The Norton Atlas was produced from 1962 to 1968 before being replaced by the iconic Commando. The Atlas’s 745cc air-cooled twin was married to a four-speed chain-drive transmission that resulted in 55hp at 6,500RPM. One of the biggest selling points for the Atlas was its Featherbed frame. Interestingly the Atlas was first produced for export only, having been designed to appeal to the American market but after a few years it would become available domestically (in the U.K.)
This example is quite rare in that it has just 770 miles on the odometer. This ’63 Norton also wears its black and yellow CA plates from the year it was produced.’ According to the seller, shortly after this bike was first bought, it was drenched in WD-40, covered in tarps and pushed into a Southern-California barn where it would spend the next several decades.
During an earthquake in ’94, this example would end up on its side where a small dent would be left in the tank. In more recent years a professional detailer was hired to restore this Norton to its former glory. It turns out before this bike was forgotten about in a barn, it did receive a little bit of chrome plating, such as on the fore and aft engine mounting plate covers, exhaust nuts, some hardware, and in the seller’s words: “not much else.” This is the only non-factory original changes that have been made to this example of a US-market Norton. The handlebars that admittedly look a little out of place are supposedly the original US-market bars.
The seller is convinced the tires on this example were thrown on in 2007, but because they’re uncracked they obviously aren’t the tires the bike rolled out of the factory on. When this bike was first taken out of the barn to be restored it was found to be completely dry without a drop of gas or oil, the good news is there is no rust anywhere. This ’63 example still has its original Lodge spark plug cables and caps, a set of fresh Champion spark plugs screwed in, and its factory twin carbs are primed, as a result the Atlas reportedly fires up on the first kick. The ad says oil pressure is great, with the return feed to the oil tank still working strong.
It’s seldom you come across an all (or mostly) original unrestored example that is this old that is in this great of condition. This bike would comfortably fit in at the Quail or the like and is just a beautiful pre-Commando Norton that’s 100% ready to be shown or ridden. This is a rare opportunity for the right buyer, albeit the price seems a little steep to me.
You can find this beautiful Norton Atlas example for sale here on Craigslist in Los Angeles, California with a price of $17,500.