Project Elva: Learning Our Car’s History

Wanting to understand the history of our Elva, we reacquainted ourselves with the Elva club registry in England. For many years, registrar Roger Dunbar has kept tabs on Elvas scattered throughout the world. When queried about chassis #60/13, you could feel the excitement in his email back to us: We had found one of the long-lost factory Sebring cars.

Roger told us that just before the race, the Elva Factory had shipped two of their cars to U.S. distributor, Carl Haas, and they were hastily prepared for a two-car assault at the famous Sebring 12-Hour Florida International Grand Prix of Endurance for the Alitalia Cup in March 1962.

According to Dunbar, our car ran #74 and was driven by a duo from Puerto Rico named Victor Merino and Rafael Rosales. The car failed at the three—though some records show four—hour mark but still managed to make a footnote in automotive history by being entered in that important race.

In June of ‘62, Victor Merino and sports car legend Carl Haas co-drove the car to an eleventh-place overall finish at the Player’s Mosport 200 in Canada. In September, long-time Midwest Elva racer Chuck Dietrich came into the picture as he co-drove the car (with Haas) to a fifth-place finish at the Road America 500, another major race at the time. The car then returned to Canada that same month, where Dietrich finished tenth at the GP Canada Mosport.

Also of note? Haas also the car at Mid-Ohio in August at two SCCA regional races.

The car presumably finished its first season of pro racing at the Grand Prix de Puerto Rico in November 1962. We say presumably because we know Victor Merino finished sixth at that event in an Elva MK VI, but the pictures we have found, supposedly of him at this race, are clearly not in an Elva Mk VI. To add to the confusion, Rafael Rosales also allegedly raced a Mk VI Elva, as did Luis Merino.

We are still looking for more information and pictures to confirm this notch in our car’s proverbial belt.

After the 1962 season came to a close, the trail goes cold and we welcome any and all who can help us track more of this car’s rather interesting history.

We were content to restore this car as just a club racing car, but now we are overjoyed that this car has some legitimate racing history. Our Elva now will be restored to how it looked when it ran Sebring that first season.

Photos of our Elva Mk VI (chassis #60/13) racing at Sebring in 1962 are courtesy of the Revs Institute.

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stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
9/16/19 3:38 p.m.
When queried about chassis #60/13, you could feel the excitement in his email back to us: We had found one of the long-lost factory Sebring cars.


How cool is that?  smiley

Billbagley New Reader
9/16/19 9:30 p.m.

I sent u a pix, of 2 in Texas 64, I think?  

One is still complete, running in ft Worth.

contacted the owner, he was going to contact u?

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