Bruce Meyers Named 2011 Mexican 1000 Grand Marshall
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public Relations Director
Bruce Meyers (left) and Ted Mangels celebrate their 1967 Baja record run with "Old Red."
15 March, 2011: In celebration of off-road pioneer and automotive icon Bruce Meyer’s 85th birthday, NORRA founder Mike Pearlman last weekend announced that the first Baja record holder would be honored as the Grand Marshall for the upcoming NORRA Mexican 1000 scheduled for May 4-8. The unique event will once again cover over 1,000 miles in three days beginning in Mexicali, Baja, Mexico and finish in La Paz.
Bruce today with wife Winnie and the "Old Red" Meyers Manx.
The announcement was made at a birthday party attended by Meyers and over 200 of his closest friends, an event that included a large gathering of fiberglass dune buggies that he invented in the early 1960s. His creation, dubbed the Meyers Manx, mated a sleek Meyers-designed fiberglass body on a Volkswagen Beetle chassis that sparked an international automotive craze later in that decade. The Manx had an incredible off-road capability (Meyers built it with the intention of exploring the beaches of Baja, Mexico) and he, along with the late Ted Mangels, used the original “Old Red” Manx to set the first four-wheel record from the Baja cities of Tijuana to La Paz on April 20, 1967.
It was this record run that led Pearlman’s late father Ed and others to establish the first running of the Nation Off-Road Racing Association (NORRA) Mexican 1000 off-road rally in November of 1967. Eventually the Mexican 1000 became internationally recognized and evolved into the Baja 1000 in the mid-1970s. While the Baja 1000 race has been organized by SCORE International since that time, in 2010 Mike Pearlman revived NORRA to sanction and promote the Mexican 1000, a unique, once-a-year three day rally that includes vintage off-road and alternative fuel vehicles. Several of Bruce Meyer’s vehicles (including the Manx, the Tow’d and the Manxter) participated in last year’s inaugural running of the Mexican 1000.
“NORRA is pleased to honor Bruce Meyers as our 2011 Mexican 1000 Grand Marshall and help celebrate his 85th birthday in this unique and well-deserved manner,” stated Mike Pearlman. “His contributions to the sport and lifestyle of off-road racing were a cornerstone to the growth of the entire industry. But, most importantly, his cars and our rally share a common thread—they were both created to provide fun and happiness for a lot of people.”
“At an age when most of my peers are looking backward at the past, I am looking so much forward to the future and taking another trip down my beloved Baja peninsula,” exclaimed Meyers after the announcement was made. “I appreciate Mike Pearlman and NORRA for this very, very special birthday gift.”
As part of his Grand Marshall duties, Meyers will lead the first rally participant into each night’s overnight stop and the finish line, driving a Meyers Manx of course. The Baja veteran will also be honored during a special ceremony during the rally’s Welcome Fiesta and Driver’s Meeting the night before competition begins in Mexicali.
With just under two months until the event, there is still time for interested racers to prepare and sign on to be part of this historic race. The stage format will include overnight stops in scenic Bay of Los Angeles and Loreto. Pit assistance is available from Mag 7, so the logistics will not be too difficult even for newcomers to Baja.
Now 85, Bruce Meyers is still designing dune buggies including Manxter Dual Sport (left) and standard Manxter.