My Car Quest

September 21, 2021

My Favorite Comments On My Car Quest – Installment 3

by Mike –

Below is a comment on the article: Apollo GT – Why Wasn’t This Car A Big Success? from Rob Phillips.

Apollo GT Spider

Apollo GT Spider

I think that I may have the all time Apollo Conv. restoration story. About 12 years ago I purchased conv. #13 (with the help of Milt Brown). Under his guidance my girlfriend and I purchased sight unseen the last car imported and sold at customs auction after Milt declared bankruptcy.

The painted and upholstered car complete with P. tires, b. wire wheels, and all chrome was purchased and stored in L.A. from 1965 until my purchase in 1999. We completed the car as Milt told us all the details of the mechanics needed-300 engine (1965 only), Avanti disc and Chevy pick-up drums – looked more Italian thru the wires and so on.

We trailered the car to Meadowbrook, won an AACA National First at Hersery, and enjoyed Amelia Is and the way back to Oregon.

I enjoy the restoration process and having the builder of the car as my guide has been the high point of my many restorations over the years. We sold the car to a good home and went on to restore a 1961 Fiat Abarth 1000 GT twin cam factory race car.

Cordially, Rob Phillips

~~~

What a great experience that must have been to have the original constructor of the car guide you through the restoration process.

I love to read your stories and I would love to see pictures from Rob of his Fiat Abarth.

Read more about the Apollo GT on My Car Quest.


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My Favorite Comments On My Car Quest – Installment 3
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My Favorite Comments On My Car Quest – Installment 3
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Apollo GT Spider on My Car Quest.
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Comments

  1. George Finley says

    I have been asked this question about the Apollo GT for almost 50 years; “Why wasn’t this car a Big Success?” My job with Milt Brown and Ned Davis was to unbury their struggling company, International Motor Cars, from inventory, work-in-progress, the ‘prototype’, and a lack of marketing direction. I was convinced by Milt, Ned, and Ron Plescia (our creative designer) that I should quit by job with Ford Motor Company (a college graduate training program) to help them develop a marketing and sales strategy & then ‘make it happen’ as their VP-General Sales Manager! I, of course, was hooked! Only my late wife Sue, who was then pregnant with our first child, could throw up a major roadblock. She was terrified about this career move as I was the only breadwinner at that time, and I would be taking a cut in pay! Now, to the question of why the Apollo GT venture failed! We failed because our targeted retail price (a price slightly higher than an XKE) was too low, which caused our real target market to not purchase our automobile. Price too low, you say? When our production capacity was only 2 to 4 cars per month, why would IMC attempt to compete with a mass-produced car? Why, when exclusivity was a salient selling feature, tied to a high asking price, would those who wanted something exotic to drive that would not be available to the masses due to price (and our inability to produce) balk at price? Well they didn’t! I made an reasonable effort to convince our majority share holder of our pricing error and was told that I was dead wrong. We also were encountering the wraith of the San Francisco ‘Longshoremen’ Union. The Apollo was shipped from Turin on steel castors welded to the frame – painted and upholstered without engine, driveline, and suspension. So our ‘friends’ on the docks loved to drop huge chains on our cars (they were shipped on the decks of these ships – this was BC = Before Containers) and other insulting damages. Our body repair budget skyrocketed! All the more reason to raise the suggested price.
    We were literally selling ourselves out of business! When the Bank of America shut us down, we had a several month backlog of orders. So actually, the Apollo GT was quite successful.

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