Most of us would be extremely lucky to own an Aston Martin someday, but only one person will be lucky enough to own this gorgeous Aston prototype when it crosses the block at Goodwood this summer. 

This is the 1939/40 Aston Martin Atom prototype. Only one exists, it survived the war, and my goodness it’s beautiful. While not the first concept car ever produced, it was one of the earliest (following Buick’s Y-Job by only a year and a half). Aston Martin’s owner, Gordon Sutherland, conceived of the Atom to be the smallest, lightest saloon possible at that time.

Yes, you heard right, a four-door saloon. And to deliver on those high hopes, some seriously cutting-edge technology was integrated. The Atom featured a tubular spaceframe chassis, lightweight aluminum body, coil-sprung independent front suspension, a semi-automatic shift gearbox, and the first DB1 2.0L engine.

It was driven by Sutherland during World War II, and has clocked an amazing 250,000 miles. As far as 75-year-old cars go, that’s unbelievable. This gem represents a truly sparse era of automotive production; we hope it finds a good home on June 27 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed auction.

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[via Bonhams]