F rom the grandiose proportions of the RollsRoyce Phantom to the sporty and very desirable Volkswagen Golf MKII GTI 16V, we take a closer look at two very nice models courtesy of the good folks at Toymod Ltd.
Our mystery no. 247 this month appears rather familiar, but if you look more closely, and you’ll find it’s different. Not a backyard conversion, this was a factory-produced vehicle, but the mystery here lies in the detail — so, we’re asking, what, where, and when? Send your solution to email@example.com by September 2 with ‘Mystery Car 247’ in the subject line.
Our mystery last month was the Standard Atlas forward-control van, probably the first 1958 version, we think, which was (under) powered by the 948cc Standard 10 engine. So underpowered was this vehicle that the final-drive ratio had to be set to a low 6.66:1 to allow the van to drag itself along, never mind its ability to handle any sort of load. Unsurprisingly, sales were sluggish, and were probably not helped by the promotional literature from which our picture came. However, when the bigger 1670cc engine from Standard’s Ensign saloon was installed in 1961, sales picked up, as this was actually a capable vehicle, built on a very solid chassis, that could take a bashing and keep chugging along. I recall some late 1970s rides in a beat-up and rather rusty 15-yearold example of very considerable mileage, but it was still doing very well what it had been designed to do. From 1961, the van was still available with the small engine, though enlarged to 1147cc as in the Triumph Herald 1200.
The Atlas was produced in several versions, including a pickup, and, for a while, was a popular vehicle for motor caravan and campervan conversions — some of them, amazingly, sold with the small engine — they must have been painfully slow vehicles.
In 1964, the Atlas was rebadged as the Leyland 15 or 20, fitted with a 2138cc motor, with load capacity uprated to 762 or 1016kg (15 or 20cwt), and it soldiered on until 1968, when British Leyland, or BLMC, rationalized its van production and pensioned off the Atlas — though, for my money, it was a better vehicle than the competing Bmc-designed vans that got the nod for continued manufacture. However, the tooling was sold off to India, and, a couple of years later, it resurfaced for sale over there and achieved another few years of production through to 1980.
We include here an additional picture of a contemporary advert, this time, perhaps, hitting a more suitable note in terms of publicity.
Method of tyre construction with carcass plies lying diagonally (5-3) 3. Alfa Romeo’s 1970–’77 mini supercar, with 2.6-litre V8 motor in a Bertonebodied 105-series Giulia chassis (8) 4. Three-wheel motorized (small two-stroke) vehicle used in Thailand as a taxi; the name supposedly imitates the engine’s sound (3-3) 5. Model name shared by a Chevrolet station wagon, a BMC Australia Morris hatchback, and a present-day Ariel fun buggy (5) 6. Opel’s rival to the Ford Capri; it sold rather fewer than the Ford, but 1 million–plus units is a