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Courier beautifully upgraded to meet current expectations 
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Post Courier beautifully upgraded to meet current expectations
A good few years ago Barry Worsey travelled south from his home in the West Midlands and we met in a local thatched pub to chat about the Elva Courier that Barry was restoring.
Barry had in fact been involved with successfully racing a Courier even further back, by strange coincidence 100/33/R registered as UEA 600, a car that Elva Racing meticulously rebuilt in 1990. The experience gained from his exploits in the Courier during the 1960's lead him to consider remodelling his latest acquisition to make this latest car more user friendly or in his words "a Courier that goes, stops and handles as well as current vehicles". We know that the Courier of old received much acclaim for it's neutral handling which of course encouraged much competition use, however time has moved on and expectations are now very different.
The car found by Barry is chassis number 200/15/R and was first registered in Buckingham by A. Collins in 1959. It is shown on page 145 of the ELVA book being raced by M. J. Collins at Silverstone in the 1960's; actual date 18th June. The car was also entered and raced by A. Collins at Goodwood on the 7th May 1960. It then passed through four ownerships before being taken off the road, that Italian owner having decided to strip and restore the Courier but it was found abandoned in a lockup following a divorce and forced property sale.
Having bought the largely dismantled car in 2008, Barry started the rebuild on the original chassis, modifying the front suspension by firstly strengthening and gusseting the wishbones, fitting Pro-tech billet alloy dampers, softer springs, Triumph GT6 discs with twin-pot calipers, alloy hubs with up rated bearings, the Elva anti-roll bar plus a special quick steering rack on solid mountings. The rear axle has a strengthened Riley 1.5 casing, fitted with full race half shafts, twin bearing hubs, rear discs with the billet alloy dampers, softer springs and poly bushes 'all round'. The original Fuel tank has been foam filled, with modern filters and a Facet fuel pump. The power unit is the 5-bearing MGB unit line bored and capacity of 2 litres, using a special cam, large capacity oil pump, alloy flywheel, Peter Burgess race head, lightened rockers and pushrods, special Omega pistons and con-rods, the billet crank polished and balanced, oil cooler, single row timing chain, adjustable cam wheel, Cooper S distributor modified to suit, hand crafted manifolds and a single Weber 45 carb. Produces max 121bhp or 74 bhp at the rear wheels. The standard clutch is perfectly adequate for road use. The power is fed through a Ford type 9 gearbox with quick change as fitted to the V6 3 litre Capri. The car was treated to a new loom, with all components fused, an electric fan, a lightweight starter unit, alternator, electronic ignition, Halogen lights, modified and upgraded rear lights with reverse lighting, electronic tachometer, plus other gauges and heater as original except for a more modern ammeter and added map reading lights. The interior is trimmed in grey leather on handmade seats, wool carpeting, alloy detailing to the handbrake, gear lever and foot pedals. Finally, the bodywork was totally stripped, repaired and gel coated before the metallic Tarn Blue paint was added. New mohair weather equipment was fashioned and fitted, plus new side screens.
Barry has now driven and enjoyed the car over several thousand miles during recent good summers, including gentle trips up the famous Shelsey and Prescott hill-climb courses.
The car received much attention at the ELVA 60th Anniversary meeting at the Donington circuit when Barry drove several hundred miles to attend. The broad smile indicated that the car had performed well and he has since reported that 'it gets better and better'.
Although some owners will take the view that these cars should be kept to the original specifications, Barry should be congratulated on making this Courier such a reliable, fun machine which has retained much of the original character but the very professional upgrades have ensured that the car is a pleasure to use on our busy and often overcrowded UK roads.
I look forward to seeing it again soon.


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Fri Oct 07, 2016 1:52 pm
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