Burdette "Berdie" Martin
could qualify along with Chuck Dietrich and Carl Haas as "Mr. Elva" in the US. Burdette began competing in hot rod racing in 1946 and went on to midgets and racing boats. He served in Korea with the rank of Captain when the war ended. He went back to racing cars and motorcycles and established Vogue Motor Imports,
which distributed Elvas and parts. "As a Distributor, I got the latest models" that included a MK II he entered in the 1957 Road America 500
(and sold to Frank Campbell) and a MK III he raced at Nassau in December of '57.
He became an official with the SCCA and in 1965 became its Chief Steward and in 1969 was elected head of the SCCA Chicago region.
In the early 1970s he acted as chief steward for TransAm, CanAm, SuperVee and all the North American F1 races. By 1974 he was assistant director of the SCCA's racing department and 3 years later took over the job. In 1983 when he was appointed head of ACCUS, the sporting authority of the United States, and became America's delegate to the FISA Executive Committee By 1985 he had been elected a FISA Vice-President, was the chairman of several FIA Commissions and was a regular steward in F1, sports car and rally events. Berdie and his son joined us for the Elva Reunion at Road America in September, 2010.
Here is a photo taken in late 1958 or 1959 showing Doc Wylie (left) and Berdie standing next to a new MK IV. The motor came from the Elva MK III with the FPF 1500cc Climax that Doc crashed at Sebring in March. The MK IV had to be scary fast!
Burdette seated in his Elva at Road America in 1958.
Berdie's 1957 Elva MK II.