Saturday, 30 November 2013

Atom Major / Atomota updates.

                                             RHD Atom Major dash board shot

I have had some updates recently on the progress of 2 Atom Major/Atomota restorations, one being undertaken by Brian Waters here in the UK and the other in America with Frank Maine. Those that have read further back in the blog will be familiar with Brian`s car, he has recently got the bodyshell removed from the chassis and is now in a position to weld in the repair sections necessary. Here is a shot of the chassis that Brian emailed over.

The second car is owned by Frank Maine, it has been modified at some point as the original chassis has gone and the body shell modified and fitted onto a Subaru chassis. Here are some pictures with Frank`s description.

These photos were probably taken in the late 1980’s, as the photos were in the same envelop as photos taken at the last race at Riverside Raceway in 1989. A friend of mine spotted the ad for the Atomota in Hemmings. He inquired and got some photos of the car. From photos of the car I was sure that nothing of the original Fairthorpe chassis remained. At that time, I had no interest in it, didn’t want it  and recommended he should not buy it, but he bought it anyway. Perhaps, if it had arrived as a nearly running drivable car, if might be worth maintaining it as it was, but there was no engine or gearbox. As a unibodied car, the Subaru would depend on its roof to provide stiffness to the chassis. Add an additional 10 to 15 years of rot on what was left of the chassis and the chassis, in an accident would probably fold up like a pretzel. So we decided to removed the Subaru from the Atomota.

The Atomota as it arrived from Ohio, delivered by the shipping company.
The Atomota frontal view from various angles. The front bumper looks like a 74’ Volkswagen Super Beetle rear bumper. Still think it looks pretty horrific to me. Oh well, makes you wonder why people sometimes do the things they do. But, where would this car be today if they didn’t do what they did. Long gone and forgotten? Perhaps.
The interior of the Atomota.  All of the original interior was gone, replaced with the dash, steering column and seats from the Subaru.
  The side profile of the Atomota, is it in a family way? To me, from this angle, the Atomota looks just a little bit pregnant. The Subaru had a longer wheelbase than that of the original Atomota. The rear wheel arches where definitely cut out and moved back in the rear wings to match the extra length. I think that it should not be that difficult to reverse this.
The Atomota rear view from various angles. Unfortunately, the rear wings do appear to have been cut back and squared off in order to mount the rectangular tail lights from the Subaru. These might take some re-sculpturing to restore the original rear wing appearance. The rear bumper looks like a 74’ Volkswagen Super Beetle front bumper to me.
After the centre section was removed,  you can see parts of the original body profiles. Thankfully, this was not trimmed away and that should make it “relatively easier” to restore the original body profile.
The centre section after removing it from the Atomota , what a mess of wire mesh and fiberglass., with the intention of liberating the original fiberglass grill piece.
Thankfully, the original BSA engine sized access hatch was retained and incorporated into the new engine cover. Dismantling this cover to liberate the original hatch and the original fiberglass surrounding it.
When John Allan was writing his book, he ask me “What are you going to do with the Atomota bodyshell? At that time, I wanted to say, “I am going to cut it into four smaller pieces and then take it to the dump.” But instead I think I said something like “Restore it”.
Keep up the good work Frank..............

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