Regular versions of some cars in comparable condition tend to be worth roughly the same – but a touch of star quality can lend a ‘halo effect’. And never was that truer than in the case of this superbly restored Marcos 1600 GT which is set to cross the block.
For those who didn’t spot the feeble pun, this particular Marcos was the very car driven by Roger Moore in the final episode of the 1960s TV series The Saint, in which Simon Templar sets out on a car rally but crashes into a tree as a result of mechanical tampering by baddies.
The full story of how the car ended up being chosen for the episode is lost in time, but what is known is that the person who originally ordered it failed to go through with the deal, leaving it to be sold to an engineer from Borehamwood who worked at nearby Elstree Studios where The Saint was made.
BAR 64F is believed to have changed hands not long after its appearance in the episode (named The World Beater, which aired in February 1969), subsequently dropping off the radar for decades before being rediscovered in Surrey by former Marcos Cars workshop manager Rory MacMath.
By then the car’s white paintwork had been replaced with a shabby coat of black and it appeared generally neglected. But MacMath (who established marque specialist Marcos Heritage in 2000 after the collapse of Marcos Cars) acquired it all the same, keeping it until 2020 when a Saint fan agreed to buy it and commission a full restoration to return it to its original appearance.
The car has always retained its original chassis, engine, gearbox, fold-back sunroof and (remarkably) its distinctive registration mark, but during the course of the rebuild MacMath added a few subtle upgrades, including an engine tuned to ‘fast road’ spec, improved brakes and suspension and a throatier, big bore exhaust system.
It’s a taste of things to come from Marcos Heritage, which was recently bought by Page Automotive Group and, while MacMath will continue to run it, the firm will now be under the umbrella of a venture called the Marcos Motor Company. And who knows, maybe there will be a few requests for Saint replicas.
1968 Marcos 1600GT
On sale with Bonhams, Goodwood, June 24