Apollo & Vetta history by Michael Anderson:
These cars were initially conceived by two design students in Northern Ca. around 1960. Milt Brown and Ron Plescia came up with a drawing of what they wanted, and was based on the frame of the "new" (downsized) Buick Special for 1962. It was equipped with the 215 aluminum V-8 (that Rover bought the patent for) and the suspension from the Special. They were produced by Intermeccanica in Turin, Italy from 1962-1967 or so. A total of 88 hand made cars were produced. 77coupes, 11 convertibles. The first 18 or so cars had the 215 and were called Apollo 3500 G.T.'s because the 215 was 3500cc's. The majority of the rest of the cars were equipped with the 300 C.I. Buick cast iron V-8. Brown and Plescia went belly up trying to increase production and bounced a check to Frank Reisner at Intermeccanica. Frank seized all the unsold cars from them, and sold the business to Fred Ricketts in Dallas, Tx. Fred owned a business called Vanguard Air Conditioning. The 40 or so cars he finished were called Vetta Ventura 5000 G.T.'s (yes, the 300 C.I. was 5000cc's). The cars were all assembled in Italy including full interiors, paint, wiring, trim, etc. They were then shipped to Ca, (or later Tx.) where the drivetrains and mechanical components were installed. There were a few options available such as A/C, close ratio T-10 4 spds., autos, H.P. 310 Wildcat motors, Borrani knock-offs, etc. After Ricketts got out of the car business, the remaining cars were shipped to the U.S. where they were bought by individuals that finished them various ways with different engine/suspension combinations. My car is a 1966 Vetta Ventura 5000 G.T. (produced 52nd, but was the 54th car sold). I've had it for about 4 years and am finally getting it ground up restored. It has A/C, the T-10, Dana 44 posi, Wildcat with alum. heads, Borrani's, and only 42,000 original miles. I'm about 50% through it, and am currently completing the body work. The cars are spectacular looking, and all the trim items (bumperettes, grill, door handles, taillights, etc) are Ferrari. The gauges are in Italian. The cars got rave reviews from Road and Track, and Car and Driver when they were first introduced. They weigh only 2400 Lbs. and had acceptional handling and acceleration. There are only about 35 cars left in existence so the choices are limited. There are 4 in the Phx., Az.area where I live. I hope this has helped. If you have any other questions, please feel free to leave me an email.
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