Dune Buggy: A Motorcycle Or A Vehicle Of Another Kind?

Recently, desert travel has been gaining more and more popularity. This is not a surprising fact since deserts are the most unique landscapes of the Earth. Plus, this kind of entertainment isn’t accessible to every tourist. It makes deserts even more attractive.

Arid ecosystems cannot match the richness of wildlife with jungles or coral reefs, but, nevertheless, these harsh territories have their own special charm. There’s a big variety of activities: riding on a camel, a trip between sandy dunes or even desert camping for those who want to extend their presence in this wonderful environment.

However, at the same time this is not a journey you should take without proper preparation. It is necessary to collect an extreme package with everything you need, first aid supplies, printed maps and even flashlights. And you also need to rent a dune buggy – a vehicle with which you can safely move around the desert. For example, if you have already arranged a trip to the UAE and you plan to rent a dune buggy, it is important to have even a slight understanding of the vehicle and of its working principle. That’s what we are going to tell you about in this article.

A dune buggy: what is that?

buggy in dust

Dune buggy is a powerful off–road vehicle with an open body platform designed to move around various types of territory. They usually come in small size, light in construction and have a powerful engine, which makes them ideal for driving on desert sand dunes or other difficult off-road conditions.

The first dune buggies were converted from standard cars like the Volkswagen Beetle or the Corvair. By the way, you still can choose a car to explore sandy dunes: use Range Rover car rental Dubai if you need to go on a desert trip. Or even the city – it looks perfect on the streets of Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

In any case you should rely on your own preferences to choose a convenient car for a desert ride. But dune buggies are a more interesting choice due to the construction of the car. Initially, they began to cut off unnecessary body panels and wings of usual cars.

All these left parts were reinforced by pipes and, subsequently, tubular frames began to prevail over the bodies. These alterations were significantly lighter than standard cars, the specific power as a result increased and people began to get more pleasure from driving. Oddly enough, but the design of some alterations has already begun to form the familiar look of modern sand buggies – some solutions have not changed for almost half a century.

The first dune buggies

EMPI has developed the first beach buggy and called it the Sportster model. In fact, it was the first set of spare parts for the self-assembly of a dune buggy. Sportster has created a new market for buggies. The dune buggy was built on a frame made of pipes, to which body panels and standard Volkswagen Beetle suspensions were attached.

The success of this model provoked the appearance of the next model called Burro. This model was designed and manufactured by Hilder Thompson. Burro began to produce two years after the appearance of the Sportster. Burro had a controversial design, but it was sold.

A year later, they were already spread in the sands of Southern California. The next model was one of the cheapest in production – Imp. It has already used a shortened bottom from the Beetle and not by 14.5 inches (370 mm), but by 12 (305 mm).

Bruce Meyers and his dune buggy model Meyers Manx

The Imp was released at the same time as the first Bruce Meyers machines. Bruce Meyers was a Californian engineer who created a company B. F. Meyers & Co. He produced a dune buggy using his extensive experience in the production of boats and surfboards made of fiberglass. This car was named Meyers Manx and it was released in 1964.

These two cars – Imp and Manx – formed the beach buggy as we used to see it until now. It is a lightweight fiberglass vehicle on a shortened bottom from a Volkswagen Beetle with standard suspensions and with a standard engine from a Beetle.

Dune buggies now

Bruce Meyers has made a real breakthrough in the creation and operation of dune buggies. However, progress doesn’t stand still. The development of technology has brought innovations such as advanced suspension systems, all-terrain tires, powerful engines, and state-of-the-art safety features. Buggies now cater to a wide variety of preferences from adrenaline junkies looking for high-speed thrills to those looking for a more relaxed and scenic off-road experience.

Dune buggies are a perfect opportunity for those who would like to explore the most wild deserts in the world. Even with the family!

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the motorcycling and adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.


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