Sunday, 21 September 2014

Revived British marque Atalanta reveals new car



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.

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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.

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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.

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I am naturally thrilled to see this project reach fruition and wish Mr Corfield and the new Atalanta company every success.  They are being rightly sensible in aiming for no more than 20 cars a year in terms of production and even then only after the word has been spread and enough interest garnered.  Should that happen more cars will almost certainly be on the cards, including other designs from Atalanta's original line-up including a drophead coupé.

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.

Monday, 8 September 2014

At peace... and quiet

Evenin' all, and apologies for the two weeks of radio silence. I'm well aware I promised a post a week at the least and I must admit I'm beginning to get a bit frustrated that I can't find the time to write something at the weekend.  However I am but one man and there are only so many hours in the day; hopefully things will start to fall into place and a posting pattern will start to work out before too long.  Of course, it helps if I have interesting news of a vintage flavour to blog about...

Speaking of starting work my endeavours in that department continue to go well, much to my delight after so many years of health and employment struggles.  The downside, of course, is that I get to spend less here and on other blogs but this new place has a very generous IT policy so once I've settled right down and got my six months "probation" behind me you might even find the odd post appearing at lunchtime(!).

I had planned to do a post around about my birthday on the 19th August featuring the usual present haul and jollity but sadly this wasn't to be.  Presents (and, indeed, my birthday itself really) became the last thing on my mind because heartbreakingly my grandmother - my last surviving grandparent, an ever-present part of all the family's lives for generations and the last direct link to an era I find so enthralling - passed away peacefully in hospital on the 21st at the age of 87 after gamely fighting for three weeks against pneumonia (not to mention a litany of other ailments built up over the years), as stoically as she had always done against adversity throughout her life.  So you can imagine we as a family were preoccupied with that over anything else.  I hope to do a proper commemorative post about Nan in the near future, since she was a young woman in the 1940s & '50s; there are pictures of her in those times that I had never seen before that I know many of you will appreciate and that I'd like to show you.  Here's a taster (badly copied here I'm afraid, a scan of a scan but it will appear again better later on):


I hope to return to happier things with the publication of the next couple of posts, which should feature certain aspects of belated and potential birthday presents.  Not to mention a celebration of my Nan's [early] life in 1940s London.

Thanks for sticking with me here at Eclectic Ephemera during this transitional period and rest assured, I'm going nowhere and still enjoying reading all your blogs!

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