The Standard Atlas is a light van which was produced and sold under various names between 1958 and 1980, initially in Britain, and subsequently in India.
In 1958 Standard presented the Atlas, their contender in the growing but (in Britain) increasingly crowded small van sector. It was a competitor for BMCs venerable J-Type and the much more modern Morris J2, as well as for the Ford Thames 400E and the market leading Bedford CA. For some export markets, notably Canada, the Standard Atlas was badged as a Triumph, reflecting the value of the brand recognition achieved for the Triumph name by sports models such as the Triumph TR3.
Light vans in Britain were at this time frequently identified by their maximum permissible gross payload, and the Atlas was often advertised simply as the Atlas 10 cwt or the Atlas 12 cwt, reflecting allowable load weights (including a driver) of 500 kg and 600 kg. In addition to the panel van, a pick up truck version was also offered. Both hinged doors and sliding doors were offered. There was also a small flatbed truck version which had rear hinged doors.
Like its competitors, the Atlas shared its engine with a passenger car from its manufacturer’s range. In this case the engine in question was the 948cc petrol/gasoline engine from the Standard Ten, which was installed under a cowling between the driver and his passenger, and delivered power to the rear wheels.
Wing mirrors, Twin wiper blades, Heater, Slide side windows, Fold down rear panel, Choke, Pull start, Shell livery, Dual Shell motor oil barrels.
This Shell motor oil inspired Standard Atlas pickup looks every bit the part as a historic utility vehicle, fit for any pitlane or vintage garage. Finished in a solid battleship grey the body and paint are in absolutely excellent condition along with the red decal sticker set that adorns the various panels and adds good contrast to the solid paintwork. Chrome work remains flawless with lights and lens free from cracks or moisture.
The 10/12 cwt pickup bed is vast. A fitted rubber mat protects the metal floor while two red Shell oil barrels add character and fit with its theme. The rear tailgate folds down neatly allowing ease of access.
The driving cab of the Atlas is sparse but provides comfortable seating. Swing open the hinged door and the classic car smell is immediately prominent, a mix of vinyl, metal and mechanics. The gear level springs forward from the rear bulk head in unusual fashion providing further charm and character to this 1959 work horse.
The seats and headlining present in immaculate condition along with the rest of the cabin. The speedo sits in the middle of the dash surrounded by some pull buttons and optimistically showing a theoretical top speed of 80 mph.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
Nestled into the centre of the cab and between the driver and passenger seat is the engine. Designed and placed in such a position to maximise the possible carrying load of the pickup as well as providing ample space in the cabin, Its position leads to some quirky traits, one being the location of the ignition key and gear shift lever.
The engine is started by sprung loaded pull handle by the ignition key along with the choke. Servicing and maintenance is made far easier with any problems fixed without the driver even having to leave their seat!
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
Cream steel wheels match the front grille and are topped with chrome caps. All four wheels nestled into the body and wrapped in Kumho tyres with excellent tread.
Produced in 1959 the Atlas 10/12 cwt pickup was marketed as a ‘Sturdy, reliable, easy to handle and all always quick of the mark whatever the weather.’ While standards have certainly moved on the Atlas still performs admirably with plenty of character.
Fully restored in 1997 and refurbished again more recently this multi award winning pickup is in immaculate condition proudly wearing the shell branding. The history file contains original brochures, servicing manuals and a variety of MOTs along with historic photos of the vehicle in past liveries, medals and trophies.
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