The Bexhill 100 Motoring Club
PO Box 159
Bexhill - on - Sea
Bexhill 100 Motoring Club
Copyright 2011-2012 Bexhill 100 Motoring Club
Bexhill on Sea - The Birthplace of British Motor Racing (1902)
ELVA Courier 1957
The name Elva is a corruption of “elle va” meaning “she goes”
I acquired this car in 1989 from Roger Dunbar who runs Elva Engineering and the Elva Owners Club as an unfinished project, resulting in a ground up restoration which spanned a seven year period of working on the car when enthusiasm gripped me. The engine is 1998cc re-stroked MGB engine, modified by Burton Engineering of Essex; transmission is an MG four speed gear box driving a Wolseley rear axle with a Le Mans differential. The chassis was created from the original welding jig by Elva Engineering, incorporating an anti-roll bar for chassis stiffness. Everything was the black powder-coated before fitting to the professionally sprayed using acrylic paint, giving it its lovely gloss shine; the original seats were re-upholstered in Connelly leather together with new dashboard leather covering and carpets. The car has a top speed of over 100mph which can get quite exciting when I try to slow it down as it is till using the original narrow Wolseley drum brakes all around. The car has been used for track day testing and has taken part in the Brooklands Mercedes Test Track demonstration days which are quite exciting as everyone is driving as quickly as they can. Its track day outings include a half hour competition speed trail around the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit. This was the first time I had ever experienced how good the car was to drift through the long fast corners of the Silverstone circuit. I enjoy taking the car to selected classic car shows, especially if they are associated with a charity. In the last twelve months the Elva has been awarded Best in Show at the Auto Historic Show, Burpham, West Sussex, and more recently at the Raystede Classic Car Show near Ringmer in East Sussex.
This type of car was raced in 1950s and 60s. It was build in Bexhill-on-Sea by the Elva Motor Car Company, the brainchild of Frank Nicholls. The Elva company built several different sports racing cars and formula junior cars. Following a take-over by the Trojan Motor Car Company the name went on to build the McLaren Elva cars for Bruce McLaren. Many famous drivers have raced Elva cars, including Sir Stirling Moss, Archie Scott-Brown, John Blunsden, Tony La Franchi to name just a few.
I believe my Elva is the only street-legal Elva Courier being driven on the road in this Country. There are a number still racing in historic sports car races. The Elva Motor Company exported the majority of its production to the United States there are several hundred Elvas of different types still being driven and raced over there.
Its was quite poignant that when Frank Nicholls passed away, other than obituary articles appearing in the motoring press in this country, the memorial service to him was held at Watkins Glen Race Circuit, famous for a number of outstanding race wins.
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