Project Elva: How to Mount a Race Car Body to a Race Car Chassis

As you can see from the pictures, the body of our 1962 Elva Mk VI sports racer had been crashed and re-crashed over the years. Oddly, the frame is all original, and nearly perfect.

We suspect at least some of the body damage occurred during rough handling during the car’s time in storage–likely as long as 30 years. So, in addition to repairing the fiberglass body, we needed to make sure that body would sit straight and level when it rejoined the frame.

To that end, as we outlined earlier, we first patched together the body so it would not get further damaged as we worked on it. We then test fitted the body to the frame and then built bracing to get the body truly straight.

The biggest problem was the nose, as it was twisted up from an accident years ago. Then add in hastily done repairs over the years.

As you can see from the photos, we first used wood strips to get the two sides even so that we could make these initial repairs. Then we bolted the body back on the frame.

Once on the frame, we could make more permanent repairs. Fiberglass takes a set, so once you do repair an area that has been straightened, it will stay as you repaired it.

The twisted nose was especially challenging, but we literally kept twisting wire against our support braces or the frame to pull the nose into a level position. From there, we went ahead and started patching, first with temporary metal pieces, and then fiberglass repairs.

As you can see, once the initial rough-ins were finished, our Elva is actually starting to look like a classic race car again.

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