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The Atlas Tool Company was founded in 1924 by Stephan Schaffan. In 1933 Stephan Jr. joined the company at the tender age of 16 and immediately showed his abilities by designing many train features that we take for granted today. The budding entrepreneur quickly outgrew the limitations of a basement and small garage operation and realising they could actually make a living producing and selling model train products, Stephan and his son had the their first factory built in Hillside, New Jersey in 1947. Then on September 30th, 1949, Atlas Tool Company Inc. was officially incorporated as a New Jersey company.

With the rising popularity of commercial raceways in the 60s, Atlas had seen a great potential in the slotcar market so an association with the Japanese slotcar company Marusan was established and in 65 they added slotcars to their line of HO scale models that were available in both RTR and kit form. Later they produced several models of their own often using bodies from Japanese manufacturers including Tamiya and it is also reported that Jose' Rodriguez Jr.1 was also responsible for many of their designs. Atlas and Marusan also had a business agreement with the German Faller Company for selling their product in Europe.

Atlas have not been producing slotcars for more than 30 years now, however their slotcars produced all those years ago are still popular and those examples that still exist today are becoming very collectable. Atlas are still around to-this-day, but are back to what they know best and are a dominant company producing model trains and accessories.

  1. In honor Jose' Rodriguez, a memorial race (the Marconi Proxy Race), was held in 2000 and 2001. The popularity of the race was such that it soon morphed into what was known as the World Proxy Race. Jose' was also the cofounder of Car Model Magazine and his articles are easily found in many back issues of Model Car and Track.

Cars produced

1/32 Scale

Atlas 1/32 scale