1963 Apollo 3500 GT

Conceived by engineer Milt Brown and entrepreneur Newt Davis, the Apollo GT emerged from their vision for an American sports car blending proven mechanics with Italian-inspired design. Frank Reisner of “Intermeccanica” joined the project as coachbuilder, refining Ron Plescia’s initial design.

The prototype, crafted from aluminum over Brown’s steel chassis, underwent revisions by former Bertone designer Franco Scaglione, enhancing its aesthetic with side quarter glass and refined body lines. Hand-formed steel production began with the 1963 3500GT, assembled in Oakland, California, integrating American V8 drivetrains into the chassis prepared at Brown’s International Motorcars dealership.

The Apollo 3500GT boasted a claimed top speed of 130mph and a $6,000 starting price, well-received by the automotive press. Featuring a lightweight Buick aluminum V8 engine, it combined Brown’s original design with GM reliability and top performance. Despite subsequent upgrades, financial challenges led to production cessation by mid-1965, with only 76 Apollo GT coupes sold, including few desirable 5000GT models.

Influenced by 1960s Italian design, the Apollo showcased curvaceous front fenders, a long hood, and a mid-engine layout akin to the Cobra, positioning the driver’s seat close to the rear axle for optimal weight distribution. Its fastback roof and sweeping glass conferred a dynamic and elegant profile, encapsulating American innovation within the esteemed traditions of Italian coachbuilding.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s