Ultra-rare Aston Martin dating from World War II will be the highlight at Bonhams‘ Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on June 27 in the UK. A spectacular 75-year-old Aston Martin Atom described as the “world’s rarest Aston Martin” has been both renowned and revered for decades by Aston Martin collectors and the wider world of confirmed classic car enthusiasts. This avant-garde, lightweight and highly original aerodynamic Coupe concept car is hugely significant to the long-standing British marque.
The Atom was designed and built for businessman Gordon Sutherland who said of the car: “The whole point of the Atom was to make the smallest, lightest, enclosed saloon possible.” It was finished and registered just weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940, with the second world war well underway. At that fraught time when all available metal has been melted-down to aid the War effort, the Atom was amongst fewer than 750 private cars to be UK registered in the entire year. The name was chosen as at the time an atom was the smallest, most powerful thing ever conceived.
Among the landmark features are: a fully lightweight yet rigid body with tubular spaceframce chassis structure, parallel-linkage coil-sprung independent front suspension, the first UK use of the “almost universal” Salisbury back axle, and the first use of Aston Martin’s new 2-litre (DB1) engine.
With speeds of up to 100 mph, the 2+2 prototype coupe stunned the wartime press and its technological developments were utilised by the British marque after the war. The Atom has clocked 250,000 miles, changing ownership just once in the past half-a-century. Meticulously maintained and conserved by its current owner, the Atom will go under the hammer on June 27.