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Marcos - (1960 - 1963)

Marcos started life in 1959, and was founded in Luton, Bedfordshire by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin. The company name being formed from the first three letters of each of their surnames.

The prototype Marcos GT was powered by the 997cc Ford 105E Engine and developed 85bhp. It was rather strange looking with its gullwing doors and a windscreen made up of four panels. However it was very quick, and between June and September 1960, the prototype took nine first places in nine consecutive events.

Marcos Prototype

Marcos Prototype

The prototype and production cars drew on Frank Costin’s aviation experience and were remarkable in their use of wood laminates for the monocoque body / chassis unit. The chassis was made from marine plywood and spruce, with box sections running from front to rear, and across the car, all joined by the plywood floor.

The glassfibre reinforced plastic (GRP) body of the production cars was made less radical than the prototype, but initially retained the gullwing doors. The chassis used a mix of Standard 10 and Triumph Herald suspension components, with steering via a slightly modified Triumph unit. With its lightweight and good aerodynamics, it gave outstanding performance, even from the relatively small capacity Ford engines used. The car was called the Xylon (the Greek word for wood), and of the eight production cars built, most were used in competition by the likes of Sir Jackie Stewart and Jackie Oliver.

Marcos Xylon

Marcos Xylon

In 1961, brother Dennis and Peter Adams were employed by Marcos and immediately introduced a number of changes to the initial design. Based on the Xylon, and its running gear, the Luton Gullwing had a more streamlined shape, achieved by the use of more fibreglass in its construction whilst still retaining the marine plywood chassis.

Marcos Gullwing

Marcos Gullwing

In 1963, two more new designs were introduced, which consisted of a fastback and a Spyder, still built around the Xylon / Luton underpinnings.

Marcos Fastback

Marcos GT (fastback)

During 1963, and intended merely as a stopgap project, the Adams brothers produced designs for the Marcos 1800. Though still relying upon wood for the chassis this new model was clothed in a totally new fibreglass shell and was fitted with a Volvo P1800 engine, heralding a new look for the Marcos company.

  Marcos Xylon Marocs Luton Gullwing Marcos GT
Production 1960 - 1961:
9 Built (inc Prototype)
1961 - 1963:
Approx 13 Built
Approx 18 Built
Bodystyle Two-seater coupé Two-seater coupé two door fastback and spyder
Engine Various
997cc Ford 105E
997cc Ford 105E
Ford Engines
997cc Ford 105E
Engine position Front Front Front
Driven wheels Rear Rear Rear

39 original Marcos models were produced before the Company released the Marcos 1800

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