First seen in prototype form in 1962, the 745cc Atlas represented the biggest stretch yet applied to Norton’s parallel twin engine. Built for export only initially – home market deliveries commenced in 1964 – the Alas was fundamentally a larger-engined version of the existing 650SS, using the same Featherbed frame/Roadholder fork cycle parts. Contemporary road tests typically recorded a top speed in the region of 115-120mph with fuel consumption approaching 60 miles per gallon. The arrival of the similar-capacity but Isolastic-framed Commando in 1967 spelled the end for the Atlas, which disappeared from the Norton range towards the end of 1968. Almost the last of Norton’s traditional Featherbed-framed twins (the 650cc version lasted into 1970) this muscular road-burner is today highly sought after by discerning collectors.
Built by one of Denmark’s foremost Norton specialists, this beautiful Atlas is presented in the classic ‘Café Racer’ style, a look that is currently undergoing a healthy resurgence as part of the modern customising scene. It is based on a 1967 Atlas and incorporates a Norton Commando 850 engine, enlarged to 920cc. Other noteworthy features include an alloy ‘Manx’ fuel tank; Grimeca double-sided 4LS front brake, Amal Concentric Mk2 carburettors, alloy fork yokes, clip-on handlebars, rear-set footrests, central alloy oil tank, matching Smiths instruments, alloy wheel rims, alloy swinging arm, and a special exhaust system. In other words: this stunning two-wheeled work of art ticks all the ‘Café Racer’ boxes.
Report by bonhams.com