In 1968 the Adams brothers were
commissioned to build a mid-engined, pure sports racing car for sister company
Marcos Racing, with a view to competing in group six 3 litre GT racing and Le
Mans 24 hours.
The design was typically Adams, with
stunning angular lines utilising time proven Marcos engineering in the wooden
chassis, fibreglass and masses of perspex.
Photo courtesy of LAT
The construction included side mounted
fuel tanks and radiators, the usual Marcos deep sills, and semi gullwing doors
and a huge perspex engine cover. The car was initially powered by a 3 Litre
Repco Brabham Formula One engine, and fitted with state of the art fully independent
After testing at Castle Combe and
Silverstone the car was entered for the 1000 kilometer race at Spa-Francorchamps
on the 26th May 1968, with drivers Eddie Nelson and Robin Widows, the latter
withdrawing before the start which allowed Jem to take the drive.
The weather conditions at Spa were
horrendous and the car only completed 17 of the 71 laps withdrawing with
electrical problems due to the water. The conditions were so bad that water was
getting into the cockpit and flooding the car, it was brought into the pits
and holes were drilled in the floor to allow the water out, it then succumbed to
water in the alternator and retired a few laps later. Unfortunately this
was the car's first and last outing. The car was entered for Le Mans that year
but unfortunately the FIA decided to postpone the 24 hour race until late
September due to student riots in Paris. The car was returned to the UK
and the Repco engine was removed and replaced
with a Buick V8, Jem then used the car on the road. Problems arose with the tax
man ( the details are sketchy ), resulting in the rapid relocation of the car to
the United States.
The car turned up in
California where it was road registered in 1971 and still resides in America to this
The Mantis XP at the 50 th Anniversary at Prescott 2009. The
only time the car has been in the UK since 1969