Milt Mallory’s Atlas Swallow of Castro Valley, California is a one-of-a-kind example of a high school student’s passion for car customization during the 1960s. The Atlas Swallow is a fiberglass sports car that emerged from a collaboration between renowned automotive innovators Bill Burke and Mickey Thompson in the early 1950s. The car’s design was inspired by the Cisitalia 202 Coupe, which was widely celebrated for its modern and aerodynamic look.
In 1963-1964, Milt and a friend discovered the Atlas Swallow body in a local wrecking yard in Hayward, California. “We had no idea what it was,” Milt told Sondre Kvipt of Kustomrama in 2023. “The nose had been cut off before I got it and replaced it with something more like a Corvette. I thought it looked OK so I spent some time learning to glass and refining the shape. The frame came from a 54 Merc and had a rear axle from a 53 Olds I had for a week or two before we tore that car apart. The frame was Zed in the back and front and used quarter elliptics in the back as part of a four-bar. My High School had a 4H shop and they did the frame and made the motor mounts.” Milt’s dad wanted to have somebody with experience in fiberglass cars take a look, so he contacted Bob McNulty. ” Bob came by my parents’ house to see the car. He liked it, I think, but, for some reason, I don’t think he knew what it was. Anyway I got to meet someone who’s work I admired,” Milt recalled.
Powering the custom Atlas Swallow was a Hemi-engine sourced from a friend’s mother’s 1956 DeSoto.” I rebuilt the motor myself. The machine work was done by Hubbards and Ashland Grinding in Hayward.” Although the car was never finished to the point of being licensed, it was drivable, showcasing Milt’s dedication and skill in customizing his first car. “I had the car most of my senior year at Hayward High. After graduation, I joined the Coast Guard. My parents wanted the garage back, so a friend was tasked with finding it a home.”
Report by kustomrama.com