lunchbox 27

Rodents and cars don’t mix, the 2024 Meyers Manx, and remembering a mid-engined Dodge roadster.

lunchbox 27

Credit for today’s rodent-themed diversion goes to reader Michael M., who forwarded a recent New York Times article that led me to more articles and a satisfying conclusion. 🍽

lunchbox is meant to be an appetite-enhancing lunchtime newsletter, so you’ll have to go looking for the critters at the very bottom of this message!

Oh hell yes. Soon to be on and off-road in 2024, this reborn Meyers Manx is an EV you can’t help but love at first scroll.

Designed by that1 Freeman Thomas, the new Manx comes as a fully engineered vehicle complete with an aluminum monocoque and modern features, from a hardtop to wiper and LED lights.

After more than 50 years of Manx dune buggies and its knockoffs, this Manx is bursting with character yet balanced with strong family ties and contemporary details in key areas. Weighing at 1,650-lbs or less, and with between 150-300 miles (241-482 km) of range, there should be plenty of daytime range for most owners.

Fast charging will be included, but even with the larger 40 kWh battery it should be pretty painless to top off the pack with electricity when needed.

Mind, on hot days the car will look far cuter than its occupants when waiting in line with no windows or A/C at a charging station.

I think it’s interesting that there are two electric motors in the rear, each driving one wheel and able to work together for traction control torque vectoring capability. With an estimated 240 ft-lb of torque, the car should be incredibly responsive and whip quick on loose surfaces.

Follow updates about new and old Meyers Manx at the company’s Instagram, Facebook, or website. See also:

2024 Meyers Manx 2.0 Electric: The Original Dune Buggy, Remastered • Motor Trend

2004 Dodge Sling Shot concept side
1 Freeman Thomas credits include the first generation Audi TT, Volkswagen New Beetle, and one of my favourites, the 2004 Dodge Sling Shot concept above—itself a rebodied smart roadster. Good overview of the car at evo.

2007 smart Roadster Brabus Xclusive coupe, €21,000 •  The way I see it, my ideal garage goes: my Volvo 740, a Citroën 2CV-based something, a smart something, a Twingo, and an empty float space—who knows, maybe Tatra, Voisin or Zagato keys will one day fall into my grasp.

Anyway, this is one of the nicest examples of a smart roadster I could find; most are nowhere near as expensive. Tuned for more horsepower (101), fitted with nicer interior trim and famous Brabus monoblock wheels, I consider this car to be a modern riff on the Porsche 914.

So get one while you can: there aren’t many modern cars with a mid-engined character like this. via

This short explainer film came across my feed and I enjoyed the fascinating history behind this failed Goodyear experiment and its fully restored rebirth only a few years ago. via Sideprojects on YouTube

“The ‘check engine’ light came on, and I brought it to my mechanic, who popped the hood and found chicken bones, some bread and part of a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich sitting there…”

Why So Many Cars Have Rats in Them Now • New York Times

🐁 Maybe it’s because I recently spent a few days vacuuming droppings out of my own project car or because I naturally loathe mice/rats/rodents, but I kept reading up on the subject of mice and motoring and learned it’s a growing problem for many. Gross.

One factor is that more than a decade ago, several manufacturers began switching to wires with soy-based sheathing; good for the environment and rodents.

No, chef: this alone isn’t enough to turn vehicles into warm, hard-shelled delicacies worthy of a Mickey and Minnie anniversary dinner.

Global habit changes due to the pandemic, more take-out food containers, more garbage, less frequent garbage pickup, and other factors helped guide scavengers to our cars. Add in some soy wires and it’s a recipe for a nasty feast you hope a Rat King2 doesn’t show up for.

Automotive experts and publications like Car and Driver and Consumer Reports have covered this story. Honda has even developed anti-rodent tape (part no. 4019-2317), but I feel like the conversation was missing an important voice until roughly this time last year.

Car troubles of her own led New York-based food writer Liz Cook to a mechanic shop that had to use anti-rodent tape to repair her vehicle wiring. This sparked her curiosity—if it is coated in pure capsaicin, surely it must be edible?

Once home, Cook then discovered, researched, (and later purchased) a roll of Honda anti-rodent, ahem, “spicy mouse tape” for herself. Read the hilarious story, subscribe to her newsletter—and pray she discovers an unspoiled box of Volkswagen currywurst sausages to try next (part no. 199 398 500 A).

It smelled like a Band-Aid-flavored Rockstar Energy drink. It tasted like…heat. The capsaicin was subtler than I expected: nothing abrasive or punishing, just a blushing, ambient warmth like a string of white Christmas lights. There was almost a numbing, mala element, in the vein of a Sichuan peppercorn.”

I Tasted Honda's Spicy Rodent-Repelling Tape • Haterade

2 If you have not heard the term Rat King before, finish your lunch before visiting the Wikipedia entry. 🪤