Project Elva: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

Have you ever dreamed about stumbling upon a race car just sitting in a barn? We have: Approaching an old building—weeds as high as our waists—forcing the doors open to see an old Ferrari staring back, asking us to take it away. Reality often plays out differently from our dreams, but was no less rewarding in this case: We recently stumbled on a 1962 Elva Mk VI sports racer. 

While visiting one of our customers, we noticed the forlorn and damaged remains of what looked to be an old sports racer in the rafters of his warehouse. We resisted its siren call, as we had just finished work on our Elan project and wanted a break from fiberglass splinters.

We just couldn’t help ourselves—the Elva discovery played out in our dreams like a broken record. So on a subsequent visit, the car’s owner told us if we wanted the Elva, we could take it. He admitted that he didn’t know much about the car or its history, but he thought it had been club raced in the Midwest where he had found it some 30 years earlier. He set the value at $6000-$7000, and so we made a deal.

We knew it would be an interesting project to share with our readers though, so we happily collected all the bits, threw them into our van and dragged it all home to figure out what exactly we had gotten ourselves into. Just like Brody said in the movie Jaws, we’re gonna need a bigger boat for this one! It’s a massive undertaking, but it will be worth it. 

We think that restoring a legitimate race car—not just a modified production car—is new territory for ourselves and you. And yeah, we’re excited.

With things like a Coventry Climax FWA engine, Hewland transaxle and a tube frame with aluminum and fiberglass construction, this project will challenge us, and we’ll all learn something in the end. Challenge accepted.

Here’s what it looked like when we found our Elva MK VI—long-forgotten and stuffed in the rafters of a customer’s warehouse.

We did get a dusty old book with the car, but it turned out to be full of generic stories of Elvas in general and not this car’s history.

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View comments on the CMS forums
ElvaRacingRoger New Reader
8/10/19 1:05 a.m.

Hopefully the original brass chassis plate has remained with the car and will show a chassis number.  ELVA Racing holds build records for the Mk.VI series and much information is generally available once cars are identified.  Keep in mind that these hand built and successful sports racers tend to be 'individuals' and specifications can vary .. that's what makes them interesting and potent race winners!  Look forward to helping with the rebuild and return of this car to the track. 

ElvaRacingRoger New Reader
8/10/19 7:30 a.m.

After looking back through emails etc., it looks like this is chassis # 60/13 ... 

I can initially tell you that records show that 60/13 is dated 20th March '62, painted white, brakes 9" Alfin drums fronts and 9" cast drums rear, spring rates 85lbs fronts and 87lbs rear, dampers Armstrong #1485 fronts and Koni #1097 rears, Climax FWA #10405, 5-speed Hewland, to Carl Haas for Victor Merino.  

There are several helpful and enthusiastic ELVA Mk.VI owners Stateside who will be supporting the project .. looking forward to seeing this ELVA back in action.  

Marjorie Suddard
Marjorie Suddard General Manager
8/13/19 10:19 a.m.

Thanks, Roger. Tim’s already had (and appreciated) lots of help--you're right, the Elva community is awesome.


10/12/19 10:05 a.m.

I did some research into the Mosport races and there are several photo's of your car in the Players 200 photo gallery on the Racing Sports Car site. There is a grid photo and some racing shots at what looks  like turn 5A.

 It will be cool to see history come to life with this project. 


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