Marcos

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Marcos — The story of a Great British sports car, by David Barber. Cedar Publishing Limited, Newnham-on-Severn, Glos, £19.95.

‘Overtaking the hard way’ was one of Rodeo Rod’s early accomplishments. It involved driving a 750 Special right over the top of a Ford V8 Pilot within the confines of an arena, and if any of the amused fairground spectators happened to go to Silverstone the next weekend, they might have seen the same 750 competing in a sports car race.

That driver was Jem Marsh, alias Rodeo Rod, dedicating his life to the pursuit of business and pleasure combined! Some of the most dramatic pictures in Jem Marsh’s book are not from the race tracks at all, but from his exploits in the Hollywood Motor Maniacs rodeo.

Jem Marsh’s biography, which might have been subtitled “car manufacturing the hard way” was written by David Barber, a businessman, faithful Marcos customer, friend, and a pacey writer too. It’s an easy read, full of anecdotes and lively stories, and difficult to put down before you get to the 156th and final page. Marsh has had a rollercoaster life, and thankfully the Marcos company has never been more secure than when he reached his 65th birthday in April. After serving nine years in the Royal Navy he joined the stunt circus and built his first 750, in which he won the 750 MC’s Goodacre Trophy. In 1959 he and Frank Costin built their first Marcos (a combination of Marsh and Costin). The wood-hulled gullwing car may not have been admired for its beauty, but it was light and it handled well enough to launch the careers of Jackie Stewart, Derek Bell, Jack Oliver and Jonathan Palmer, to name but four.

A fertile period in the late 1960s included the launch of the Mini-Marcos, an ill-fated trip to Le Mans with the Volvo powered 1800, the construction of a utility saloon on behalf of Standard-Triumph, intended for production in Israel, the fearsome Repco F1-powered XP, and the Mantis.

The ‘wooden wonder’ chassis was finally phased out in 1969 in favour of the square steel tube frame on which today’s models are based, and much credit is given to brothers Dennis and Peter Adams, freelance stylists who drew the timeless 1800 and influenced its successors.

There were bad times, a recession leading to the collapse of Marcos in 1971 and its acquisition by Formula 1 entrant Rob Walker. Five years later Marsh and Marcos were back in business at Westbury, its present base in Wiltshire, and Jem was wily enough to avoid all the pitfalls of the last recession… and to see the fraudsters coming! This is not only a history of Marcos, essential reading for all who’ve ever owned one, but also a highly personalised account which has the reader chuckling at asides on every page. Industry watchers will appreciate a commentary on the fickle fortunes of the specialised car builders in recent times. It is available in the shops, or from Marcos Cars Limited (add £3 p+p). M L C

Related articles

Related products