Wooden Marcos spared from the saw

| 13 Jun 2010

One car missing from Marcos' 50th anniversary celebrations last year was the second GT made.Bought new by John Sutton, the car was the first offered to the public and was built by Sutton at Jem Marsh's Speedex works in Luton. It won the '61 Autosport Championship and also came second in the GT class - and fifth overall - at the Nurburgring 500km in September '63, helping Marcos to fourth place in the World Sports Car Championship that year.A subsequent owner took the Marcos to the States in the late '60s and in '71 it was up for sale. It then disappeared and was last heard of in the Torrance area of California.Recently Paul Steinbeck, a cabinet-maker of some repute, contacted Belgian Marcos guru Maarten Krikken to say he had found a Marcos while making a delivery, which was soon identified as Sutton's.As luck would have it, Sutton was about to go on holiday to Florida, so he took time out to fly to Palm Springs to see the car."The backyard was like a junkyard and the owners had been served with a court order to clean it up," Steinback said. "Among the junk was a strange wooden car in which rats and spiders had made their homes."Steinbeck was told the car was about to be cut up with a chainsaw, but if he wanted it he could take it away. 30 years out in the desert had delaminated the plywood and split the spruce.His enthusiasm was dented when he found out that Californian law would not permit him to register a car with a wooden chassis, so a deal was done. Sutton would pay the cabinet-maker to rebuild the chassis and body, then it would be shipped to the UK for Sutton to rebuild the mechanicals.