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Wichitan’s dune buggy dream tees off

  • Published Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, at 6:38 a.m.

As the guy on the old "A-Team" TV series used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together."

That was how Jon Leonard got into the dune buggy golf cart business. "My wife wanted a golf cart to drive grandkids around in. I always wanted a Meyers Manx. I’m a car guy and this was a chance for me to have a dune buggy," Leonard said.

So the self-employed Wichita-based aircraft engineer took a full-sized generic dune buggy body, chopped and sectioned it to get the proportions just right to fit a standard E-Z-Go golf cart, and the prototype Dune Buggy Golf Cart was born. That was about a year ago.

Leonard had Scott Fields of Geuda Springs use the original body to create a mold and began creating other versions of the little dune buggy, complete with Cragar mag wheels and custom touches like a folding soft top, a tilt steering wheel and in-dash stereo. Fields built the bodies and did the paint work, along with the upholstery.

The downsized dune buggies can be built on either an electric or gas-powered golf cart chassis.

Bruce Meyers, the creator of the original Meyers Manx, even signed the dash of one of the buggies at a trade show after seeing it, Leonard said.

Word got out that Leonard was building golf carts that replicated the look of the dune buggy that started a craze back in the 1960s and Leonard recently crated up and shipped the first six production Dune Buggy Golf Carts to a customer in Saudi Arabia.

"I’m satisfied having just produced these," Leonard said. But he’s willing to see where this particular plan takes him. To learn more about this local entrepreneur’s efforts, go to DuneBuggyGolfCarts.com.

•  Don’t forget, the Sunflower Swap Meet continues at the Kansas Coliseum Pavilions Saturday; hope to see you there.

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