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1965 Apollo 5000 GT

Single Family Ownership from New. Interesting History. One of 88 Apollos Produced.

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VIN 1039
Exterior Color Silver
Interior Color Black
Mileage 19905 Miles
Engine 4.9 Litre Buick V8
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Status Sold
Stock FJ1793


1965 Apollo 5000GT
s/n 1039
Silver with black interior

Manufactured from 1962 to 1965 in Oakland, California, the Apollo GT married the classic strengths of a beautiful Italian body with the power and reliability of an American powertrain. The Apollo GT was the brainchild of young Californian engineer Milt Brown who wanted to create an American car that could rival the European GT cars of the day. The car was designed by Hungarian engineer and immigrant Frank Reisner who, while on holiday in Turin, established a shop under the name of “Intermeccanica” and went into business producing tuning kits for Simcas, Renaults and Peugeots. Brown met Reisner at the 1960 Monaco grand prix and proposed that Reisner be the coachbuilder for his proposed project. By early 1963, a deal had been made and the first Apollo GT’s went into production. The car’s bodywork was produced in Turin by Intermeccanica and then shipped across the Atlantic to Oakland, California where Brown installed the drivetrain. The car was first styled by a friend of Milt Brown named Ron Plescia. However, the car’s nose was thought to be too long and its rear-visibilty too limited. Because of this, Reisner contracted former Bertone stylist Franco Scaglione to revisit the design resulting in the current design.

The car was well received in its day and sold from Brown’s International Motorcars of Oakland with a claimed top speed of 150 mph and a starting price of $6,000. Initially, the car was sold only in two-seat configuration although a later 2+2 prototype was shown at the 1965 New York Auto Show and again the year later bearing the name “Griffith GT”. Brown’s International Motorcars sold a total of 88 cars. Unfortunately, production of the car ended in mid-1964 due to a lack of financing. Several individuals later attempted to bring the car back under the name “Vetta Ventura”. These subsequent efforts proved largely unsuccessful only going on to sell around 19 cars in total. This example, having been sold in 1965, was likely built towards the end of the original round of Apollo production in California.

This particular car has been owned by the same family since it was sold new to a Dr. Robert Turcios. This Apollo is believed by Milt Brown to be the most original example extent. The car’s silver paintwork still shows very nicely with occasional signs of wear on the font quarter-panels but few marks of any kind on the rear. Upon use of a paint meter, the rear of the car gives consistent and lower readings suggesting originality. The windows and windshield of the car are in similar condition with very few marks throughout. Elsewhere, the car’s chrome remains in very good condition with no visible pitting or damage. Much like the paintwork, the Borani wire wheels show some signs of wear around the rim, consistent with originality and road-use.

The car’s subtle and classic black interior also presents in a way that confirms originality. The leather seats, although hard, are devoid of any major cracks or tears. The dashboard and headliner are in similar condition with no notable damage to report. The gauges are very clean with no clouding or discoloration and the wooden steering wheel and shift-knob are also in good condition, as is the carpet.

Condition of the engine bay is similar to that elsewhere on the car, reflecting the car’s low indicated mileage of just under 20,000 miles. The car’s Buick-sourced 4.9 liter V8 engine is quite clean and well-detailed throughout. Upon inspection of the car’s underside, the car appears very straight and devoid of any prior accidents or damage. The car drives like a highly original car, with a feel that reflects its low indicated mileage with tight front suspension and steering box in addition to good synchros in the transmission.

Included with the car are a spare tire and jack as well as an owner’s booklet documenting work done on the car from 1965 through 1991.

Overall, this Apollo GT presents a character of low-wear and very original car. Blending classically beautiful Italian styling with the power and reliability of an American engine and drivetrain, this Apollo GT represents a unique opportunity to acquire a seldom-seen example of a classic grand touring automobile with known single-family ownership.


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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