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42 AUTOCAR 20 May 197 1

• Brief Test

Atlan tiS If you like t he Spridget but want some m ore power, a small
Bedfordshire firm is producing just w hat you need. The
change to a Ford 1600 GT engine does t he perfor m anc e a
lot of good , and the res t of the car no harm

I
T is common know ledge th at yo u can swa p
th e various Ford engines around in Ford
cars , often wi th pretty drama tic results .
Putting engines of diff erent m akes into cars not
designed for them can so me t imes be a butchery
proces s in v olving modifi e d b u l k he ads,
fabr i c ated e ngi ne mounts , r esh ap in g o f
transmission tunnel s and pro babl y an ugly
bonnet bulg e . Wh en it's all comple te t here is no
guaran tee t hat the cooling syst em can cope or
tha t th e cha ract eristi cs of t he pa rtic ula r eng ine
chos en will suit th e car .
We w ere the~efore surprised and intrig ued t o
learn th at a small firm tu cked aw ay in th e heart
of rura l Bedford shir e we re offering new MG
Midgets and Austin Sprites fi tted wi t h a Ford
1600 GT cross -flow eng ine and clos e-ratio
gearbo x . Call ed the Atlan tis, t he modified car
can onl y be bought new f or £1, 12 0. The cost of
bri nging an own er's car up to t he required
specifi cation is prohibitive and if a cust om er
come s along w it h his own M idge t th ey prefe r to
arrange a par t-exchan ge .
, Ext ernally th e Atlantis looks ju st like a norm al
Midget or Sprite , except that it has a deep er
than usu al fuel tank sho w ing at the back and a
straight exha ust syste m wi th ou t th e lat est
transverse sil en cer. The Ford eng ine is a t ig ht ,
but comfortable fit in the en gine bay, the on ly
mod ifi cati on necessary be in g t he fitm ent of a
slim pancake air f ilt er in place of t he normal
deep " saucepan" .
Ferodo OS 11 anti -fade pads are f itted to th e
standard 8+in . dia . front disc brakes and a
AUTOCAR 20 Ma y 19 71 43

vac uum servo is added to lighten t he 'pedal In top th e Atl anti s ran straigh t up to
eff ort. Wheel rim size is in creased from 4 to maxim um revs almost as easily as it had in
4 +in . and 155-secti on Mi chelin ZX radia l-ply t hird , actually excee ding 110 m ph wi t h no
ty res fitted . W ire wheels or alloy ones are trouble at all . This does not mea n any lo ss of
avai lable at extr a cost . norm al one s being fl exibi lity low er down t hough , t he 20 -mp h
deep -pressed Rostyle . incre ments in top being wi t hin half a seco nd of
The suspen sion rem ains as sta ndard , except eac h oth er all t he w ay fr om 20 to 8P mph . In
that t he optio nal f ront anti -ro ll bar is f itted and fact , all th e in-th e-ge ar accelerat io n f igures are
a Panh ard rod is add ed to the back axle . Tank in credibly even , mu ch more so tha n on th e
capac ity is doubled fro m 6 to 12 gallon s and a stand ard M idge t, w hic h is a very fl exible car
hig her fi nal drive ratio (3 .7 3 instead of 3 .9 to 1) anyw ay .
is optio nal. Getting th e A t lantis away from rest qu ickl y
In st andard form now th e Ford 1 60 0 GT was hamp ered by seve re axle tramp , but w e
engi ne develops 86 bh p (DIN) at 5.500 rpm , event ually killed th is comp lete ly by riding th e
com pared with 64 bhp (net) at 5 ,800 rpm on clut ch up to about 20 mph . It took the
t he standard M idg et . Th e t orque increase is pun ishm en t ve ry w ell. Th e Ford gearchange is
f rom 72 Ib .ft . at 3 ,000 to 92 Ib.ft . at 4 ,000 aff ect ed by a drastic reduction in the length of
rpm . The test car actu ally had one of t he earli er the gear lever , makin g it fee l mu ch t he same as
160 0 GT ' engines, w hic h deve lops 82 bhp at the ori ginal M idget and a bit like th at of a Lot us
5 ,40 0 rpm and the same 92 Ib .ft . of torque , but Elan . The Ford box has synchromesh on
at 3 ,6 00 rpm . In terms of we ight the Atlanti s is bottom, of course , whi ch is so mething t he
nearly 70 Ib heavier t han a standard Midget , sta nd ard Midget lacks .
most of t he diff eren ce bei ng at the front; this Handlin g is im proved by t he f atter tyres and
alters the we ig ht distrib ution from 52 .5:47.5 to suspension mo dif icat ions, bu t it is still very
54 :46. m uch a M id get when it comes t o f li cking it
W ith 28 per cent mo re power and tor qu e, it throug h co untry lanes w ith no mo re t han a
is to be exp ect ed that the test car w oul d run w rist act ion on the whee l . The modif ied brakes
rings around th e M idge t we tested in Febru ary cope very well w it h the extra speeds one
of this year . From a standing sta rt to 60 mph reac hes so much more often and easily .
the Atl anti s took 3 .3 sec less , t urnin g in a very The eng ineering of the install ati on seems t o
r e sp e ct ab l e tim e of 10 .8sec . Pr o ductio n have bee n w ell exec uted and there are no
ve rsions wi th th e lat est Ford engine should fou ling probl ems , even under t he hars h test of a
break the 10 sec barrier. The 0 to 90 mph times fu ll-power sta ndin g start. The noi se lev el is no t
are even more div ergent , the st anda rd Midget excessive and t he big cross- f low radiato r w it h
From the re ar the doub le -size fuel tank shows un der ta kin g n e ar ly tw ic e as l on g a s t he rem ote head er ta nk is w ell able to cop e w ith
the number plate and an earlie r M idg et t yp e of exhaust
Atlant is-5 1 .3 inste ad of 2 8 .4 sec . sustain ed traffi c blocks in ho t w eather .
system with a transverse rear sile nce r is used to g ive
clearance Gearing on t he lar ger tyres is increased Overall our fuel consu mption fo r about 250
slight ly f rom 16. 5 to 16.9 mph per 1 ,0 0 0 rpm miles of hard test driv ing worked out at 2 4.2
in top and t he Ford GT gearbox has slightly mp g . Thi s com pares wi th the 29 .6 mpg w e
. clo ser rat ios tha n th e Mi dget on e . Th ird , second obtai ned w ith t he sta nd ard Midget and about
The Ford cross -flow eng ine fits we ll in to th e eng ine and firs t in t he tw o boxes, M idge t th en Ford , 25 mpg fo r a Trium ph GT6 Mk .2 , w hich offe rs
bay, and a big cros s-flow radiator provides ade quate are respecti vely 1 .36 and 1 .92 ; 3.2 and 1.40 ; alm ost ident ical performance to that of th e
cooling unde r all condit io ns 2 .0 and 2 .98 , th e biggest difference being on A tlantis for consi der ably more capital o ut lay.
bottom gear . The test car had the opti on al 3 .7 3 The A tlant is is being manufactur ed and
axle fi tted w hic h fu rther increased th e gearin g marke ted by a new fi rm called Car Prep arat ions
to giv e 17 .7 m ph per 1 ,0 0 0 rpm in top and at W illow Vale, Pavenh am Road, Oakley ,
There is nothing visib le fr om fr ont or side to sho w
that this particular Midget has a 1600 GT Ford engine ma xi.n a in t he gears at th e red line (6 ,2 50 rpm ) Bedfor dshire, telep hone Oakley 2 22 3 . 0
under th e bo nnet of 3 7 , 5 6 and 80 mph .

PERFORMA N C E CH ECK
Maximum speeds
~ear mph kph rpm
Atlantis M idget A tlantis M idget At lant is M idget
To p (m ean) 110 94 177 151 6 ,250 5,700
(b est ) 1 10 96 177 1 55 6,2 50 5,800
3rd 80 78 12 9 12 6 6,2 50 6,400
2 nd 56 55 90 89 6,250 6,400
1st 37 33 60 53 6,250 6,400
Sta nding i -mile , Atlantis : 17 .8 sec. 77 mp h
M idg et : 19 .6 sec . 69 mph
Standi ng Atlantis : 3 3 .4 sec. 9 2 mph
kilometre { Midget : 36 .6 sec. 85 mp h
A cceleration. Atlantis: 3 .5 5.4 7 .6 10.8 14 .7 19 .9 2 8.4
Midge t : 4 .2 6 .5 9.6 14 .1 20 .0 2 9 .7 51 .3
Time in seco nd s
Tru e spe ed mp h 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
Indicated speed MPH, Atlant is : 30 40 51 61 72 82 94 105
Indicat ed speed M PH, Midget : 30 41 52 63 74 85 97
Speed rang e , Gea r Rati os an d Time in seconds
Mph Top 3rd 2nd 1st
Atlanti s Midget Atlantis M idget Atlantis Midget Atlanti s Midget
(3. 7 3 ) (3 .90) (5 .20) (5 .29) (7.4 5) (7.49) (1 1.0 5) (12 .4 8 )
10 .30 7 .0 8.0 4 .7 5.5 2.8 4 .0
2 0 -40 9 .8 10 .7 6 .2 7 .4 4 .5 5.2
30- 50 9.5 10.4 6. 3 7 .2 4 .2 6 .3
40 -60 9 .7 10 .7 6.4 8.3
50 -7 0 10 .2 12. 3 7.4 10 .3
60 -80 10 .6 16 .9 10 .2
70 -90 15 .6 3 1 .8
Fuel con sumption
Overall mp g, Atlantis : 24 .2 mpg (1 1. 6 Iit res/ 10 0 km)
Midget : 2 9.6mpg (9 .5Iitres/1 00km)
54 AUTOCAR 20 Ma y 197 1

AUSDN
aAITlaH

I ~
~ MORRIS .

,i
I'
I! AUSTIN
BIRMI N GHAM . Ba lsall H"ath Motors, 155 - 15 6 May Str eet . Balsall Heath . BRENTFORD . Performance Cars Ltd.. Great W est Road. Tel. : 0 1- 560 70 11.
Tel. : 021 -44 0 1847 LONDON, N.14, University Motors Ltd., 99 Chase Side. South gate.
BIRMINGHAM, 1. Evans & Kitchen Ltd., Horsefair . Tel. 021 -643 27 81
Tel. : 01-886 3 68 7
B IRMINGHAM , B10 ORG, Ashley Garage Ltd., 190 Covent ry Road. Small Heath. LONDON, S.W .1. Evans & O'Malley Ltd.. Lownd es Square. Knight sbridge.
(Nr. Blues Groun d) Tel. : 02 1-772 45 91 / 2
Tel.: 01 -235 1351 & 1709
B RACKNE-LL. Strachan Moto.rs Ltd., Bracknell Garage. Wokingham Road. LONDON , W.1. H. M . Bentley & Partners Ltd., 41 -42 Hay's M ews. Berkeley Square.
Tel. : Brackn ell 1565/6 /7
Tel. : 0 1-499 5551
BROMLEY, The Bromlay Motor Wori<s (Kent) Ltd., Masons Hill.
READING. Loddon Bridge Motors Ltd., Earley. Nr. Reading. Tal. : Reading 6 1602
Tel.: 0 1·460 469 3 & l B17
ST. ALBANS. The St. Albans Motor ce., I 17 London Rd.. Tel. : 523 4 5/ 6/7
CAMBRIDGE. Marsh all s (Cambridge) Ltd., A ustin House . 18 J esus Lane.
TAUNTON. Marshalsea Bros. Ltd., 30 W elling ton Road. Tel. : 81 0 8 1/7
Tel. : 62 2 11
CHESHUNT. Mitchell & Walsh Ltd., Turners Hill. Tel. : W altham Cross 251 66/7 / 8 THAMES DITTON . Guy Salmon Ltd., Portsmo uth Road. Tel. : 0 1·398 5551
COBHAM (Surrey) . Ashby's Garage Ltd., Between Streets . Tel. : 44 44 WESTBOU.RNE /POOLE. Auto Service Ga rage Ltd., Robert Louis Stevenson A venue.
. Tel. iWestbourne 63 3 44
DONCASTER. E. W. Jackson & Son Ltd., Frenchgate. Tel. : Doncaster 3288/9
EDGWARE. Deansbrook Garage (Edgware) Ltd., Hale Lane. Tel. : 0 1-9 5982 82/ 3/4
HARROW. Buntings Motor Exchange (Harrow) Ltd., Bonnersfield Lane.
Tel. : 0 1·42 7 6225/ 6
HARROW. Locomotors Ltd., 84 · 88 and 105 Pinner Road. Tel. : 0 1-4 271092
LONDON, N .12. H . A . Saunders Ltd., 83 6-842 'High Road. North Finchley. .
Tel. : 0 1· 44 5 8822 ( 15 lineal BLACKPOOL. Brown & Mallalieu Limited, General St reet . Tel. : 22322
LONDON, N .16. Hunter Motors Ltd .. 85 -8 7 St oke New ingt on Road. N r. CANTERBURY. Arter Brothers Ltd., Dover Road. Barham. Tel. : 34 6/7
Tel. : 01-2 54 0031 /5 CROYDON . C.W.J. Coles (Croydon) Ltd., Blunt Road. Tel. : 0 1· 688 0074/ 5
LONDON, N.W .10 . Siocombes Ltd., 38 -52 Dudden Hill Lane. CROYDON. Moore's Presto Motor WIJri<s Ltd.,. Tamw orth Road.
Tel. : 01 · 4 59 4869 & 3934 Tel. : 01 -688 60 06
LONDON , S.E.12, Belamys (London) Ltd., 2 Burnt Ash Hill. DONCASTER. E. W. Jackson & Son Ltd., Frenchgate. Tel.: 3288/9
Tel. : 0 1· 857 2 163/ 4 EPSOM . Epsom Downs Motor Co. Tatt enham Corner.
LONDON, S.W.1. Evans & O 'Malley Ltd., Low ndes Square. Knightsbridge. Tel.: Burgh Heath 57117
Tel. : 01 ·235 13 5 1/2 / 3 1709 EXETER. Everleigh's Gerage Ltd. 55 Sidw ell Street . Tel. : 75203
LONDON, S.W.3 . Allery & Bernard, 3 72 King's Road. Chelsea. LONDON, N .14. Unive rsity Motors Ltd. 99 Chase Side. South gate.
Tel. : 0 1·352 14 48 Tel. : 0 1-886 3 687
LONDON, S.W.18. Ivor Hill Limited, 9 Revelstoke Road. W imbledon Park. LONDON, N.W.10. Siocombes Ltd., 38 · 52 Dudden Hill Lane.
Tel. : 01 -94 6 5 686 & 68 25 Tel. : 01 · 45 9 4 869 & 3934
LONDON, W .12. Conway Motors, Robert Mc Lellan (M otorsl Ltd.. 30 1·307 LONDON, S .E.1 . Be rkeley Square Garages Group, 59 -6 1 Al bert Embankm ent .
Goldhaw k Road. Shepherd's Bush. Tel. : 0 1- 74 8 487 2/ 3 Tel. : 01-735 532 1
LONDON, W .14. Smith & Hunter Ltd., 376-8 Kensingto n High St reet . LONDON , S .W.18. Ivor Hill Ltd., Revelstoke Road. Tel. : 0 1-946 5686
Tel. : 0 1·603 2 3 12 & 311 6 LONDON, S.W.19 . Evans (Wimbledon) Ltd., Alexandra Road.
MANCHESTER, 14. Culver's Car Mart Limited. Mose ley Road. Fallow f ield. . Tel. : 0 1·9 46 0 163 / 5
Tel. : Rusholm e 6267/8 LONDON, W.1. Stewart & Arde... Ltd.. Morri s House. Berkeley Square.
ST. ALBANS. The St. Albans Motor Co., 117 London Rd. Tel.: 52345/6/7 Tel. : 01 -62 9 76 80
SHOREHAM·BY-SEA. Holloway Engineers, Shoreham·by·Sea Ltd., Brighton LONDON, W .1. H. M. Bentley & Partners Ltd .. 4 1-42 Hay's M ew s. Berkeley Square.
Road. Tel.: Shoreham -by-Sea 2253/4 Tel. : 0 1-4 99 555 1
STAFFORD. Charles Clark & Son (Sta fford) Ltd., Gaol Squ are. Tel. : Stafford 51 866 LONDON :W.1 . Bas il Roy Ltd., 16 1 Great Portland St reet. Tel. : 0 1· 580 773 3/4 /5
STOKE -ON-TRENT. Hanley Garage Ltd., Broad St reet. Hanley. LONDON, W .5. Mall Motors Ltd. 18· 19 The Mall . Ealing. Tel. : 0 1-567 4 683
Tel. : Stoke-on -Trent 25 177 (4 lines) LONDON, W .14. Smith & Hunter Ltd ., 37 6-8 Kensington High Street .
SURBITON. Lankesters (Surbiton Hill) Ltd ., Austin House. Surbiton Hill Road. Tel. : 0 1-6 03 23 12 & 31 16
Tel. : 0 1-39 9 72 54 READING . Loddon Bridge Motors Ltd ., Earley. nr. Reading. Tel.: Reading 61602
UXBRIDGE. Philip Foster, 196 Hig h Street. Tel. : Uxbridge 34 20 2 TAUNTON . Marshalsea Bros. Ltd., 30 Well ingto n Road. Tel. : 8 1081 /7
WEST BROMWICH. Dartmouth Garage, 384 -386 High Street. THAMES DITTON . Guy Salmon Ltd ., Portsmout h Road. ' Tel. : 0 1-398 55 51
Tel. : WE S 2939 (20 linesl
WESTCLIFF -ON-SEA. Cha lkwell Motor Co , Ltd., 684- 686 Lon don Road.
Tel.: Leigh 782 4 7/8
YEOVIL. Vincents of Yeovil Ltd. Tel. : 209 1 VANDEN PLAS
BIRMINGHAM , 1. Evans & Kitchen Ltd ., Horsefair. Tel.: 02 1-6 43 27 8 1
BROMLEY. The Bromley Motor Wori<s (Kent) Ltd., M asons Hil l.
Tel.: 0 1-4 60 4 69 3 & l B17
CAMBRIDGE. Marshalls (Cambridge) Ltd ., Austin House. 18 J esus Lane.
. Tel. : 622 1"1
LONDON , W .1. Stewart & Ardern Ltd., Morris House. Berkeley Square.
Tel. : 01 -629 76 80
STAFFORD. Charies Clark & Son (Stafford) Ltd., Gaol Squa re.
Tel. : Stafford 5 1366

W01SELEY
AUSTIN-HEALEY COBHAM (Surrey) . Ashby 's Garage Ltd., Betw een St reets' Tel. : 4444
CROYDON . C.W.J. Coles (Croydon) Ltd., Blun t Road. Tel. : 0 1-68 8 007 4/ 5
CROYDON. Moore's Presto Motor Works Ltd., Tamworth Road.
Tel. : 01-6 88 6006
EDGW/l.RE . Deensbrook Garage (Edgware) Ltd., Hale Lane.
BRACKNELL. Strachan Motors Ltd., Bracknell Garage. Rochdale Road. Tel. : 0 1· 959 8 28 2/ 3/4
Tel. : B racknell 20 565/6 /7 LONDON , N.14. University· Motors. Ltd., 99 Chase Side. Sout hgate.
LONDON , S.W .3 . A1lery & Bernard Ltd., 372 King's Road. Chelsea. - Tel. : 01-886 3 687 .
Tel. : 0 1-352 14 48 LONDON , W.1 . H. M. Bentley & Partners Ltd., 4 1· 42 Hav's Mew s, Berkeley Squ are.
STAFFORD . Charies Clari< & Son (Sta ffo rd ) Ltd., Gaol Square. . Tel. : 0 1·499 555 1
Tel.: Staff ord 51 366 STAFFORD. Charies Cla ri< & Son (Stafford) Ltd.• Gaol Square . Tel.: Staff ord 5 1366
AUSTIN-HEALEY
C ATER H AM CAR S (LONDON) offer .->

1967 ~~~~~ ~~~;rve,M:i,olJ.I I~nwr:~~i~y R'!f.~


N. W.3. 01-794 9659/8 491. (C1059

1966 1m j~r~IJi . s=Ch=~sJ'v(~ en~:;):


(5931
Sprite II I . whit e, £3070 o .n. o. Eveni ngs, week-
1'965 ends. Sm ith , 45 Fawcett R d ., Al deburgb ,
Suffolk . (599 3

1964 ~~Ula~:"I~ 3~r, ~75 .H'w~~~o:le~~d


Cla rk. Clacto n 26~5 . (6110
M.G. MIDGET
H. W. MOTORS (George Abecassls) LTD .
1'96'9 o~~, ~~t, IIreen, 21,000 miles, one
NB~. Z~N!D AVENUE. Walton-on-~'f~

1'968 ~.g: Jt;~ll:i; ~;~~in:65Y_7~;r~39?ay °t~~


196,6 M.G. Midget, red, red interior, one owner,
exceIlent condition. Hereford 66068. (6152

1'970 o~~er~j~t ~j:ek~hi~h~ac~nly~i':'onn ~~~


cover, air horns, etc. Terms. exchanges.
CH~;;~~~I~~DDerb~g;"~R~~: Ch~t~~~ 71~&:
(6162
M.G . MidllCt, red with black interior, immacu-
1970 late, £799. Meadham Motors Ltd. 01-894
9324. (4433
Midget, with £70 extras, red, complete record
1968 since delivered new. £575. Offord. 01-373
~388. (C3213

1971 .~~;:;e>au~~~~r,M';'~f~ar~f~~e,i~8~J~zeHe-:~
(Wessex) Ltd., Southampton Rd., Salisbury. Phone,
Salisbury 525.J. (C2 128

=
M.G. Midget Cars Wanted
M IDG ET or Sprite, cash.
648 <t871 .
Powlesland Motors. 01-
(W3<t85

PI~~di~~~) s~~ti'l.t; Ii~~~ri~.for