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Aston Martin Atom Wins Car Of The Show at the NEC
The day ended triumphantly for the Aston Martin Owners Club on the first day of the Classic Motor Show at the NEC. The Aston Martin Atom, a unique 1940s prototype, won best car of the show at the Classic Car Magazine awards held after the show's first day. The car was kindly loaned for the AMOC stand by Tom Rollason of Area 5 who also loaned the immaculate 15/98. Other cars on the stand included a 1988 Zagato loaned by Area 5 member Ken Hipwell and the Le Mans DBR9 GT1 on loan from Prodrive

Fay, Area 5 representative, collecting the award on behalf of Tom


The Atom


The Atom, brainchild of Gordon Sutherland; Aston proprietor 1933/47, is the forerunner of the David Brown series of motor cars. The advanced design engineering and marketing concept which David Brown acquired were incorporated into DB1 and DB2/4 series

Special features

  • ŸFully patented box frame structure; aluminium over panels - all original
  • ŸFirst use of Gordon Armstrong patented parallel linkage front coil suspension
  • ŸFirst Salisbury back axle in UK before licence given to GKN
  • ŸElectromagnetic semi-automatic Cotal gearbox
  • ŸAircraft style hammock seats
  • ŸGordon Sutherland personally travelled over 100,000 miles as Test Bed and "Concept Car"
  • ŸOnly car David Brown drove when buying the factory. The car has now covered some 250,000 miles
  • ŸAll published road tests relate to early 2 litre OHC engine of 1940
  • ŸThe first DB1 engines, 2 litre pushrod of novel design, with wartime 6:1 low compression fitted from 1945 - making 110 mph achievable on non-pool petrol tuning

The car was in Le Mans Motor Museum and restored to its 1948 specifications by Tom Rollason who researched the history of the car.

Ken's 1988 Aston Martin V8 Zagato Volante

Aston Martin V8 Zagato Volante 1988

V8   5340cc   432 bhp

One of only 89 V8 Zagatos built and one of only 37 convertibles.

Originally purchased by a Richard Moore of Ongar in Essex, the car was stored on his behalf by Roger Bennington of Stratton Motor Company before being sold through Ron Stratton of Knutsford in Cheshire to the newspaper magnate Eddie Shah and it was registered in his Messenger Group of companies.

The car was registered for the second time in Ron Stratton's name in January of 1995 before being sold into the private collection of Freddie Pritchard in July of the same year.

Sold in 2010 at auction, the car was re-commissioned by the previous owner with Aston Engineering before being sold to its current owner Ken Hipwell.

Tom's 15/98


Aston Martin15/98 2 Litre OHC Saloon 1937

  • Of 50 chassis built, this Bertelli bodied car is probably the best Concours Winning saloon running today.
  • It has retained all original features including
    • Adjustable rear Luvax rotary shock absorbers
    • Harmonic damping
    • Jackall hydraulic
    • Sunroof
    • 4 speed synchro gearbox
  • ŸWings and bonnet are steel, other panels aluminium over ash
  • ŸEngine is at standard bore with balanced crankshaft
  • ŸA genuine four-seater driven from Birmingham. Feeling good on the road with surprisingly energetic performance for a car of 1 ¾ tons

The DBR9 GT1

However a lot of work by members started some time ago. Keith Padbury organised the start of the aquisition of the car from Prodrive and John Wilkinson organised the finer details of getting the car to the NEC. Unfortunately we were not allowed to drive it there ourselves. Prodrive also supplied a large number of posters which we were able to give to visitors. Many garages and bedrooms will be adorned with Aston Martin Racing.

The Atom had to be trailered in as the MOT had run out (yes I know that one is not needed today but it was last Thursday). Jean Moss and Chris Adams of Four Ashes garage kindly lent us a suitable trailer and George Joesbury took it to Toms. Tom and George got the 2 cars to the NEC.

The set up day team worked hard - well that is what they told me.....

John, Maggie, Kevin and Gary enjoying cupcakes supplied if not baked by Gary

Keith and Clive working

The team John, Kevin, Gary, Maggie, Tom, Clive, George and Keith - thanks to all who helped

First day of the show on Friday and another team to man the stand. Here Peter Heath talking to David Reed whilst looking after the cars.amoc_at_nec_classic_carshow_2012_008.jpg

Keith (right) talking to a visiting member.

Nick Stephens, who was helping on the Friday


George (right) showing Keith and Christine the information sheets on the cars for visitors and so we could answer any questions


Tom allowing a visitor a closer look

AMOC member Gary (right) enjoying the show


A selection of the Friday team - Anne, David, Fay, Tom, George and John - Peter Heath, Nick Stephens, Keith Padbury and Christine Cheslin escaped the photocall

A bottle of Tattinger champagne was presented to Maggie (presented by John) and to Tom - presented by Fay as a small thank you for the loan of the 15/98 and the Atom 

Fay and John presenting champagne to Ken Hipwell for the loan of his Zagato

Images from the show


Part of the Sunday team - John, James, Maggie, Jean, Fay, George, Paul and Clive. Escaping having a picture taken were Kevin, Matt and Tom, Keith and Christine who all helped on the stand

Taken before the show opened and the visitors poured in.

Leaving you with the overall winning car of the show - the Atom

Also thanks to the Saturday team who were so busy that we did not manage to get time for a group shot and included Paul Hughes (from Area 3), Gary Ungless, Vikki and Robin Klette, Jean Moss, Chris Adams, Maggie Roe, Pete Shelton, George Joesbury, John Wilkinson and Dave Elsegood

Photos by James Hipwell, Anne Reed and Fay Langton

Report by Fay Langton Area 5 rep 

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