MARCOS RACING HISTORY
Marcos has been synonymous with racing since its conception in 1959, and continues to the present day in all forms of motorsport including Historics, Hill Climbs, and GT.
The very first Marcos models were built purely as race cars to compete in the 750 Motor Club events, drivers included Jackie Stewart, Bill Moss and Jackie Oliver.
In 1964, the Marcos 1800 was introduced as a road car, but it soon became very popular with club racers.... even today it is the most sought after Marcos model for racing, being very competitive.
Marcos 1800 raced by Barry Sewell
1965 saw the debut of the Mini Marcos, which has incredible race pedigree. On its first ever outing at the Castle Coombe circuit, driven by Geoff Mabbs, the Mini took first place. The car still holds four Land Speed Records, and was the only British car to complete the 24 race at Le Mans in 1966.
1966 Le Mans, Mini Marcos
Marcos Heritage's Mini Marcos GT
In 1968 the Mantis XP came along, designed by Dennis and Peter Adams, it was built to compete in the Group six 3 Litre GT Racing and the Le Mans 24 hour. The car was entered in the 1000km race at Spa, but sadly had to retire due to water logged electrics. The car never raced again until it was recomissioned by the Morris family in California, where it resides to this day.
In the 1970's with Modsports in its heyday, Marcos became very popular in all classes. Predominantly wooden chassis cars, both 1600 and 1800 engines were very successful.
Silverstone 1972 - Ian Gemmell (1600), David James, (1800) Brian Norris (1600) and Rory MacMath (Healey)
Ex Johnathan Palmer 1971 Modsport's GT car
During the 1980's modsports tailed off, and there was very little for Marcos to compete in. A couple of cars competed in the Kit Car Championships, which were Mantula's.
Mantula, raced by Mark Hales in the Kit Car Championship
Lightweight Mantula Race Car
In 1993 the GT Le Mans was unveiled, derived from the Mantara. Under the `Computacenter' banner, the LM 500 competed in the UK BRDC GT Championship, and returned in 1995 with the LM600. It took pole position first time out, achieved a GT2 class victory in its next race and then outright victory as an encore against all classes. The LM600 went on to dominate and finally win the 1995 BRDC National Sports GT Championship. In June 1995 the team went to France for the famous Le Mans 24 hour race, finishing the grueling event seventh in class quite an achievement for a small manufacturer.
With the Mantis established and selling well in 1998, the Mantis Challenge was launched - a one make racing series that was designed to be an affordable way into GT racing. All the cars were built to the same specification and used a 395 bhp engine.
Colin Simpson's Mantis Challenge Car, Dundee
Topcats Mantis Challenge Car
Marcos is still a leading contender with the 1800 in Historics, and a serious contender in continental GT racing.