A-Z Of Marques No 41: Marcos

The marque: Tiny British sportscar maker famous for a wooden chassis and near-death experiences

The history: Marcos is mostly about Jem Marsh, who set up a company in 1954 to build kits based on Austin Sevens. The designer Frank Costin later joined Mr Marsh to form Marcos. The duo built a car using a lightweight plywood chassis under a fibreglass body. Mr Costin left but the designer Dennis Adams joined Mr Marsh for the next cars. Mr Adams's pet project was the XP, a mid-engined sports car. But to keep the company going while the snags were fixed, Mr Adams designed the Marcos 1800 shape. Launched in 1964, the 1800 had a Volvo engine and a plywood chassis. Inside its low cabin were fixed seats and adjustable pedals. This car's shape has formed the basis of nearly every Marcos since. Asteel chassis was introduced in 1969.The company has recently risen again from the ashes, with funds from a US company after a spell under Dutch ownership. Today's models are the Marcasite TS250 and the TS500.

Defining model: Marcos 1800, the shape that has endured for 40 years

They say: Anything with 'Mant' or 'Mar' in it

We say: Never say die