1966 APOLLO GT 5000
COACHWORK BY INTERMECCANICA Chassis No. AIC651073
Dark blue with black interior Engine: V8 (Buick), 5.0 litres, 250bhp at 4,800rpm; Gearbox: 4-speed manual; Suspension: front - anti-roll bar, rear - live axle, coil springs and shocks all around; Brakes: front wheel discs. Left hand drive.
Combine an American engine and chassis with a design massaged by former Bertone chief stylist Franco Scaglione, and the result is one of the 1960's quickest and most rare cars, the Apollo GT 5000. Originally conceived by Oakland, California resident Milt Brown, the idea behind the Apollo was to offer the looks of a Ferrari with the operating temperament of a Buick. After designing and constructing his own tubular chassis, Brown fitted it with Buick's recently introduced aluminum 3.5 litre V8. In 1962, this running chassis was sent to Frank Reisner's Intermeccanica coachworks in Turin, Italy, where the body and interior were installed.
Pleased with the final results, Brown raised capital and started production in earnest. Road & Track was suitably impressed when they tested Apollo 005 in their November, 1963 issue, Quiet, comfortable, well finished..and...fast enough for most tastes and all road conditions...The Apollo is a very appealing automobile.
With America's automotive marketplace caught up in the horsepower war, Brown knew he could make a good thing better by offering another version with more cubic inches. And so was born the GT 5000, the number referring to its 5 litre, 250 horsepower Buick V8 engine with a quoted top speed at 150mph.
After GT 5000 production began, Brown knew he would have a hit with his customers. I was driving one down to Los Angeles when I got in a dice with a 289 Cobra, Apollo's former president recalls, smiling... We were dead even to 130 mph. Despite having a good product, an increasing number of customers and positive press reviews, the Apollo effort was haunted by a malady afflicting many such efforts: insufficient capital. Thus the company went into receivership in the first half of 1965. In total, 88 Apollos of all types were produced.
By coincidence, the Apollo GT 5000 on offer here was originally delivered to the next door neighbor of the current owner. Twenty years later the car was sold to another area resident who kept the car for ten years.
In 1996 the former next door neighbor and now vendor purchased the car, continuing the car's longstanding tradition of being kept in the bay area. It is described by the vendor as being the Poster Car for the Apollo marque given its outstanding condition. This particular Apollo GT 5000 has also been extensively featured in Motor Trend's Sports Cars of the World, Collectible Automobile, Autoweek and Thoroughbred & Classic Cars. The car is not only well received and described favorably in each piece of literature, but is also accompanied by full photo layouts. This GT 5000 is reported as being in excellent condition, and as having a modest mileage of less than 51,000 since new. Since taking ownership of the Apollo, the current vendor has improved the ride by replacing the springs. Within the past year, the exterior has been treated to a respray of its original dark blue and the chrome trim has been refurbished as well. The roomy black leather interior is described as being well maintained and in good condition. This Apollo represents a rare opportunity to own an extremely limited production automobile that has been celebrated by industry critics and sports car enthusiasts. As a testament to its superb engineering and design, the model was inducted into the Milestone Car Society 1979.