Welcome to the first of a short series of Marcos Monday blogs, featuring the marque that was founded by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin in North Wales in 1959 to manufacture a series of “Ugly Duckling” Xylon one litre / 61 cui GT sports racing cars that featured chassis built from laminated 3mm marine ply, gull wing doors and a four pane windscreen, aimed at 750 Motor Club competitors.
Nine Xylons were produced before a refined model that retained the gullwing doors was introduced in 1960 of which a further 39 powered by a variety of motors up to 1.5 litres / 91.5 cui were produced up until 1963 when Marcos moved to a premises at Bradford Upon Avon in Wiltshire.
When brothers Dennis and Peter Adams began to work on a successor to the Gullwing GT they conceived an open roadster, however success on the track with earlier models, future Grand Prix and Le Mans stars Jackie Stewart won his first race with a Xylon and Jackie Oliver raced a Gullwing GT, meant a continued demand for a closed car and so the original design was compromised with the fastback hastily added as an afterthought.
The fast back was launched at the 1963 London Racing Car Show as the “The Most Exciting Grand Touring Car In The World” for a basic price of £775 “including disc brakes.”
Only 18 Fastbacks were produced and future Le Mans legend Derek Bell raced one scoring at least one class win with it at Brands Hatch in September 1965.
David Chaney’s example seen above at Cadwell Park in 1989 was originally built in 1963 and is listed in the 1989 programme as being powered by a 1650cc / 100 cui motor that is probably derived from a 4 cylinder Ford.
Unable to keep up with the initial demand Peter Adams own roadster was converted to the fastback configuration as were a couple more otherwise complete roadsters.
Thanks for joining me on this “Exciting Grand Touring Car” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of an aerodynamic Citroën. Don’t forget to come back now !