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Homepage. This page: Action shot of an early-sixties' Marcos in action at Prescott.

Marcos Fastback GT.

The Prescott speed hillclimb venue in Gloucestershire, circa 1968, is the location of this action photograph of a Fastback GT in action. It looks like the "Pardon" hairpin to me, an excellent point at which to photograph cars being driven with gusto up this winding course. Mike Butcher is the Marcos' pilot, a driver already featured in one of Nigel's other photographs, at the wheel of a Turner. Maybe someone with programmes for meetings in that era can confirm the date of this photograph, based on the car's entry number 31?
(Please click the thumbnail to view the full-size image.)
Fastback GT racing car
The Fastback GT followed on from the Gullwing, a two-seat sportscar. The Gullwing's replacement was originally conceived as a roadster, or "Spyder", but demand from competition drivers - who made up perhaps the majority of the firm's customers in the 1960s - dictated that a fixed roof version was also necessary. Hence the "bread van" shape that can be seen above. Eighteen Fastbacks were produced in 1963. Sleek and streamlined yes, but a very compromised design - with such tiny doors it made hopping in and out of the Fastback GT no easy feat - I'm sure that race marshalls at events where these cars competed, prayed that they'd not have to extricate the driver in a hurry, following an on-track incident of some kind.
Propelling the standard GT was a Ford Anglia 105E four-cylinder engine. List price for the Fastback in 1963 was 775 GBP.
While the car was successful in competition, it could never have sold in any great numbers to non-competing motorists, so a return to the drawing board led to the "Adams" GT entering production. Although still featuring a wooden chassis, the body design was a lot more practical and even more eye-catching than the Fastback. The Marcos shape that would continue, via several updates, in production for many years had arrived. Photographs of a track-prepared Adams GT may be found here.
Shortly after publishing the above photograph, Nigel contacted me with news that he'd found a front-end shot of the same car. Happily its registration is clearly visible - 189 BER, perhaps this will help shed light on the car's history, and whether it survives or not? Nigel's handwritten note on the rear of the photo reads as follows:
"Mike Butcher driving his Marcos at Prescott, coming into the Short-cut. 1600 GT Ford with fuel injection and very hot."
Front view of Mike Butcher's Marcos
At the time Nigel was Mike's mechanic on the car. While there is no record coming back for 189 BER on a search of DVLA's system, the car may well survive somewhere either un-registered, or registered overseas. Does anyone know more of this car's history?

More thoughts on the history of this car.

Six months after last updating this page, Maarten Krikken in Belgium (a GT owner himself) contacted me with his thoughts about the background to the Marcos shown in Nigel's photos:
"This car 189BER I believe started as a Gullwing chassis (chassis number 2003) which Peter Adams got out of the liquidation of Marcos in 1962, he built the car as a Spyder for his own personal use, leaving away the gullwing roof and doors. When the company re-started soon after that, they used the Spyder idea to launch in 1963. Given the club racers wanted closed cars, they were eventually converted to the fastbacks. Also the Peter Adams car underwent the same plastic surgery and it was converted to a race car. It was eventually bought by Terry Sanger who was a development engineer with Marcos and indeed ran a 1600 engine in the car. I believe it was a Martin engine. It was raced quite a bit on mainland europe, among others at the Nurburgring. I went to see Terry Sanger about 10 years ago together with Peter Adams when Terry spoke for some audience. He is a great story teller!
"What is particularly interesting is two things. When it was raced in 64 or 65 it had steel or magnesium alloy wheels, not spokes. It is a nice conversion I have to say and probably not too difficult given it is all Triumph components. Also I have not seen the registration number on any pictures of the Terry Sanger car in 1964 or 1965.
"A couple of details on the car match the earlier pictures (wheel extension, window profile, one of the two mirrors) some seem to have been changed. Or, given a registration was easily swapped from one car to another, especially on a wooden chassis car, it might still be a different story?
"As far as I know there is no Fastback that we believe is this particular car. But there is a few cars of which the early history is not known. I hope this is of interest to you and visitors to the website.
Very interesting, thanks for the added information.
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