The Ariel Atom is an amazing piece of automotive minimalism and could be what Lotus founder Colin Chapman would build were he still with us today. However, not everyone can swing the price tag for an Atom. In the case of 72-year-old Bert Campbell of Southgate, MI, his artificial hip also posed an ingress/egress problem. Bert is one of the participants at the first Detroit Maker Faire, and because of his mobility problem, he decided to the take the basic Atom chassis design and modify the sides to make them lower. To compensate for the loss of structure, he added a roll-cage on top.
Campbell bought the steel tubing at swap meet for about $20 and got the front control arms from another hobbyist in return for some help fixing a lathe. Campbell built his own tubing bender and roller to shape the steel and has done all the fabrication in his girlfriend's garage. Although he has several engines available, Campbell plans to install an 1100cc Yamaha motorcycle engine in the back with the original five-speed gearbox. Bert promises to keep us up to date as the project progresses, so stay tuned for more.