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Asking price

1997 Marcos Mantis c/w Ford Cobra 4.6 Quad Cam Engine For Sale

  • 1997
  • Dealer
  • United Kingdom


This was originally 'Marcos Sportscars' 1997 outrageous V8 'raspberry fliptone' 327 Bhp Motor Show Car.
I purchased this car in 1998 when we became the sole Scottish service/ sales dealer for this highly regarded Wiltshire based Marque.
Marcos had been producing bespoke low volume quality Sportscars in England since the 50's with a fantastic race track record (Lotus / TVR/ Morgan era).
Their historical range of cars still has an enthusiastic following and importantly spare parts are still available.
Latterly the pre Mantis 'LM model' (Rover V8 engined) was raced successfully in the 'Dunlop Marcos Challenge' & the often televised GT series against the likes of TVR
TV motoring presenter and race driver Vicky Butler-Henderson's brother Charlie was the popular and successful race driver for Marcos
Always heralded as reliable and futuristic the fibre glass bodied Mantis was developed using the expensive but brilliant Ford Cobra small block 4. 6 engine (352 Bhp).
1997 it was £46, 883 for a basic example + orc (these were totally bespoke built)these were quoted in the motoring press;- "How a company that builds just 70 cars a year can... design, engineer and produce a car as good as the Mantis is beyond comprehension ...... delivering 0-60 in 4. 3 secs, 0 -100mph in 9. 6 sec and a top speed of 170 mph!"
However the Marcos facory's secret to reliability was due in part to their using well tried and tested stock parts eg mechanicals and electrics from Volvo, Ford or Rover,
unlike their competitors who at times designed and made their own often with catastrophic inherent faults !
The Marcos factory was a sight to behold as skilled craftsmen worked in very old airy buildings yet turned out some amazing workmanship.
They painted in the equivalent of a rickety home garage yet their paint finish was pretty flawless (in any colour you chose) !
Part built cars were moved around on trolleys between the buildings during assembly and their small sales team headed by Chris Marsh (founder's son & ex 24hr Le Mans driver) was driven by enthusiasm and not numbers.
Marcos relaunched its UK image with the appointment of a dealer network in 1998 and as each dealer had to order at least one car therefore production increased and
the new Mantaray model was launched at the 1999 Earls Court Motor Show - this model never really captured the outrageous lines or drive of the LM or the 97> Mantis.
Nb. only 34 American engined Mantis cars were ever produced before Marcos of Westbury went into receivership in the early 2000's after a deal with a Dutch buyer that quickly proved most unfortunate for the Wiltshire based factory.
There were also 5 off £65, 000 GT supercharged versions (0. 5sec quicker 0 - 60mph & 179mph) of which we sold one, some of the trim modifications used on this model I purchased and fitted the upgrades to our own Mantis eg interior trims, rear boot and under spoiler.
In 2003 our car was stripped by myself and the steel chassis was treated to reduce corrosion, when rebuilt by me, it was upgraded using all new fully adjustable suspension (all new springs and shocks)the interior was completely retrimmed using new cream Scottish leather courtesy of Andrew Muirhead (Glasgow based).

The lower area of the body was painted in deep purple to complement the original factory finish.

The old Rover SD1 rear light clusters were replaced by then modern round Led types (copied by the factory on the final built Marcos T250)

The traditional wooden dashboard was replaced with a more in keeping carbon fibre and stainless steel finish (as in the GT)

All of the suspension rubber joints were replaced with nylon bush race types in order to firm up the handling.
This car benefitted from large floating Alcon race brake discs and alloy callipers on the front.
The rear brakes are Sierra Cosworth, which were replaced with new drilled and grooved versions ( green brake pads also fitted)
It has a quick release race type steering wheel which can be removed to ease access (if racing )or it is a great security deterrent!
The seats do not adjust but the driver's pedals move electrically (Marcos took this idea from the world of aviation).
Air con and electric windows were standard fit on these cars.
The heater & Air conditioning work great and this car also features a heated windscreen.
I had the idea to fit a Grill mesh behind each of the air intakes - which was later copied on the factory built GT series.
The notoriously stiff cable clutch system was upgraded to a much lighter to operate hydraulic version (the Marcos option conversion parts supplied as a kit was £1500 +)
A full dual stainless steel exhaust system was fitted (no cat) which allows this mighty V8 to roar !
A remote operating ICELED spectacular car show light system has now been fitted with all of the interior lighting & under car tubes featuring sequencing coloured leds for show use only.

A talking Thatcham alarm system was added to better protect this unique vehicle at the various car shows we covered - it requests people to stand back if they get too close.

We sold the car ten years ago to an eccentric but fastidiously enthusiastic chap who rarely drove it but continued to upgrade the car specification regardless of expense eg 4 x New custom made 18" multi spoke wheels c/ w new 235. 40 x 18" Good Year Eagle tyres were fitted less than 100mls ago (the factory supplied 18" alloys were known to fail spectacularly on the 4. 6 Mantis).

The car features a huge custom fit multi speaker Hertz Sound system driven by a Pioneer AVH 7500BT Head unit c/ w Motorised 7" Screen c/ w Bluetooth and Moving Map GPS AVIC-U250 option
Also fitted: a front 'Blackvue 490 HD camera/ recorder'
A combination lockable mini storage box is sited (in front of driver's seat)

Our customer religiously had the car collected annually by trailer in order that we could service & MOT it (regardless of the negligible mileage he covered yearly).
It therefore unusually has a full & detailed Marcos Dealer history

Only 18, 412 mls when serviced & MOT'd until August 2023

Whilst he enjoyed ownership of this car (often referred to as " his baby") he rarely used it, so decided to allow someone else to benefit from enjoying ownership !
Having known the car and cared for it so long I purchased it back and brought it back up to the condition it is now in eg interior completely refurbished etc.

This car is a 'one off' and is in exceptional condition in every respect - It is outrageous, loud, radical, reliable and turns heads everywhere it goes !

If you dare to be different and want the best available
£££ It is now open to serious offers (over £70k) £££

** all photographs are a current representation of the car and are the sole intellectual property of Ronnie Cowan Specialist Cars **

Ronnie Cowan Specialist Cars

Ronnie Cowan Specialist Cars

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