Revived British marque Atalanta reveals new car
Well, I feel I should apologise again for letting two weeks go by between posts but I don't want it to become a standard opening so let's just say that a post every fortnight will be the norm on Eclectic Ephemera for the foreseeable future, eh? But seriously, I really do hope before too much longer to get things settled enough to do one post a week minimum (news permitting!).
For the subject of this latest news to feature on my blog we must go back a couple of years when the story first broke of a new attempt to bring back a long-forgotten British sports car from the 1930s - the Atalanta.
The Atalanta name was first introduced in December of 1936, appearing on a technically-advanced 2-seater called the Sports Tourer and built in a factory in Staines, Middlesex from early in 1937. Successes in various rallies, hill-climbs and track events around the country - as well as an entry in the 1938 Le Mans 24 Hours - quickly proved the cars' worth and plans were well underway to offer other body styles including saloons and coupés, as well as a Ford-sourced V12 engine to join the 1.5- and 2-litre four cylinder powerplants available at launch. Alas in September of 1939, with 21 cars built and delivered, the Second World War began and put paid to the idea of any further cars. Six years later, when the dust had settled, Atalanta had been forgotten.
New Atalanta launched
Until 2012 that is, when - 75 years after the first Atalanta left the factory - British entrepreneur Martyn Corfield announced plans to introduce a 21st century update of the original 1937 Sports Tourer model. Based on surviving drawings and designs but sympathetically updated with modern technology the new Atalanta is nevertheless so similar to the few remaining 1930s examples that some parts are even interchangeable! However this 2014 model features a new 2½-litre Ford engine (suitably enough!) with all the usual modern technology, including a 5-speed gearbox and disc brakes. The construction process also features - in part - up-to-date processes including 3D printing of certain components, yet still allied to the more traditional handmade coachbuilding techniques. I can certainly see the use of 3D printing (a concept I still struggle to get my head around!) become a common thing in these types of projects and maybe even in other spheres of vintage reproduction/revival - imagine being able to 3D print an historic component or object that previously we might have thought was unable to be reconstructed.
The Atalanta takes its place alongside a recent flurry of "modern revival" cars - including 6 continuation-run Lightweight E-types and an updated MkII saloon to be built by Jaguar, a new Bristol with 1950s styling and newcomer Evanta Motors' Barchetta - which gives this blogger great hopes of a new golden age of classic British sports cars and the joy of seeing some classic pre- and post-war designs return.