8-Formyl-1-naphthamides can be made by perilithiation of 1-(dimethylaminomethyl)-naphthalene, quenching the organolithium with a carbamoyl chloride and subjecting the product amine to a Polonovski reaction. The naphthamides react stereoselectively with nucleophiles to give predominantly the syn atropisomers of the product alcohols. Oxidation gives ketones which also give mainly the syn atropisomer on reduction. The rate of thermal epimerisation of the products is high relative to 2-substituted 1-naphthamides: the barrier to Ar-CO rotation is ca. 90 kJ mol-1.