The British-made Atalanta Sports Tourer was one of the most technically advanced sports cars of the 1930s. It had a combination of innovative features that even now are rare on all but the most expensive modern cars including: adjustable damping, a form of semi-automatic gearbox, a multi-valve twin-spark cylinder head and selective supercharger engagement.
The Atalanta Sports Tourer was so far ahead of its time that Staffordshire-based motoring enthusiast, Martyn Corfield, has revived the design and will launch a pre-production prototype at the Royal Automobile Club on Monday 5 March (75 years to the day after it was first launched). By invitation only.
The revived company, Atalanta Motors, is based in Staffordshire, close to where the original prototype Sports Tourer was produced at Bean Industries in Tipton. Corfield has employed the latest CAD technology to produce a new prototype based on the 1938 Atalanta works Le Mans entry car he acquired in 2009.
The new car is coach-built as per the original but incorporates modern materials and technology to meet current vehicle design and safety standards. Thanks to its lightweight construction and excellent roadholding resulting from fully independent coil spring suspension and adjustable damping, the Atalanta was described in a 1939 road test as having “the tenacious quality of a racing car when cornering, and it is nearly impossible to cause the tyres squeal.”
Such excellent performance undoubtedly contributed to Atalanta winning the manufacturers’ team prize in the 1939 Welsh Rally. Corfield, who recently instigated the recreation of the 1954 Austin Healey endurance record attempt, says:
“Atalanta is one the greatest untold British Motoring heritage stories. The cars and the team that delivered the original concept were so ahead of their time. What might have been had the war not interrupted development? “As custodian of the Atalanta marque it is my objective to sensitively bring the original Atalanta design and function up to date, delivering the most basic of modern motoring needs whilst remaining true in spirit to the Atalanta sports car ideal.”
Limited commissions for the 2012 Atalanta ‘Revival’ are being taken and each will be built to individual specifications as a unique vehicle.