by Mike -
The Apollo GT was an American made sports car produced from 1962 to 1964 in Oakland, California. The Apollo project was the dream of Milt Brown and Newt Davis, who wanted to build an American car to compete with Aston Martins and Ferraris. Not compete on the racetrack but as a street sports car.
After the prototype Intermeccanica of Turin, Italy built all Apollos with steel bodies. The original design had a few problems; the nose was too long and the rear vision limited, so former Bertone stylist Franco Scaglione was hired to revise it.
In the beginning it seemed like the Apollo was going to be a big success. However, Brown and Davis were losing money and needed to sell the company. Ironically, the more Apollo GTs they sold, the more money they lost. Neither Milt Brown nor Newt Davis had ever done a cost analysis on the production and marketing of the Apollo. At $6,000, the selling price was too low.
Altogether 76 coupes, 11 convertibles and the prototype 2+2 were made for a total of 88 Apollos built between 1961 and 1965 when Apollo was sold to Vanguard Industries, an aftermarket supplier of auto air conditioners in Dallas, Texas. Vanguard sold the Apollo as the Vetta Ventura and built only 11 cars.
A third attempt to produce the Apollo was by attorney Robert Stevens. His Apollo International Company of Pasadena, California completed only 14 cars, with foreman Otto Becker finishing another six.
This 1964 Apollo GT was at the Marin Sonoma Concours d'Elegance in May 2011.
The automotive press loved the Apollo GT:
In November 1963 Road & Track wrote: "Our experience in the Apollo has been both brief and pleasant. The car is quite comfortable (even for extra tall occupants) and well finished. In general, the Apollo is a very appealing automobile, put together with loving care under the supervision of Brown and Davis in this country, and Frank Reisner, head of Intermeccanica, in Italy. The whole conception is basically sound and the company directors have proven to R&T that they are interested in producing a quality automobile and have the interest of the customer at heart."
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