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Extremely nice example of the ELVA Mk.II s/racer 100/35 
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
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Post Extremely nice example of the ELVA Mk.II s/racer 100/35
Chassis #100/35, this car competed at Nassau in ‘57, had many SCCA wins, and is the car tested by Charlie Kolb for an article in Sports Cars Illustrated, May 1958. All major components are original: chassis, suspension, brakes, alloy body, Climax engine, gearbox. Fully restored, with authenticity the primary aim. Subtly modified to fit taller driver. Raced regularly for many years, always strong and reliable. A beautiful classic sports-racer, and a delight to drive.

For a fuller description, more pictures, and price, send me an email at pcwbbw@gmail.com.

Paul Wilson
Fairfield USA


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Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:28 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
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Post Re: Extremely nice example of the ELVA Mk.II s/racer 100/35
Paul has now prepared a more detailed description of 100/35 ..


1957 Elva Mark II

Frank Nichols and the team in Bexhill built the first Elvas for club racing in England. His Mark I was simple, sturdy and cheap, but no match for the Lotus Eleven, which appeared in 1956. Seeing the success of the Eleven not only in racing but in sales, Nichols developed his Mark II as a competitor for the Lotus, specifically aimed at the SCCA G-Modified class in U.S. amateur racing. Imported into the U.S. by Continental Motors in Washington, D.C., the Mark IIs dominated the Nassau Speed Weeks in 1957, and they had many other successes. It resembled the Lotus in its light space frame and alloy body, its de Dion rear suspension, and its Coventry Climax engine. Both manufacturers produced the cars with a “single cockpit” body, having a windshield that wrapped around the driver. With an overall weight of about 900 lbs and good aerodynamics, the car could reach about 120 mph.

This example of an ELVA Mark II (100/35), was driven to second place in the Governor’s Trophy race (G Modified Class) at Nassau in ‘57 by Frank Baptista, carrying race #36, and is the car tested by Charlie Kolb for an article in Sports Cars Illustrated. I talked with Art Tweedale, who along with Baptista and Charlie Kolb, raced the cars that came to Continental Motors. He said nobody knew or cared which car they had on a given weekend, so it’s hard to establish race histories for particular cars. However, mine is one of very few (perhaps two or three) “bobtail” cars with rounded rear bodies that hinged at the top. This and unique features of the engine plumbing help to establish its Nassau and magazine feature history. Some years later Frank Opalka won the Midwest Regional Championship with it. He cut the distinctive scoops in the sides, and had very positive memories of it when I talked with him.

I bought the car about twenty years ago. It was cosmetically rough, with accident damage (body only) in the left front from an accident at Road America (which I have an old picture of). However, absolutely everything important was there, and original to the car. The allowed engine size for G Modified gradually rose from 1100 cc, and Opalka put 1220 (FWE) sleeves in the original FWA block. I did a full restoration in the late ‘90s, with authenticity the primary aim; it does not have a 1460 cc Climax (50% more power), a dog box, the stuff usually added by modern Type A vintage racers! Philosophically, I don’t like making old race cars into something they never were, but that also puts loads through the chassis it wasn’t designed for. I did modify the footwell for more space, making an ideal driving position for my six-foot frame. It’s got a strong three-point rollbar. This can be easily unbolted and removed, but for both safety and weight distribution reasons, I put the fuel cell on the left floor, so that would have to be moved to the rear to carry a passenger.

On the track, this car is a delight. The Climax has a hard-edged bark, and revs eagerly. At low speeds the ride feels very harsh, and if you drive it without ear plugs and a helmet, you’re overwhelmed by the noise level. Everything changes when it gets into the environment it was designed for. The suspension soaks up track irregularities. The steering is miraculously light and accurate, and at the limit, the car goes into a neutral drift where neither steering input nor adding or reducing power has much effect. If you see you’re going too fast, you just ease off a bit, and it smoothly comes into line. It’s all very benign and progressive. At an Elva reunion held at Road America in 2005 I had two great races with Fred Burke, whose Mark II is prepared to period specs (I beat him by a car length both times). Our parity confirmed my feeling that my car performs just as it did when new. I was much slower in the reunion last year, but that was due to old tires with no grip (maybe even the same ones it had in 2005!).

Through its worldwide connections, Fantasy Junction and other similar motorsports dealers can buy well and sell cars for top prices, but after following the market for these cars over many years, I think a truly fair value for my very genuine and well prepared car would be $129K.
Paul Wilson


Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:50 pm
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