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Boutique British Bruiser with a Sweetheart of a Swedish Heart: 1970 Marcos 3 Litre GT

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Images are from the brochure collection of Hemmings Motor News

Despite an on-again, off-again production run that spanned decades, the Marcos GT remained truly unique in the sports car world. Here was a car that combined an ultra-low (43 1/4 inches!), unbelievably swoopy fiberglass body with -at least initially- a primarily plywood frame. Marcos Cars Ltd. of Westbury, Wiltshire, had been founded by Frank Costin and Jeremy “Jem” Marsh, and in the late 1960s, it was the latter’s firm, Jeremy Marsh Incorporated, that would distribute Marcos cars in America.

Volvo’s durable B18 had powered the original Marcos GT, including the 1965 1800 GT featured in Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car. This world record-setting engine would soon be supplanted by the British Ford 1500 and 1600 four-cylinder engines.

By 1969, the GT had switched to steel frame construction and became available in six-cylinder, “3 Litre” form. Home market models used Ford’s “Essex” V-6, while those examples intended for American buyers were fitted with Volvo’s B30 straight-six, typically at home under the lengthened hood of its flagship 164, because this engine was already certified with U.S.-compliant pollution control equipment.

As this single-page flyer explains, that 145 hp, twin Stromberg-carbureted Volvo engine could be mated to a four-speed manual or Borg Warner T35 automatic, and we’d assume even the auto version didn’t blunt the 2,000-pound car’s power to weight ratio too badly; the manual could reach 60 in 7.2 seconds, and top out at 125 MPH.



No matter which engine is under that long, low bonnet, a Marcos is a car that won’t soon be forgotten. Have you ever seen one?

Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.