Unlikely LeMans Racer: 1965 Mini Marcos

Tiny Terror

The 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans was important for the Mini Marcos, being as it was the only British car to complete the race! The Mini Marcos was a Fiberglass body kit car that was based off the, ever so competent, Austin Mini running gear. In the seller’s listing they discuss the difficulty of finding the Marcos a new owner and how so few people know what the car is and how even fewer have the desire or assets to afford it. This Mini Marcos can be found here on craigslist in Ramona, California with a price tag of $10,000.

1966 Le Mans

This particular Mini Marcos has experienced some changes through its life, but the current owner has worked hard to restore the car to its more original former glory. The seller explains that the previous owner had ditched the traditional “A” series lump and had retrofitted a mid-ship Sport bike engine… in the back of the car! The CBR engine has been removed and a great deal of focus has been putting the car back to its original configuration.

1965 Mini Marcos

The Marcos’ body appears to be in great condition, displaying a clean and shiny appearance. The reflection of light on the body also does not present any waviness in the body panels. From viewing the photos you can also see that the rear suspension and components appear to be correct.  Although more photos of the chassis, body, and interior would be welcomed.

New Head

The seller shows and explains that this Marcos’ new “A” series engine and transmission have top quality bits and pieces. The 1380cc displacement with forged rods, an aluminum head, and weber carb, show that the new engine will propel the Marcos with ease. Depending on camshaft choice and state of tune, this engine could produce numbers in the 110 bhp range. More than enough to have a blast in the lighter weight version of a Mini. The fiberglass body with the mini underpinnings make for a fun and very competent car.

Sellers Garage

This Marcos is a unique opportunity that will not doesn’t come up very often. The chassis looks spot on and the quality of engine parts included elude to top notch care from the current owner. In the photos, you can see the nose of a TVR in the background, proving that the seller is a diehard British car guy. Like the owner says, with some time and Austin experience you could complete this Marcos in your own garage. Are you one of the “115 people” who could buy and finish this excellent example of British racing kit car history?

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Comments

  1. Dairymen

    Nissan used this car to rear-end it hard between 2 semi’s and the result was the Nissan juke!

    • Murray

      You mean Nissan Puke surely…..

  2. Bobsmyuncle

    Cool car, great add.

  3. Dolphin Member

    What are the odds? Two incredibly rare RHD British cars on BF within 24 hrs, and both on CL, where mostly local No Americans will be the only ones to see them—-providing they browse CL, since it’s not too likely that someone will be searching local CL sites specifically for an Austin Gypsy or a ’60s Mini Marcos. Then, only a tiny number of viewers will actually be interested in buying an unusual RHD Brit car like these.

    Like the Gypsy, this will probably sell far better in the UK since it’s an even more niche vehicle than the Gypsy. Value? Who knows. You would need to be conversant in Mini-speak and Mini hot rodding to know whether all the go-fast stuff in this ad would go together and run well.

    Is there a buyer for this ultra-niche vehicle in the US? It’s been on CL even longer than the Gypsy with no sale. Put the engine together, put it in the car, get it running, and then list it over there. It’s RHD and quirky. There will probably be somebody who will buy it.

  4. Alan Brase

    The seller comments about clutch size on motorcycles vs. automobiles is well known by engineers.
    Myself, I’m skeptical that a 140bhp Offset bored BMC “A” motor might also have overshot the mark of practical. A street motor is somewhat different beast from track motor, different from an autocross motor.
    Having put together my last A motor a full 50 years ago this year, I might be just beyond the ” Supreme 15″.
    In fact, I might be in the “Semi-senile 80th percentile” to complete this “Ultimate 60’s British cockeyed projectile.”
    You’d have the only one on the block, tho!
    Al

  5. David Skelley

    Thought this car looked familiar. I snapped this photo during Mini Meet West last month. Crazy ride!

  6. CanAm

    We’ve got two in town. One is regularly used for motorsport events and very competitive against much larger horsepower cars – in the right hands.

  7. jeff myers

    Hmmm…how many RHD Mini-Marcos are there in USA?
    I owned one over 30 years ago.
    Bought it from buddy who imported it a few years prior.
    Kept it at buddie’s house for a few years.
    Never brought it home due to (ex) wiff issue(s).
    Sold it to a hipster type in Portland OR, & never heard of it again.
    It was white at the time.
    Seats pictured in the ad look much like the ones in it at the time.
    Huntmaster brand if I recall correctly.

  8. Alan Brase

    It’s been my experience driving several different RHD vehicles in the US that it is NO BIG PROBLEM. Sometimes I’d find myself hugging the center a little. And your LEFT rear is your blind spot now. I always wanted find a life sized Scooby Doo or some such inflatable and strap it into the left seat. Gotta get a fake steering wheel too.
    Even without Scooby many folks were freaked out!
    Al

  9. Bill

    Mini Marcos is a very cool car, and if you are attentive, RHD is not an issue. a little hard to pass on a single lane road (with a full size car or SUV), but how often do we do that these days? and in a Mini it’s not even that hard. This is a great buy, though I’m not sure that’s the best daily driver engine. when you pass 110-125 bhp you are pushing it a LOT for reliability and practicality with an A Series.

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