Except if you lived on another planet for 20 years, you are aware that classic cars are fashion and the demand is pretty high these days.
This mechanism, well known to traders and art collector, had a crazy impact on prices. Some shitty cars, for example a not-well-repainted Citroën Ami 6, were sold 33700€ last year in Monaco (expected not more than 6000€ by experts).
The problem is complicated for the real car enthusiast, and the same question appears for each of them: which classic car affordable can I buy???
So today, let’s talk about a forgotten and unrecognized classic car, less than 30000 € and with many qualities, a real GT: the MARCOS GT.
The Marcos GT was produced by Marcos Industry, a company co-founded by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin (designer of the famous Jaguar Lister Costin).
As many stories, this one starts in a Pub in England 1959. At this time, many races were club races and they decided to build an ultralight car to win this kind of races.
The prototype is made with a wood chassis (such as Morgan, crazy roast-beef) and Bill Moss won 9 of 10 races with the prototype. At this time, a young race driver called Jackie Stewart is impressed by the car and order one in 1960.
Starts a long story with financial problems for Marcos Industry, the company cannot find enough found and sells are too low to earn money. But in 1964, Marcos comes back with a new car, still with wooden parts with the Marcos 1800, powered by a Volvo B18 engine 1783cc, 118 HP with 2 Weber carburetors and 772 kg!
According to the press and race driver who tried it, this car is very good on track and also on open roads. A GT-Race car, with a aggressive driving position, very good handling, precise direction and fast, with enough power for the weight.
To reduce cost of the car, the engine change in 1967 for the Ford Kent 1599 cc (100 HP or 120 HP prepared by Lawrence Tune). Then in 1969, the V6 Ford 3 liters replace the 4 cylinders, and for US approval (reduction of engine pollution in the US in the 70’s), the V6 Ford is replaced by a V6 Volvo 3 liter 140 HP one year later. To reassure customers, the wood structure where replaced by steel on the V6 versions, increasing weight to 1065kg.
Nowadays, you can find a Marcos GT for less than 30 000 €, so less than the Ami 6 from Monte Carlo but it could be hard to find it in good conditions. Most of the cars are right hand drive, so you need to consider a conversion in addition of buying. There is still some very good GT available ready to use.
For the design, the shape is interesting, very close to 60’s Italian design (CF Bizzarrini) but with an English touch. It’s not discrete for sure and everybody has an opinion on the car, some like the look and some don’t.
The fact is that you can have a very good and reliable classic GT, that allows you to run on a racetrack on Saturday, enjoy little roads with Madame the Sunday and even go to work during the week if you have a parking with style.
With every engine, the car is interesting, but seems better in a lightweight configuration with the 1800 or 1600. Unfortunately, the car price will probably not increase in the future, due to lack of recognition, but maybe a crazy new rich guy from a small principality would buy it for 100 000€.
this article has been submitted by G.O.