Indiana’s obscure Meyers Manx alternative was born in a chicken coop
If money is no object, a Meyers Manx is the 1960s dune buggy to own. Of course, since success always fosters imitation, you can also choose alternatives like Deserter, Imp, Rascal, Sandpiper, or Sand Tiger. Or the Bremen Citation.
Bremen got its start around 1965, when partners DeWayne Creighton and Omar Hostetter began building Citation dune buggies in a converted chicken coop in Bremen, Indiana. Bremen Sport Equipment eventually moved to a larger facility and also offered the Sebring, Creighton, Maxi Taxi, and Mini Mark, but it all began with the Citation.
Much like other Meyers Manx imitators, the Citation kit car was built on the chassis and mechanicals of the Volkswagen Beetle. If you’ve never seen one, you’ll find a 1957 VW-based Citation for sale on craigslist in Tucson, Arizona, for $9500. The seller bought it for $10K at Barrett-Jackson’s 2019 Scottsdale auction, so we’re guessing that’s about the average value of one in #2 (Excellent) condition.
The Citation’s exterior trademark is its long, removable hardtop, which sports porthole windows on both rear sides. The car comes with bucket seats, a full backseat, and a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder VW engine.
When DeWayne Creighton got out of the business to take another job, Bremen’s new owners ended kit-car production in 1984. The company is still in the fiberglass business today, manufacturing aftermarket accessories for trucks and SUVs, but as one commenter on thesamba.com found out, Bremen “does not want to have anything to do with the fiberglass kit cars.” The same commenter had heard that berrienbuggy.com owns the Citation molds, a suggestion that brought hope to enthusiasts, but when he contacted Berrien he was told they do not exist—even though some of the company’s fiberglass dune buggy options look awfully familiar, particularly that porthole-window hardtop.
After further research, it seems Creighton himself cleared up several historical inaccuracies when he was interviewed by theminimark.blogspot.com in 2012. Creighton said then that he believes the molds sat outside after he left the company and were eventually taken to the dump. He also disputed oft-repeated claims that the kit car production ended in ’84 not because he left but because the facility burned down. The building did, in fact, burn down, but the fire was in January of 1975—and the facility was rebuilt, as were the molds.
Creighton also shared that, years ago, singer Wayne Newton was set to receive a special Porsche-powered Bremen Mini Mark as a gift from a friend, but the two had a falling out before the car was delivered, and it was sold to someone else. So instead of Newton singing “Danke Schoën,” it was “Auf Wiedersehen.”
Just like enthusiasts were forced to say to the other Bremen kit cars.