bug style that have been chromed and polished. The roll bar in the car needed to be replaced so Bruce Meyers made a template from an original Manx. The template was used to produce a new roll bar from 0.120-thick, 2-inch diameter tube steel. The original mounting brackets were copied and welded in place. The roll bar was then chromed and installed in the car.

The car has since won two first place prizes and one second place prize in competition with about 50 other cars at Manx Dunebuggy Club outings. The car is not a show car and has made many off-road desert trips, including a 800+ mile off-road adventure though Baja. I have a vanity plate with my last name (i.e. HELLAND) and a custom frame on the car that reads :


The car's name is "New Yeller" because my previous Manx type buggy which I built in 1966 was named "Old Yeller". I seem to have a pre-occupation with yellow cars as I also belong to the Y.B.D.B Club (Yellow Baja and Dune Buggies). To be a member of the Y.B.D.B. Club you must have a yellow car or be willing to paint it yellow "real soon".

Last updated Thu Sep 10 13:17:57 PDT 1998