Established 1972

1959: Marcos founded by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin.

1961: Costin leaves Marcos; Dennis Adams takes over as stylist, working with his carpenter brother Peter.

1964: Adams-styled 1800 (or GT) is launched, with Volvo B18 engine, wooden chassis and glassfibre body. First 33 cars have de Dion IRS, soon changed to Ford live axle.

1966: Volvo engine is replaced by Ford 1500GT engine (1600GT from ’67). Alongside GT, new Mini Marcos is introduced, based around FWD Mini mechanicals.

1969: Ford 3.0-litre V6 engine is offered. First 115 cars have wooden chassis, changed to steel chassis in late ’69. US-market cars are fitted with Volvo 164 straight six to satisfy emissions regs, and it supersedes Ford V6 for UK in 1970. Some GTs also built with Triumph 2.5-litre ‘sixes’, and some with 1500cc Ford V4s. Production is moved from Bradford-on-Avon in Wiltshire to nearby Westbury.

1972: Problems at home and abroad cause Marcos to fold.

1982: Marcos restarts production of 3-litre and 1600 in kit form.

1984: New model, the Mantula, is launched with 3.5-litre Rover V8, again supplied in kit form.

1991: Mini Marcos MkV is reintroduced, along with new low-cost Martina kit, based on Cortina running gear.

1993: Marcos starts producing fully built cars again.

1993: Mantara makes its debut, with 3.9-litre Rover V8.

1993: Mantara-based GT Le Mans spearheads Marcos’s move into serious racing: at Le Mans 1995, Marcos finishes seventh in class.

1997: Mantis is launched with 4.6-litre Ford Mustang V8, giving 325bhp and 0-60mph in 4sec.

1999: A ‘less aggressive’ version of the Mantis, the Mantaray, is brought out with 230, 290 or 340bhp versions of the Rover V8.

2000: Massively powerful Mantis GT has supercharged Mustang V8 developing over 500bhp. Only ten examples are made before Marcos Sales Ltd goes into receivership; Marcos Heritage buys company assets.

2002: Marcos Engineering is revived by Jem Marsh to produce V6-powered Marcasite TS250. It’s followed by V8 TS500, then 5.7-litre Chevy V8 TSO. 

2007: Marcos Engineering closes.