startingly beautiful GT Coupe was a remarkable car when
introduced, and still turns many heads today. The original
design, complete with Volvo running gear and De
Dion rear suspension, soon settled to a more conventional Ford
engine + beam axle arrangement, but the style was never changed.
Today, because of rot resistant chassis and bodies, those which
have not been crashed are in demand. Until they have owned one,
everyone worries about a car with a marine ply chassis/monocoque.
Well-protected frames have survived well, and are still worth
repairing, but only a specialist can do this.
Photo: Ray Green's B30 Marcos-Volvo raced in New Zealand
several different engines were fitted in five years, all gave
this light car high performance, and an exhilarating character.
Like E-Types, these cars have long noses, always likely to be
leaned against other traffic. They were so low that driver
visibility, particularly to the rear, was very poor. Today's
supply is very limited, but every surviving car in reasonable
condition is worth saving. It is important that the wooden
chassis is seen to be in good condition. GRP bodies will be
easier to renovate, and the Volvo engine/transmission units are
among the most durable.
Marcos GT, with B18 Volvo engine was introduced in 1964. After
50 cars had been built, the de Dion was replaced by a beam rear
axle. A 1.5 litre Ford Cortina GT engine took over in 1966,
Lawrence-tuned 1.65 litre Ford engine took over for 1968, Steel
replaced wood in the chassis construction in 1969.
At first the
steel chassised cars, built in a converted mill in Bradford Upon
Avon, Wiltshire, were powered by the Ford V6 Essex engine, but a
desire to move into the lucrative US market saw the use of a
Volvo straight 6 B30 engine, which already had the necessary
anti-pollution equipment available. Some cars also had a 2 litre
V4 version of the Essex fitted, but most of these are now
converted to V6s.
In 1971, the
mill was abandoned and a purpose built factory in Westbury was
moved into. However, delays in production during this time and a
problem with US Customs over the status of Marcos as a small
scale manufacturer led to financial difficulties, which brought
about the downfall of Marcos.
A few GTs
were built with Triumph 2.5 litre straight sixes, using up
supplies of engine originally intended for the 4 seater Mantis.
The relaunch cars of 1981 were essentially the same cars which
were produced in 1969, although they were often sold as kitcars
and some had the German Cologne V6 in place of the Essex.
3-Litre Marcos-Volvo shown here is owned and raced by Ray Green,
the racing series coordinator of the British Racing Classic
Sports & GT series. Photo taken at Ellerslie by Jim Hekker.
A black 1969 3-Litre Marcos-Volvo with overdrive was last year
advertised in Classic Car Magazine for $14,000. Marcos is still
going strong, producing very exciting racecars.
Marcos in Australia
Please check out the excellent Marcos web site: www.marcos.co.uk
Ray Greens Web site: Marcos