Marcos Closes Shop

Latest reiteration of famous specialty sports car maker goes down for the count

By Bruce McCulloch

11.22.2007


After the company’s rather recent revival in early 2000, English supercar manufacturer “Marcos Engineering”, has just announced that the company will be closing shop due to “insufficient profits”, “high cost bases” and a British pound which is falling and falling.

Mind you, this is far from the first time that Marcos has endured profit problems, and ultimately, bankruptcy. Originally founded in 1959 in Bedfordshire, England, by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin, the company enjoyed about a decade of success until problems with exporting the vehicles to North America led to dire financial issues which eventually forced the company into closing shop some time in 1971.

However, in 1976, Jem Marsh revived Marcos yet again, and in 1981, launched a kit-car called the “Marcos V6 Coupe”. Yet, that wasn’t without its fair share of faults too. In 2000, the company went bust yet again, but was eventually bought out by young Canadian electronic-tycoon, Tony Stelliga.

Under Stelliga’s regime, the company only boasted a line-up of two vehicles; the convertible TSO R/T, and hardtop TSO GT released early last year. As both were powered by Chevrolet’s Corvette 8-Cylinder, styled by Ex. TVR stylist Damian McTaggart, and co-engineered with racing supplier “Prodrive”, its clear Stelliga had great plans for the company’s future.


Though, even when Stelliga was at the helm, I’d by lying if I said the company hadn’t its faults. When Marcos released the TSO GT in 2006, the company founder promised their vehicles would make great alternatives to TVR’s, but with added durability and reliability thanks to the Chevrolet motors. But despite the hard work from Tony Stelliga and his company, Marcos cars hadn’t gained any real improvements overall, although the engines were indeed burst-proof. But that was the best part of the cars; in fact the car themselves were often plagued with poor fit and finish, choppy reliability and a driving experience on the left side of death’s sickle; choppy, unpredictable, dangerous and thus scary to take to the limit.

Yet despite all of this, I can’t shade my disappointment regarding this news. Faults and all, I loved Marcos automobiles. They had such an abundance of interesting character to them. Sports car enthusiasts worldwide will miss ‘em.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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4 Comments

  1. Marcos had trouble in the US market in 1970 because they didn’t have the engineering resources to meet the impending saftey and bumper requirements. Marcos was a very small outfit then that did just about everything themselves.

  2. Marcos cars were fun to look at, but they’ve always been a bit dodgy on quality. I, for one, will not miss them so much.

  3. A fellow who works at the place that repairs my old Jensen has a 2005 Marcos that he bought cheaply as second-hand, and he says it is always going bad on him. Very fast when it’s working right, but it rarely is, and both door seals leak as well.

  4. Marcos has never had the quality that many exotic car makers now boast. Most of the exotic makers now use bullet-proof mechanicals, platforms and electric systems from some established performance make, e.g. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and add their own sheetmetal, interiors and/or performance tweaks.

    And that seems to be a successful formula. Marcos just never got that down.

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