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1962-1965 Apollo GT

1962-1965 Apollo GT Financial Problems

Ironically, the better things became with orders for the 1962-1965 Apollo GT, the worse they got for the company. Neither creator Milt Brown nor his backer, Newt Davis, had ever done a cost analysis on the production and marketing of the Apollo.

At around $6,000, they weren't charging enough for the cars, and in fact, with research and development costs for the new convertible and 2+2 models factored in, the company was actually losing money on every car it sold. GM's former chief stylist, Bill Mitchell, later told Brown that he could have sold the Apollo for $10,000 and gotten it.

1965 Apollo GT
One of the last Apollos produced was shown in the 1965 Apollo International sales brochure.

Hindsight? Perhaps not. The price for the coupe finally reached $9,000, but by then Apollo was so far in the hole that it would have taken more than $100,000 to get the company out of the red.

"When we were building two cars per month, we were making a profit," says Brown, "so we went to four cars per month, and then eight. That was our big, fatal mistake. We had begun to order more cars than we could afford to build. Suddenly we had 15 bodies in the factory and not enough operating capital to finish them, We were going broke with a car, that for all intents, was a success!"

When Brown couldn't pay the bills, the bank came in and closed Apollo down. Coachbuilder Frank Reisner hadn't been paid either, and he, too, was now in big financial trouble. He showed up on Brown's doorstep one morning and said that something had to be done or Intermeccanica was going to go out of business.

With both men facing the same probable outcome, they decided to seek out a new financial partner. It turned out to be Vanguard, a Dallas firm that had expressed an interest in buying the company. The deal allowed Brown to complete the cars he had in inventory, pay Reisner, and have another 15 bodies built in Italy. The new models were to be marketed by Vanguard under the name Vetta Ventura.

Unfortunately, the newly financed company lasted only three months, going into bankruptcy in 1965. Brown left and Davis went looking for another investor. There were none, and Davis sold the company's assets to a Los Angeles attorney, Robert Stevens.

Stevens saw promise in the car and bankrolled a new company, Apollo International, in Pasadena, California. It lasted less than a year, and accounted for roughly another 14 cars, mostly convertibles.

When Apollo International closed its doors, that was the end of the road. The Apollo was gone, once and for all -- and Brown was out of the car business. Davis had gotten his investment back by selling the company's assets, and Reisner had moved on to building such memorable Italian sports cars as the Griffith GT, Omega, Italia, and Indra.

None of this detracted from the car's performance. Learn how the critics lauded the Apollo by checking out our final section.

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