4,014 Original Miles: 1964 Apollo 5000GT

This gorgeous 1964 Apollo 5000GT is a rarely seen sports car that is said to have just over 4,000 original miles. It is a limited production model that utilized the familiar formula of a stunning Italian sportscar-inspired body with the reliable power of an American V8; in this case, sourced from a Buick. The Apollo 5000GT didn’t necessarily become a household name like the DeTomaso Pantera, but there’s no denying that collectors pay attention when one of these rarely seen American-made sports cars shows up for sale. Find it  here on the Fantasy Junction website with an asking price of $185,000.

If any of you are fans of the iconic Disney series Herbie the Love Bug, you will no doubt recognize that the Apollo 5000GT was the same car as the “celebrated Thorndyke Special” that the nemesis of the main character drove in the final showdown with Herbie. Truth be told, as much as I loved that movie, the Apollo GT was one of my favorite aspects of the film as a little kid to my present-day adult self. The car was just stunning and made even more so with its fly yellow paint job and black racing stripes. I always believed that at that point in filmmaking, they weren’t piping sounds in, so I presume the V8 noise was real, and it was intoxicating. The seller’s car is obviously not a tired race car and looks terrific in British Racing Green paint.

You’d be forgiven for mistaking the interior as that of a Ferrari from the same era, as it captures the essence of an Italian cockpit perfectly. Simple, yet luxurious, and clearly driver-focused. The black leather seats are in excellent condition, as is the wood-rimmer steering wheel. Despite being somewhat of a one-off car, the details seemed very well executed with high-grade materials and an emphasis placed on giving the interior a mass-production car a feeling of completeness that is sometimes lacking in limited production cars like these. This particular car is said to be all original inside and was previously owned by one of the founders of Apollo, Milt Brown.

This Apollo GT is made rarer still for being a 5000 model as opposed to the entry-level trim of the 3500GT. This simply means the engine displacement grew accordingly when found in 5000GT guise, but it was built later in the production cycle when the company was beginning to come to grips with the fact that it would not be alive for much longer. The costs of producing such a car were too high, and the business was shuttered after just 76 cars were sold. The asking price is strong, but these machines featured hand-formed bodies and numerous other details that made the Apollo GT an exceedingly exclusive sports car that is a compelling alternative to other V8 specials of the same era.

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Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Had a customer with one of these in the ’80s. It really is a really slick car and the build quality is first rate. Doesn’t hurt that it’s high on the good looking list.

    Like 13
  2. Gary

    I recall these having a small Buick V8 (215cid?), but what engine is this?

    Like 4
    • Blyndgesser

      The iron block Buick 300

      Like 4
    • KEVIN L HARPER

      It is the Buick later rover punched out to 5000cc

  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Gary… It looks like a nail head Buick. Don’t recall another engine with the vertical valve covers.

    Like 5
    • Rick

      No, that engine’s not a nailhead. If it was, the distributor would be at the rear of the engine, back by the firewall.

  4. Chris Webster

    Love it. American engineering, Italian looks. Above my paygrade though.

    Like 8
  5. MAthieuB

    Amazing car!

    Like 4
  6. Slomoogee

    I remember these when they 1st came out, while I was in high school. I’d occasionally search the classifieds after they were fully depreciated. I looked at one back then for 10,000. I love the way the rear rounds out the looks of the design. Loved how they looked then and even more now. Couldn’t pull the trigger then, and now I’ve thrown that gun away.

    Like 8
  7. mainlymuscle

    Yea , basically Ferrari crosses beautifully with E type , and these are stunners when you are fortunate enough to see one live.Throw in the simple ,robust mechanicals and you have a winner,but not a great performer ,for the bucks they go for now.

    Like 4
  8. Howie Mueler

    Very nice, and low miles, in CA.

    Like 2
  9. Tom in Port Washington

    MGB GT quarter windows?🤔

    • Blyndgesser

      MGB GT didn’t exist till Apollo was defunct.

      Like 2
  10. Motorcityman Member

    Nice…..the only Apollo I remember is the Buick one that looks like a Nova.

    Like 1
    • Fogline

      HA!
      My girlfriend had one of those in high school.

  11. SebastianX1/9

    I think these Apollos, the Intermeccanica, and the Bizzarrinni were the prettiest Italo-American hybrids.

  12. Kenn

    It’s desire for an automobile like this that keeps me working at age 85. Perhaps an XK120 – my first sports car – would satisfy my lust also!.

    Like 2
  13. Wayne

    Just a beautiful, out of my price range car!

    Like 3
  14. S_W

    It was my understanding that this was at least initially built by Intermeccanica, the company that went on to produce Porsche 356 replicas along with the micro electric “Solo”. The company still exists in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. I have been to their showroom.

    Like 2
  15. OlfCarGuy

    Which company still exists in the Vancouver area? Apollo, or Intermeccanica? Interesting, if true, and I hope it is. Beautiful car, or bella!, as the Italians would say.

    Like 1
  16. Robert Hagedorn

    The driver’s seat looks like it has a little bit too much sag in it for only 4000 miles, unless the driver weighed an impressive amount.

    Like 1
  17. chrlsful

    Justa bout perfect (french the hdlghts to match the tail)?

    Initially manufactured from 1962 to 1964 by International Motor Cars in Oakland, 215 and 300 Buick motors, it weighted 2,271 lbs, to answ above Qs
    (too detailed for some here) see: ……………………..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_(1962_automobile)
    Thnx Jeff, beautiful car in/out/under hood~

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