THE CAR AND ITS OWNERS
1963 Apollo 5000 GT owned by Linda and H. Roy Jaffe
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
With only 88 built, a 1963 Apollo is a rare visitor to Long Island car shows. And when it makes an appearance, the coupe is easily mistaken for a classic Ferrari of the same period. Yet under its hood lurks the heart of a '60s Buick Skylark. "The Apollo is one of the most successful hybrid European-American sports cars," says Roy Jaffe.
"The body is all-steel and was hand-built by Intermeccanica in Turin (Italy), and assembled in Oakland and Pasadena, California. Later cars, including mine, were fitted with the 300-cubic-inch, 250-horsepower cast iron engine. Using a custom ladder-frame chassis, and with a weight of 2,470 pounds, it is capable of 150 miles per hour."
HOW LONG THEY'VE OWNED IT
WHERE THEY FOUND IT
Jaffe says he found the car "by accident" when he was looking in an enthusiast magazine for an Avanti, a sports car first built by Studebaker in 1963. Jaffe owns two of those. "Although I had never seen one, I knew what an Apollo was," he says. "I test drove the car and was particularly impressed by its styling, handling and comfort."
"The car has 61,000 miles," Jaffe says. "The interior is original and in very good condition, including the seats and leather dashboard." But with the body deteriorating, he ordered up a comprehensive restoration, including a repainting in Ferrari red.
TIPS FOR OTHER OWNERS
"Buy the car you and your family will enjoy, and in the best condition you can afford," he advises.
"Very few have been sold," Jaffe says. "Therefore, the value is unknown. The original price was $8,500, which was $2,000 to $3,000 more than Jaguar XKE or Corvette."
"The press and test reports at the time ranked the Apollo handling as good or better than the 2+2 Ferrari, the Aston-Martin and Stingray Corvette," Jaffe says. "This car is easy to maintain and exciting to drive."
Check out more of Long Island's classic cars HERE.
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