U.K. motoring-enthusiast Martyn Corfield is reviving Atalanta Motors, called by admirers the most innovative and stylish prewar British car manufacturer, 72 years after it ceased production in 1939 at the start of World War II.

Atalanta, in Staines, Middlesex, developed and produced one of the most technically advanced sports-car designs of its era. It was described as a thoroughbred among its more conservative contemporaries.

The company was established in December 1936 and designed and produced sports cars for a little more than two years before the outbreak of war halted production with only 21 cars built.

Design features included fully independent coil-spring suspension; adjustable damping; full-hydraulic brakes; an early semi-automatic in the form of an electrically operated, magnetic epicyclic gearbox; multivalve, twin-spark cylinder head; selective engagement of supercharger; and extensive use of lightweight materials for many of its castings.

Variants included an open 2-seat sports car and 2-seat sports tourer; 2-door coupe and sedan; and 2-door convertible coupe.

During the war, the auto maker produced pumps and became Atalanta Engineering.

Corfield, CEO of the revived Atalanta Motors, says his goal is to bring the innovative sports-car concept up-to-date by recognizing 72 years of automotive evolution, yet remaining true in spirit to the style and function of the original Atalanta designs.

A traditionally coach-built preproduction prototype is being developed with plans to unveil it next spring, 75 years after the first Atalanta car was announced.

Corfield says significant effort already has gone toward building the prototype that retains the original’s charm and good looks, but also satisfies the demands of modern motoring.

An original Atalanta-works Le Mans model from 1938 is the reference point in developing the prototype.

The company says the new car uses modern materials and computer-aided design and other technologies to meet today’s vehicle standards.

“Atalanta is one of the greatest untold British motoring heritage stories,” Corfield says in a statement.

“The cars and the team that delivered the original concept were so ahead of their time. What might have been had the war not interrupted development?

“It is my objective to sensitively bring the original Atalanta design up to date, delivering modern motoring needs of safety, reliability and performance but still remaining true in spirit to the Atalanta sports car ideals and deliver the quality of product that this marque deserves.”