20th November 2014
Dave Rawsthorn has brought to our attention some interesting information concerning the factory scenes that appear in this film and is reproduced here with the kind permission of Bookmarque Publishing.
Extracted from the late John Allan’s book Air Vice-Marshal Don (Pathfinder) Bennett’s FAIRTHORPE Cars.
THE ATOM, FILM STAR (Page37)
Late in 1955 the factory was approached by Pinewood Studios, located some five miles down the road, who wished to borrow a few cars for a film. Using a local car manufacturer made sense and eight cars (which just happened to be lying around) were made ready. They were driven to the studios and arranged to simulate a production line in an important car factory producing a secret and very special sports car, the Volta.
The film was Checkpoint and starred Stanley Baker as the villain and Anthony Steel as the ‘goody”. Made at Pinewood by J Arthur Rank, it went on release in 1956. It featured some excellent racing scenes with Aston Martins and similar cars and ends with the villain getting his come-uppance, driving over a cliff edge into a lake. Purists need not worry, however, because the Aston Martin was a fibreglass replica.
Meanwhile, back at the Volta factory, Stanley Baker arrives to steal the plans for the new Volta sports car. He shoots the night watchman, despite insincere statements like “I don’t really want to do this”, and is seen dodging bullets behind the Atoms while making good his escape.
It was probably because of these bullets that only one Atom arrived back at the factory under its own steam. All the rest broke down and had to be towed!