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THIS STORY LAST UPDATED: 24 February 2004 1426 GMT
The man behind the Marcos legend
Jem Marsh
Jem Marsh
At 73-years-old, Jem Marsh should be happily retired. However, the original founder of Westbury-based Marcos cars is busy working on a new sports car, 50 years after the company began. BBC West's Inside Out team went to meet him.
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video gifVIDEO: Click here to see Inside Out's Tessa Dunlop going for a spin with the man behind the Marcos legend. (56K)

galleryGALLERY: Click here to see our 'Inside Out' Marcos gallery

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Jem was a motor racing fanatic at a time when to race a car, you had to build one first.

This hobby grew into a business, manufacturing avant garde specialist British sports cars which were lusted after by men all over the country.

Marcos had its ups and downs, like many other British sports car manufacturers, but unlike most, Jem and Marcos kept bobbing back up again.

By last March Jem had almost retired, doing picture-framing as a hobby.

However, out of the blue came a phone call from Tony Stelliga, a silicon valley entrepreneur and sports car enthusiast.

Tony did not want to buy just one car, he wanted to buy Marcos the company, but only if Jem agreed to come out of retirement and be the figurehead once more.

He wouldn't contemplate the venture without Jem, "When you buy a Marcos, they buy a piece of heritage - Jem is symbolic of that."

It was an offer Jem couldn't refuse and every day he is to be found at the small factory in Westbury, Wiltshire, finalising new designs and providing his fifty years' experience. He has no intention of giving up.

"If you're fit and healthy you've got to keep going… it's hard to pace yourself when it's your baby, you want to stick your nose in."

Now, the new Marcos range has been manufactured and according to Jem is the best model yet.

According to Inside Out's guest motoring expert Zog Ziegler, it retains the classic Marcos characteristics but has moved on and apparently is like "a sucked lozenge... has a hairy-chest... and goes like a stabbed rat".

video gif VIDEO: Click here to see Inside Out's Tessa Dunlop going for a spin with the man behind the Marcos legend.

gallery GALLERY: Click here to see our 'Inside Out' Marcos gallery.

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