I got my first car when I was 17 - a mini-van. Small, sensible and economical. With the help of Dave Vizard's guidance I tuned it, and thrashed it. However I decided that the car was basically unremarkable and I wanted something more interesting. Next car was a 3 litre Austin Westminster, and then a 5 litre V8 Australian Ford Fairmont, and a P6 3.5 litre Rover V8. Now we are getting somewhereSo what is the ideal car for someone who want something different ?
Modest Price - if I had the money I would get a bigger house, better garage, and not the Pagani Zonda
Good Looks - I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Good Sounds - The sound of a large V8 is probably my favourite, but V6 and straight 5 have their place
Tuning and Parts availability - Life gets tricky if an essential part is no longer available
Fit for Purpose - i.e. NOT general purpose, if you want a sports car and to tow a caravan, then get two cars.
Manual Gearbox - I had 3 autos, but somehow felt more engaged with the driving process with a manual change
And the result ? Well eventually it got me the following :
A sports car - the V8 Marcos
A general beast of burden and tow car, a Land Rover 110 V8
A GT car with comfy seating for 4, a supercharged V8 Monaro (wasn't looking for a supercharged one, but hey !!)
And an economical runabout, a Calibra V6
And a very crowded drive, now I am looking for a house with more garage space.
So here is the Marcos at the moment of birth, brand new and unregistered in December 1995 at the Marcos works. It was a long pregnancy, having been sold as a component car in 1990, before the owner gave it back to the works to build for him in 1995. Shortly after that it was bought by a Bennetton F1 mechanic, who used it every day for about 9 years before it came to me via Redline Sports Cars. During that period Marcos Heritage did a chassis rust repair and galvanising, the engine was upped to 4.5 litres, and the rear IRS was converted to fully rose-jointed race spec.
And here it is in 2009 - still much the same, but with a number of changes under the bonnet - like a 4.5 litre John Eales engine. And I think I have made a better job of the ride height than Marcos did - see rear wheel arches to wheel gap.
Here's its monster companion -about twice the weight and over twice the BHP (something like 550bhp from the supercharged LS2 Chevy V8).
So - what next ....well maybe the Calibra will be swapped for a supercharged Mini, and the Land Rover is very long in the tooth. We shall see. The Marcos stays !