British sports car revival

Posted on 15 Nov 2011 by Tim Brown

Staffordshire based motoring enthusiast Martyn Corfield has embarked upon his most ambitious project yet; the revival of arguably ‘the most innovative and stylish pre-war British car manufacturer – Atalanta Motors’.

Atalanta Motors developed and produced one of the most technically advanced sports car designs of its’ era. Regularly reported as a thoroughbred amongst their more conservative sports car contemporaries, Atalanta’s advanced design, exceptional performance and riding comfort quickly established the company’s reputation for producing ‘exciting, bespoke sporting cars of quality and style’.

With more than just a gentle nod to Atalanta’s heritage, it is the objective of this venture to bring this most innovative pre-war sports car concept up-to-date, by acknowledging 72 years of automotive evolution, yet remaining true in spirit and sympathetic to the style and function of the original Atalanta sports car designs.

A traditionally coach-built pre-production prototype is currently being developed that remains true to original Atalanta design principles of ‘Innovation, Style and Performance’ and it is scheduled to be unveiled Spring 2012, 75 years after the first Atalanta car was announced. (The Autocar March 5th 1937 and The Motor, March 9th 1937)

Atalanta Motors History

Established in December 1936 and based in Staines Middlesex, Atalanta Motors Ltd., designed and produced exciting and innovative sports cars for just over two years before the unfortunate outbreak of war halted development and production after only 21 cars were made.

Atalanta Motors announced their first car in spring 1937 and were the only pre-war British car manufacturer that instigated and implemented innovative design features that included:

  • Fully independent coil spring suspension
  • Adjustable damping front and rear
  • Full hydraulic brakes
  • Electrically operated, magnetic epicyclic gearbox (an early semi-automatic!)
  • Multi valve, twin-spark cylinder head
  • Selective engagement of supercharger
  • Extensive use of lightweight materials such as electron
  • duralumin and hiduminium for many of its castings

Atalanta Motors Today

Currently based in Staffordshire and not far away from where the original Atalanta prototype was produced (Bean Industries in Tipton); significant effort has already gone in to producing a new traditionally coach-built Atalanta prototype that retains the charm and good looks of an original, but also satisfies the demands of more modern motoring.

Using the original Atalanta works Le Mans entry from 1938 as reference has allowed a new prototype to be developed employing the latest CAD technology. This new car not only remains true to the function and style of the original Atalanta design, but also takes advantage of modern materials and technology to aid what was already a very advanced pre – war design to comply with modern vehicle standards.

This pre-production prototype is scheduled to be unveiled Spring 2012, 75 years after the first Atalanta car was announced.