Celebrating its 75th anniversary, Aston Martin’s Atom concept car remains elegant and iconic. The Atom was the first model produced by David Brown in 1948. The Atom worked as an avant-garde prototype developed using an early form of space-frame chassis and independent suspension. This remarkable vehicle led to the creation of great classic designs such as the unforgettable DB family. This very concept car was one of the reasons behind Brown’s decision to purchase the company.
As the years passed, the Atom was moved into the Le Mans Motor Museum where it was then purchased by current owner, Tom Rollason. “The Atom encapsulates everything that Aston Martin represents. It was highly fashionable, at the cutting-edge of design and anybody would have been extremely proud to have owned it,” Rollason says. The interior is striking and exquisite, with airline-style seats in luxurious deep-red leather. Gordon Sutherland participated in the design concept of the historical and sculpted Atom. “The very rigid body, which gives the impressive front suspension, is actually a very comfortable ride and actually very modern in its feel. Sutherland’s aim was to avoid too many connections from the engine bay to the cockpit to minimize fumes and noise,” explains Rollason.
The Atom reaches a top speed of 96 mph and runs perfectly on modern smooth roads. When the Second World War began, the second Atom was never built, but Sutherland was not short of ideas on what he wanted to do with it. “He was going to put extra length in the chassis so that it was a true four-door saloon,” Rollason explains. “He also planned to lower the roofline, which would have made it a very streamlined car. And he wanted a smaller petrol tank to increase the boot space and a different gearbox if the Cotal wasn’t available. There were also going to be some changes to the rear braking system.”
The gleaming Atom represents the pure embodiment of Aston Martin’s core design values. This young-at-heart and instantly recognizable model will never lose its shine.