The Marcos Mantis

Aah, yes – My Marcos Mantis. Referred to variously as ‘the Batmobile’ (by most people), ‘the Snatzomobile’ (by me), ‘How ?@#$ing much?’ (by parents/bank manager) or ‘Well if you can afford that you can afford a ring…’ (my girlfriend).

For the petrol heads amongst us you can see the full technical spec here. The rest of us need only know that it’s big, it’s green & it’s gorgeous!!! Oh, and you can hear it coming. Apparently…

History

The car was purchased mid 2000 from my local(?) Marcos dealer, Optima Sport Cars in Birmingham, as a replacement for my beautiful but eccentric Evante 140TC which I’d owned for the previous three and a half years. Alas, I had reluctantly come to the conclusion that the Evante felt a bit cramped on longer journeys, and it was touring Ireland in it with the Fossil in 1999 for a couple of weeks which made me finally decide that I needed something with a bit more room, both back & front.

Replacing the Evante was no easy task however, as I had grown accustomed to both the superb handling and the attention it gets(!). I wanted to buy a British sportscar, which had to be ‘driveable’, both eye-catching & rare, and from a company with a bit of history & some racing pedigree. I’ve always admired Marcos, with their distinctive body styling (with the odd hiccup!), and although the newer Mantaray was a more natural successor to the Evante in terms of sophistication, the OTT body shape of the Mantis just oozed style & screamed ‘look at me‘ so it became, as our colonial cousins say, a ‘no brainer’… Although I was delighted with the original Mantis body shape, I have had Optima add a rear road over-spoiler and under-spoiler, which I feel has definitely put the finishing touches to the car’s profile. I get a real buzz out of just looking at the car, let alone driving it. I’ve also discovered that Marcos only ever made fifty Mantis (three of which were Coupes, and ten of which were GTs), so my model Spyder is one of just thirty seven, beating the Evante in the rarity stakes as it was a common-or-garden one of one hundred and twenty nine! I guess I have found a worthy successor to the Evante after all…

 

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