Silver Slipper: 1966 Marcos 1500 GT

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One of the lowest cars we’ve ever featured on Barn Finds, this Marcos 1500 GT is a rather unusual British sports car featuring a Ford engine and a fiberglass body. It’s currently in Manchester, Connecticut and is being sold here on eBay. Thanks to Jim S. for this find!

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I think this car is also featured in the current issue of Classic Motorsports, so you may be able to find out more there. It certainly has some unique lines, that’s for sure. One of the really unusual things about these early Marcos cars is that the chassis is actually made of bonded plywood. 386 pieces of plywood, to be exact. I can see why they eventually replaced the plywood structure with a steel one!

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One place where the Marcos really shows it’s age is the bugeyed quad headlights. The body on this one really looks fabulous, and the paint is sweet looking in all the pictures. The seller says it’s been indoors other than when it’s being driven since 1967!

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While the wooden dash is a little rough, as it’s flat I think it could easily be re-finished. I found one source that claimed that the dash on these 1500 GT cars was actually imitation wood anyway, so it might even be easier than you’d think. I like how original this car looks–the owner states that apart from paint the entire car is original. I’m guessing the 43,570 miles are actual.

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Despite the valve cover, this is actually a Ford engine. One of the cost-cutting measures for this 1500 GT model was trading earlier version’s side draft Weber carburetors for a pair of Strombergs. I’m actually surprised to see as much room behind the engine under hood as there is, although you can see both foot wells that extend into the engine compartment. The seller tells us that this engine idles high when it is hot, and I’m sure there are other minor teething issues as there usually are with specialty cars like this. Would you like to bring this one home?

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Comments

  1. MountainMan

    Interesting car. I don’t recall seeing on one of these in person. Pretty cool looking and I can imagine that it draws a crowd wherever it goes.

  2. grenade

    It’s awesome. From a value standpoint, I’d leave it alone. If I found it with no engine, I would stick the biggest Japanese V6 into it that I could fit. Say a Toyota 2GR-FE, they’re light and make about 275 HP, 250 torque. More if you supercharge ’em. Imagine that thing with some high revving exotic power stuffed in?

  3. Rando

    I’ve driven a Marcos on a video game. Didn’t like it… LOL This is a cool car, but only if someone else owns it. to me anyway. If my neighbor had it on jackstands in the driveway instead of that POS small GM pickup, I’d be over every day to help…

  4. gwizzzzz

    Friend had one in 66, parked it at a supermarket soon after delivery from the UK where someone who could not see it because of the height backed over the front end, waited 6 months for body parts, repaired it and put it back on the road, parked it curb side overnight and an early snow covered it, a city plow carved it in half with its wing blade.

  5. John H. in CT

    A beautiful car but I would be scared half crazy to drive it more than 30 MPH with that plywood body. Look specifically at the pic on Ebay with the tag on it and the plywood looks quite marginal. Too bad it wasn’t built with a tubular frame or similar because it is really sharp.

  6. Don Sicura

    These Marcos cars were built with Volvo B-18 engines, I worked at a Volvo dealer back in the mid 60’s where we serviced them, I later bought a 66 in 1973 & yes it also had the B-18 engine, the floor pan was laminated marine plywood with a steel substructure. I drove it once and sold it immediately after, as I could not safely drive the car due to my 6’2″ of height, great looking car but a hazard in every sense of the word. I believe they were still being made into the 80’s

  7. John

    Don’t pass over the small remark that says “carbs are a little out of adjustment, idles at 4K when hot”. But it remains an interesting car.

  8. Van

    Where’s your senses of adventure.
    Shoe horn, LS3, beer, what could go wrong.

  9. John

    Well Van, that might lead to the spillage of beer. That would be tragic . And you have apparently never seen a Marcos. Not only would an LS3 not fit, but there’s not enough room for a FULL case of beer. A mostly useless car. But a neat one, beer capacity notwithstanding. I still ant a Sprite. You can fit several cases in one of those.

  10. Van

    Marcos yes but how about a Bizzarrinii. Italian style over English. I wondered if you could adjust timing while driving. Yes luigi there’s a mouse under the hood, you should hear the tires screaming in fear. A beer run would be very fast, spillage acceptable.

  11. Big Sky

    Classic Motorsports Mag (May 2016) has a great article on these cars. From what I have read they came with Volvo engines as Don has pointed out, The CMS car had a OEM factory 2970 cc Volvo straight 6 (140 bhp). Ford Cortina in this one listed as original? Maybe they threw in what ever they could source – look kinda “kit car” to me. Article puts the value at $30-40K for a nice restored car. For that money you can find a lot of great classics with similar performance, fun factor, stronger market demand, and fit a cooler in the trunk.

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