Rare Brit: 1974 Mini Marcos

The Mini Marcos has had an “on-again, off-again” production life which dates right back to 1965. It is a car that experienced a reasonable level of motorsport success across the globe and is a vehicle that will attract plenty of attention because it is both unusual and quite rare. This particular example has been the subject of a meticulous restoration, and the owner has decided that it is time for someone else to experience Mini Marcos ownership. The Marcos is located in San Antonio, Texas, and has been listed for sale here on Craigslist. The owner has set an asking price of $28,000 for the quirky little British classic. I have to say thank you to Barn Finder Pat L for referring the Marcos through to us.

The Mini Marcos is a really interesting car, and its heritage includes some limited success in the 24-Hours of Le Mans. A Mini Marcos was the only British car to finish in the 1966 event, albeit in 15th place. The marque returned to the following year in an attempt to build on this success, but sadly, was forced to retire after a mere 13 laps. The model also saw racing exposure in the UK, Australia, along with a number of other countries, and scored its fair share of race and class wins along the way. This particular car is a Mk IV version, produced in 1974. This marked the first year that the Mini Marcos was built by a company called D & H Fibreglass Techniques Limited after Marcos ceased production in 1970. The Mk IV featured a few changes when compared to its predecessors, with a slight increase in both length and height, along with wind-down side windows and a rear hatch as standard. The body is constructed of fiberglass, so rust is certainly not an issue. Below that aerodynamic body is a standard Mini sub-frame and given the fact that the car has recently been restored, this should be in good condition. The vast majority of examples of the Mini Marcos were sold in kit form, with owners having to supply all of the mechanical components, electricals, and numerous other minor parts themselves. However, a few were produced as complete cars, and it appears that this is one of those. The paint has a great shine to it, and the Minilite-style wheels are well within character for the car. The external trim and chrome are all in good order, and it is hard to find much to fault with the vehicle. While it might possess an exotic appearance, panels, trim, and glass are surprisingly easy to source. A company called Marcos Heritage Spares Ltd has taken over the production, and parts are readily available from the smallest screw through to complete bodies.

Under that aerodynamic skin, the Marcos is essentially all Austin Mini. In this case, what we find is a warmed 1,275cc 4-cylinder engine, a 4-speed manual transmission, and front disc brakes. The engine was built by a company called Seven Enterprises and should produce enough horsepower to make the Marcos a lively little performer. Of course, when a car tips the scales at a mere 1,050lbs, it doesn’t take a lot of power to make it really get up and moving. The restoration of this car has been comprehensive, and no aspect of the vehicle has escaped attention. Included with the Marcos is an extensive collection of documentation. This includes many photos taken during the restoration process, along with receipts and information on the history of the Mini Marcos.

The interior of the Marcos looks just as clean and tidy as you would expect in a car that has been freshly restored. Some of the trim and the carpet have some fit and finish issues, but these are pretty minor, and hardly surprising in what is essentially a kit car. However, it still looks nice, and the driver certainly can’t say that he doesn’t have enough gauges and dials to monitor the health and wellbeing of the little car. The Marcos is fitted with a roll-cage, and this looks to be a solid piece of equipment that should provide plenty of protection if the car ever finds itself “shiny side down.” The low back bucket seats are in good condition, but if the next owner wants to really relive some of the marque’s motorsport heritage, a set of vintage-style racing bucket seats are included in the sale.

This is not the first Mini Marcos that we have seen here at Barn Finds, but we still don’t see them that often. It is the most expensive example that we’ve seen, but given the fact that only around 1,300 examples were built, it does make it a bit of a rarity. It also makes pinning down an accurate potential value pretty difficult. Basically, it is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, and while it might not be cheap, I wouldn’t be surprised if an enthusiast out there is willing to hand over the cash to park this one in their garage.

Have something to sell? List it here on Barn Finds!

Like This? Get Our Daily Email

Comments

  1. JimmyJ

    First thing I thought of when I saw this was that little squeaky frog on the internet
    Google ‘squeaky frog’ you’ll see what I mean.

    3
  2. John Scott Marquis

    Strange ride height and wheel position in the arches.

    2
  3. Tony Primo

    A bit too much room between the body and the tires. Looks like a 4X4 version!

    2
    • malsal

      Easily fixed it has fully adjustable suspension.

  4. MiniGuyDotCom Member

    A lot more photos and some driving videos of this Marcos are available on the MiniGuy website:

    https://www.miniguy.com/vehicles/blue1974marcos/

    1
  5. Mlewis56

    There are driving videos on the MiniGuy website too. It sounds pretty healthy.

  6. sir mike

    Aero Mini…search You tube Nick Swift Goodwood 2019 He’s racing one of these.

  7. Robert Thomas

    So cool. Frank Costin designed the body for this and many early Lotus cars. Actually pretty roomy inside. Sticks to the road like paint.

    2
  8. Michael

    There was a Mini Marcos at the Mini Meet in Colorado last year, but that one was red.

  9. Peter Pentz

    So clever, and so ugly !
    In the mid 80s I purchased the 1967 Gem Marsh entered Le Mans Mini Marcos that ran unsuccessfully after suffering oil pump failure 6 hours into the race. It went on to run in the Nov 67 South African Kyalami 9 hour, where it’s claim to fame was being the first car into the first corner ! The pint sized race car was soon overcome by the bigger engine cars …..
    The car was a somewhat modified Mk III Mini Marcos, with a lightweight body, Downton race engine and transmission, oversize fuel tank and filler, flared arches, and modified front aerodynamics.
    Famously it failed the 40″ windscreen hight limit and the Marcos team scrambled overnight, cut the body around the screen, tilting the screen forward and riveting in spacer plates, and plastered it with bondo, finishing it off with painting the screen surround in a dark green (the original body color was a light green.
    After an unsuccessful attempt at restoring the car I sold it on to my close friend Bruce Glasby in Zimbabwe. Bruce did a wonderful restoration, and I believe he still owns it.
    https://www.minimarcos.org.uk/minimarcos/glasby/index.html

    3
  10. Martin Horrocks

    I don´t thiink the Mini Marcos is a Costin design. Frank Costin had left Marcos by the time Mini Marcos was introduced. The Mini Marcos concept “borrows heavily” from the earlier Mini Jem, so maybe it´s not so much designed as copied!

    They go like crazy, best suited to track work these days as they are very tiny and vulnerable to monster trucks. True, this one does seem to ride high but the roof is probably still less than 45″ from the ground.

  11. bog

    I love cars in general , and Minis are up the list, as it were. I also agree with those that have commented about the (to my eye and theirs) “odd ride height and front wheel placement”. Adjustable suspension or not, looks “weird” & somewhat 4WDish, with front tires too close (my opinion) to the front of the wheel well. Have I ever seen one during the time I was stationed in Germany, trips to England, or at various racetracks or car shows ?? Not that I recall, but I saw so many small and different cars…often very briefly while driving in the opposite direction. LOL . I’d also like a better look at the undercarriage, as the peeling paint & rust on the frame in that single shot does little to say “restoration” !

  12. chad Member

    roll bar not tied to frame?
    Nice lill car, Y 28K tho?
    No 6 will fit (V or straight)?

  13. mplayle

    Current owner here. I was just pointed to this site to see the posting here, so I will respond to the existing comments and questions. I do not follow this site, so will not likely be closely watching for more questions.

    Regarding the restoration: It was done by a previous owner. A check of the records that came with the car indicates it took place between 2006 and 2008. There is no peeling paint on the car or subframes (that was dirt from actually driving the car), there is minor surface rust on the drive shafts.

    A previous owner had the custom roll cage made. It is tied into both the front subframe and rear subframe. It also has a “ladder frame” section on the floor that is fully welded to the hoops, thus making a full cage assembly.

    No, a 6 cylinder engine will not fit. With careful engineering and work, a Honda transverse 4 cylinder may be adapted in the manner done in regular classic Minis.

    The asking price has been determined by what I have invested in the car: purchase, delivery, maintenance, and upgrades (custom interior). WheN I purchased the car, the interior was bare – the racing buckets and plain, smooth flat rubber mat for floor covering and a sagging headliner (foam backed cloth). I stripped the interior, custom fit new carpeting, recovered all side panels (including the door panels), installed new felt headliner and new seats with regular seat belts.

  14. mplayle

    Also, as to ride height: Yes, the suspension is fully adjustable. I raised the height considerably to better clear speed bumps at some of the places I regularly go. The new owner can set it to whatever he or she pleases.

    1
  15. MiniGuy Member

    Update: The asking price on the Marcos has been reduced. (More details on the MiniGuy website.)

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks. Don't post your car for sale in the comments. Click here to get it featured on the homepage instead.

*

Notify me of new comments via email. Or subscribe without commenting.