Atalanta Motors will show its first new car since 1939 at this year’s Concours of Elegance.
Ever heard of Atlanta Cars? If you’re a pre-war car connoisseur then you might have, but this firm’s extremely advanced efforts were curtailed in 1939 due to the outbreak of war – never to be seen again. Until now that is. The company is back, with a new interpretation of its original groundbreaking machines, and will be making its public debut at this year’s Concours of Elegance.
Had the Second World War not broken out, the sports car landscape we know today could have looked rather different. After three short years in business, and a mere 22 models built, production was curtailed as the war begun.
The Middlesex company had a stellar reputation for forward thinking, technically advanced automobiles yielding truly engaging driving experiences. ‘The Atalanta has the tenacious quality of a racing car when cornering,’ the words of a road tester in 1939. Such high praise is courtesy of adjustable dampers all around and independent coil suspension.
The Atalanta's performance credentials weren’t built purely on its handling. Under the aluminium bonnet sat one of three engines. The least powerful, but most impressive by today’s standard is the 1.5-litre four-pot producing 78bhp. A specific output of 52bhp was an amazing demonstration of engineering for the period, double that of the 4.3-litre supercharged V12 also offered.
Atalantas were available in a number of body styles: drophead coupe, two door saloon and open two seater sports car. All were built using a collection of lightweight materials, primarily forged aluminum. The above resonates with the British firm’s attitude to building minimum-mass sports cars.
Such values are reminiscent of Lotus’s commitments to building sports cars with their infamous tagline in mind said by founder Colin Chapman, ‘Simplify, then add lightness’. Atalanta is beginning to reproduce cars for the first time in over seven decades, attempting to recapture the magic of its original creations, but ensuring their usability for the modern day. ‘Today’s car enhances the positive and enjoyable characteristics of vintage motoring in a reliable and usable package that is relevant to today’s driving environment.’
The Atalanta will take its place alongside 1000 other cars at Windsor Castle. The Concours of Elegance takes place between 2-4 September at Windsor Castle, happening in conjunction with Her majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Words: Lee Stern