May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

Marcos LogoBrief History About Marcos

Marcos was founded in 1959 in Wales UK by Jem Marsh and Frank Costin as Marcos Engineering. The Marcos name is made up of the founders names: MARsh and COStin.

Marcos started building race cars, which used a chassis made from wood, a method taken from its use on Mosquito bombers. This method was used up until 1969, when it was replaced by steel. They also had gullwing doors and from 1961, a few road going versions were built.

In 1965 the Mini Marcos is introduced and was available as an affordable kit car, using many Mini parts.

In 1970, Marcos with spiralling costs and problems selling/exporting cars to the USA struggled financially and the company was sold to the Rob Walker Group in 1971 establishing Marcos Ltd, who apparently sold off much of the tooling and old stock to establish a smaller factory and may have built some Mini Marcos kits?, although there is very little information on this.

In 1976 Jem Marsh bought back Marcos, with cars being made available in kit form from 1981 with the Marcos V6 Coupe also being introduced. In 1984 the Rover V8 was added as a power plant in the Mantula. In 1991 the Mini Marcos was re-introduced and then in 1992 Marcos introduced the Mantara as a full production car (a return to fully built cars).

In 1994 they return to racing building the successful LM 500, followed by the LM 600 and in 1998 the one make Mantis Challenge. The race cars and race business is then sold to Eurotech in 2000.

In 2001 nothing happened with Marcos and it was temporarily liquidated. In 2002 the make was revived by Canadian entrepreneur Tony Stelliga and Jem Marsh, forming Marcos Engineering. They then introduced the 2002 TS250, then the 2003 TS500 and the 2004/2005 TSO (The TSO was built at Prodrive’s Kenilworth facilities).

Unfortunately in 2007 once again, due to high costs and lake of investment, Marcos closed its doors.

In 2010 Tony Brown bought the rights to the Marcos name and built a prototype car called the Marcos Spirit 220 in 2013, which is yet to see production.

Mini Marcos
Mini Marcos – various years

Marcos Mantula
Mantula 1984-1993

Marcos Mantara
Mantara 1993-2001

Marcos Mantis
Mantis 1996-2001

Marcos TSO GT2
TSO GT2 2005-2006