The Death And Rebirth Of The Atalanta
The world of cars is fast-paced, with every brand trying to innovate and stay relevant. Some brands have fallen into obscurity, such as Borgward Isabella and Napier. And then there are brands who rise from the ashes and become new again. This is the case with British manufacturer Atalanta Motors, who brought back the 1930’s Atalanta. The original company was founded by a man named Neil Watson, and now we take a look back at the history of the car and how it became relevant in the modern day.
Forged From A Goddess
The car was named after the legendary Greek huntress, Atalanta. The name derives from the Greek word atalantos, which means ‘unswaying.’ The design team wanted the vehicle to reflect the speed and beauty of its namesake, so they captured the style of the 1930s Art Deco period.
The Atalanta proved to be very advanced for its time. It featured independent suspension, a lightweight body, three-valve-per-cylinder twin-spark engine and an electric pre-selector gearbox.
When it debuted in 1937, the car became a success on the racing track. The Atalanta raced at the 1938 Le Mans and won the 1939 Welsh RAC rally. The car looked poised to become the most technically advanced British sports car of its era.
A Casualty Of War
Between 1937 and 1939, the company built 21 cars, but production was halted during the outbreak of WW2. Atalanta created generators and pumps to help the war effort. Yet the enthusiasm for such an elegant vehicle didn’t go away. Decades later, the sports car was bought by Atalanta enthusiast Martyn Corfield. It was the 1937 model that served as the inspiration for the modern Atalanta roadster.
Corfield founded Atalanta Motors in 2011 with the intention of restoring the British classic. The modern car retains the beauty of the original, but has updated specifications. It’s built from hand-beaten aluminium panels over an ash wood chassis and features a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine. The interior is made up of elegantly trimmed leather that reflects the glamour of the original in the 1930s.
Neil Watson’s son, Rory has said “I never thought that something my father helped create all those years ago could be revived. I know he would be so very proud of what Martyn Corfield and his team has achieved with Atalanta Motors.”
The Atalanta is a gorgeous motor that proves there will always be a market for British made vehicles.
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