The Mark 1 Atlas was launched as the 750SS in the early 1960s, but by the time it appeared c. 1962 it was being called a 750cc Atlas, with Norton’s famous Featherbed frame. Designer Bert Hopwood’s 1949 497cc Dominator engine had been bored and stroked over the years to 745cc, via 600cc and then 650cc versions, to appeal to the American market and initially was only produced for export. The styling was aimed at the US market with high-rise handlebars, small 2.5-gallon petrol tank and valanced chrome mudguards and chain guard. The look was completed with a heavy-duty WM3-18 rear wheel, and a Lucas Competition magneto was supplied as standard.
The engine had lower compression than the Dominator (at 7.6:1) and was fitted with a single 376 Amal Monobloc carburettor giving 55 bhp (41 kW) at 6500 rpm. The Atlas shared many cycle parts with the last of the Dominator twins and had Norton’s four-speed gearbox and heavy-duty clutch. Electrics were 6-volt and it had Roadholder forks, adjustable Girling rear shocks and a slimline Featherbed frame. Later versions came with 12 volt electrics and twin Amal carbs.