Apollo 3500 Spider

1963 Apollo 3500 GT Spider

Offered by Worldwide Auctioneers | Corpus Christi, Texas | October 4-5, 2019

Photo – Worldwide Auctioneers

There is absolutely zero about this car that screams “Oakland, California.” Yet that’s where it was assembled. The Apollo was the result of the work of a trio of Californians who wanted European style and American reliability in their sports cars. The first Apollo went on sale in 1962. Two models were offered: the 3500 GT and the 5000 GT.

This 3500 GT model is powered by a 3.5-liter Buick V8 that made 200 horsepower. The body was built in Italy by Intermeccanica, and the whole package was assembled in Oakland.

Only 11 GT Spiders were built, with this being the very first one. About 90 Apollos were made in general across multiple companies (including cars badged as the Vetta Ventura). They’re very rare, but they’re around. And the Spider variant is beautiful. It is being sold without reserve, and you can read more here. See more from this auction here.

Apollo 3500 GT

1963 Apollo 3500 GT Coupe

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Phoenix, Arizona | January 17-18, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

This sleek Italian-styled sports car from the early 1960s was actually built in Oakland, California, by International Motor Cars. The body was technically built in Italy by Intermeccanica, then shipped to Oakland for final assembly, where it would be mated to an American engine.

In this case, that American engine is a 3.5-liter Buick V8 making 225 horsepower. A more powerful variant, the 5000 GT, would receive a larger 4.9-liter unit. It has the styling of a contemporary Ferrari, and it’s probably much cheaper to maintain.

Production numbers are really weird for these. Initially, Apollo only built 42 cars (combined between both engine options), and then the design was sold and the car was sold as the Vetta Ventura. After that venture ended, Apollo sprang back up and built a few more cars. RM says this is one of 90. I’ll take their word for it. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

S/N: 1004

Update: Sold $134,400.

Update: Not sold, Mecum Phoenix 2019, high bid of $130,000.

Apollo 5000 GT

1964 Apollo 5000 GT

Offered by Russo & Steele | Monterey, California | August 16-18, 2012

Well the countdown to Monterey is underway and the level of incredible cars is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Russo & Steele were the first to get their complete catalog online, so they get featured first. And no, this is not a Ferrari 330, as much as it may resemble one.

It’s an Apollo – a short-lived American marque based in Oakland, California – not necessarily the first place that comes to mind when you see a stylish Italian automobile. But Italian it was – at least partly. Intermeccanica of Italy produced the bodies, which were mounted to fresh Buick Skylark chassis. The engine was also from Buick, a 4.9-liter V8 making 225 horsepower. There was also an Apollo 3500 GT model with a 3.5-liter Buick V8.

This car has neither engine. It’s a 5000 GT, but the engine under hood is actually a Chevy 327. When Apollo had the cars shipped from Italy with the bodies, they were to go to Oakland for installation of their powertrain. They did – except for seven of them which were sold before they ever made it back to the Oakland shop. The owners took it upon themselves to finish the cars. Five got Chevy engines, one got a Ford… and one disappeared. The man who bought this car took it to a shed in San Francisco to complete it, but then disappeared. The car was rediscovered in 2004, when the current owner acquired it and completed it using the Chevy engine.

Only 66 Apollo coupes were built and this is #43. This is a rare car and it is quite nice, having only covered about 3,600 miles. The fact that it was completed only a few years ago makes it essentially a new Apollo. No estimate is available, but a 5000 GT in similar condition was recently for sale with an asking price of about $125,000. For more information, click here. And for more from Russo & Steele in Monterey, click here.

Update: Not sold.