The first production kit to be laid down by RGS Atalanta company was soon in the capable hands of engineer Norman Wood, once completed the car was registered 5 AMY. Norman had spent a couple years assembling the kit which he first took delivery in 1951. The first engine he tried was a Lincoln V8 a nod to the V12 Lincoln of the Pre-war era cars. This was soon replaced by an Aston Martin DB2/4 2.6 litre, as the Lincoln V8 was found to be a disappointment. 5 AMY still retains a DB2/4 engine to this day.
Alongside the chassis kits, RGS Atalanta also started making and selling their own fibreglass bodies. Instrumental to this part of the business (was John Heath and George Abecassis of HWM fame.
5 AMY was the first to be clothed in this all-enveloping plastic body. The completed body for 5 AMY was exhibited on the Bakelite stand at the Plastics Exhibition in July 1953. Dick was delighted with the results and bodies started selling very well in open and closed cockpit style form, finding new homes around the world. By June 1954 fifty bodies had been sold, with 3 going to Trevor Wilkinson of TVR for his Prototype saloon.
Meanwhile, 5 AMY was being very active on track alongside Dick in the works RGS Atalanta HBL845, and also a two further RGS’s in team racing. In addition, Norman had been entering various other races and hill climbs including Silverstone and Goodwood. In 1963 he sold 5 AMY to P Smith of Chobham, Surrey, who in turn sold the car to David Watts in Jersey (Jersey registration number J 653) 5 AMY remained in Jersey until 1973/4 after passing through a couple of more owners on the Island. Registration 5 AMY was re-assigned to the car on its return to the mainland in 1976. Dr Peter Garrod owned 5 AMY for the next 20 years. During this time, Beauford Restoration and Aston Services in Dorset maintained the car for Peter.
In 2010 the car was offered for sale by Martin Chisholm Collectors Cars, from where it was purchased by the vendor. Since 2011, 5 AMY has been maintained by Aston Martin specialists, Four Ashes Garage located in Stratford-upon-Avon. Their brief was to maintain the originality of the car without over-restoring or making the car concourse, because fundamentally it’s a racing car! Four Ashes have performed a full chassis up rebuild, after taking over its everyday maintenance. The Chassis has been jigged and repaired where needed. The engine has been recently rebuilt and dynoed with the 2649cc Aston Martin DB2 producing competitive bhp… The rest of the mechanics and suspension along with braking system has also seen significant investment with the emphasis on reliability. All this is detailed in the large invoice file, which accompanies the car.
During the current custodian’s tenure, 5 AMY has made race appearances in the “Woodcote Trophy” series held at Donington Park, Silverstone Classic, Spa Six Hours, Brands Hatch and Oulton Park. It has also provided an attractive edition to grids with the Aston Martin Owners Club and Fiscar events. In 2013, 5 AMY was invited to Goodwood Revival.
5 AMY is a worthy addition to any automotive collection, being a unique and integral part of Britain’s post-war automotive history as any other contemporary produced by the stables of Jaguar or Aston Martin. 5 AMY begs to be used as Dick designed and first owner Norman intended. The sale includes some associated spares along with a signed, limited edition hard slip-cased copy of the recently published“RGS Atalanta” book just launched by Alan Shattock, son of Dick. A book to which Alan has almost been as dedicated to as his father, its 200 pages covers the pre-war years to the present day and Martyn Corfield’s revival of the Atalanta marque and 5 pages are dedicated to 5 AMY.
The RGS Story.
The RGS Atalanta may be a lesser-known jewel in the crown for the UK’s booming post-war era. However, the Atalanta Motors lineage starts Pre-war, when three friends formed Atalanta Motors. One of these friends was “Alfred Gough of Frazer Nash fame. Approximately 26 Pre-war Atalantas were built, in the main powered by the Lincoln V12. Each chassis was produced with all-round independent suspension, with the rear being particularly unique, having horizontality mounted coil springs parallel to the chassis.
Between 1944 and 1958, Atalanta Motors witnessed a revival with the addition of the initials RGS (Richard Gaylard Shattock)/Dick Shattock.
In 1944, Dick had acquired an unused Pre-war Atalanta chassis, in which Dick installed three different engines. This car was registered asMMX343. In 1949, Dick acquired the full naming rights for Atalanta Motors along with the ability to supply the owners with spares for the existing Pre-war cars. Dick, had been working on a new style of car business for a while, this venture would see him producing “Kit cars” under the new company’s name. The customers would purchase a rolling chassis to formula 2 specification with the ability to fit their own engine and body combinations.
The next 6 years were spent honing thenew RGS Atalanta chassis and suspension set up ready for the next chapter in the story with the ‘works’ car, registered HBL 845.To showcase his new car company, a prototype kit was completed and Dick went racing. HBL845 was the prototype car, powered by a 3.4L Jaguar C type engine. Dick competed in many National and International events with some notable success and to this day the car continues to do so in the hands of Barry Wood, his son Tony and father and son duo, Ian and William Nuthall.