Alta 2 Litre Sports

Car producer : 



2 Litre Sports





commonly known simply as Alta. Their cars contested five FIA World Championship races between 1950 and 1952, as well as Grand Prix events prior to this. They also supplied engines to a small number of other constructors, most notably the Connaught and HWM teams.

The company was founded by engineer Geoffrey Taylor in Surbiton, Surrey, and produced its first automobile in 1929. Alta's first vehicle was a sports car powered by a 1.1L engine, featuring an aluminium block, wet liners, and shaft-driven twin overhead camshafts, which Taylor designed himself. It was offered in naturally aspirated or supercharged form giving 49 or 76 bhp (37 or 57 kW; 50 or 77 PS). A choice of four speed non-synchromesh or pre-selector gearboxes was available. These were mounted on a low-slung chassis frame with open two- or four-seat bodies. Thirteen were made, of which five are thought to survive.

This design, and its later 1.5L and 2L sister cars, sold steadily, but in limited numbers, right up to the outbreak of war in 1939. With the highest power option the car was capable of 120 mph (190 km/h) and 0–60 mph in 7 seconds. In 1937 the company introduced front independent suspension to the chassis. They became popular among club racers due to their ability to be converted easily from 1.5L to 2L or vice versa, allowing drivers on a limited budget to contest more than one class without having to buy a second car.

In 1934, Taylor produced the first Alta to be designed solely for competition. The resulting light-weight, off-set single seat voiturette cars achieved quite a reputation in shorter events such as hill-climbs, sprints, and time-trials. Once again, Alta's keen pricing, in comparison to the expensive ERA models, resulted in many sales to amateur racers. However, a lack of reliability kept the Alta name out of the long distance Grand Prix events. A revised voiturette design appeared in 1937, with independent front suspension. George Abecassis had some success with this design, winning a string of events before the Second World War interrupted. As war approached, Taylor was drafting designs for a new straight-8 engine and a third-generation voiturette, this time with fully independent suspension. This last prewar car was highly advanced for its time, and was very nearly complete in late 1939. However, as soon as war was declared, Alta's production capabilities were given over to the war effort, and production of the new designs was halted.

Sold for: 345000 EUR
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