A review of The Marcos Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of each model in the range, from the GT1800 to the Mantaray.
In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Marcos Sports Car, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1964 to 1998.
Marcos was founded in North Wales in 1959.
The first sports car, called the Xylon, had gullwing doors, a high roof, and a split windscreen.
It was given the nickname “Ugly Duckling”, and was powered by Ford 1 litre and 1.2 litre engines.
Targeted at competition events, only nine were built between 1959 and 1960. Production models were built up to 1963.
It achieved racing success when driven by Jackie Stewart, and others.
In 1961, there were design changes to the original car, making it sleeker and more attractive.
The plywood chassis and gullwing doors were kept, and the car was now renamed the Marcos Luton Gullwing sports car.
A total of thirteen were built. It was mostly used for racing.
A convertible version, known as the Spyder, was launched with the gullwing doors removed.
The Marcos GT 1800
In 1964, the Marcos GT 1800 sports car made its debut at the London Racing Car Show.
Presented as a road car, it was well received. It retained a wooden chassis, which was encased in a glass fibre shell.
It originally used a 1.8 litre, 4-cylinder, Volvo engine. However, in 1966, this was replaced by a range of Ford engines, from 1.5 to 1.65 litres. Finally, in 1969, a Ford V4 unit was used.
In 1969, the plywood chassis was replaced with one made of steel.
This allowed more powerful engines to be used, such as the 3 litre, Ford V6, or the 3 litre, Volvo straight 6-cylinder.
Cars exported to the US used the Volvo engine to cover exhaust emission regulations.