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  ELVA on the Discovery Channel
(posted 7 October 2007, updated 23 October 2007)

Some months ago we learnt that a TV company was filming the rebuild of an Elva Formula Junior and it was not long before we were contacted by Mark Evans and subsequently filming at various locations took place. Of course a lot ends up on the cutting room ‘floor’ but it promises to be an interesting series and Story 5 will be of particular interest to Elva people and Formula Junior owners worldwide. There is talk of a DVD version becoming available later, with extra footage, so watch this space for news as it happens!

Meanwhile the following extracts are from Mark’s Newsletter…



I can’t believe it’s 18 months since we started filming Wreck Rescue for Discovery. It’s been a long haul and a huge challenge following the ups and downs of five very different restoration projects spread around the UK. We’ve also filmed in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, Poland and France. I’ve made some good new friends and it’s been a real privilege to hang out with a bunch of really dedicated enthusiasts and some very accomplished amateur engineers and restorers.
Anyway, back to Wreck Rescue.

It starts on Discovery Real Time on the 9th October (evening) and I really hope you enjoy it.

UPDATE NOTE - The Discovery Real Time channel has listed the Elva F/J feature for 10.00pm on Tuesday 6th November and repeated 2.30am on Wednesday 7th, with the second episode being shown at the same times the following week Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th November. Don't miss it!

There are five restoration stories, each one told over two half hour programmes. I pop in to catch up on progress, but the rules say I’m not really allowed to pick up a spanner. Very frustrating. But, to be honest, I didn’t need to. The people you’ll meet over the series are amazing. All very different in their own way, but all as mad about the internal combustion engine as I am.

Here’s the Press blurb about the series – it’ll give you a feel for what’s coming up:

“It’s been over two years, but he’s back. In a brand new observational documentary for Discovery Real Time, Mark Evans puts his own workshop projects on hold and sets off on a mission to help inspire and motivate other classic vehicle enthusiasts to achieve their restoration dreams. Restoring a rust heap is a much bigger challenge than most people anticipate. That’s one of the reasons so few amateur restorers succeed and why so many potentially brilliant projects remain on axle stands and under tarpaulins to rust in peace. It doesn’t have to be that way. Filmed over 12 months mainly in the UK, but also in Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Holland and France, Wreck Rescue features the highs and lows of five very different workshop projects including a very early Frog Eye Sprite, a 1959 Elva 100 single-seater race car and a post-war, 4x4 RAF truck. Real people. Real projects. Real deadlines. Real drama.”

Story 1: 1959 Mk1 Frog Eye Sprite

Story 2: 1972 Mk1 Ford Capri

Story 3: 1959 Elva 100
Furniture company boss Steve Russell buys his dream car as a box of bits. With the help of good friends, Peter and Simon, he battles to build his newly acquired 1959 Elva 100 single-seater race car in time to compete the car at the celebrated Historic Grand Prix in Pau in the South of France – one of the oldest and most dangerous street circuits in the world. The problems start when they realise that not all of the bits in the box belong to the same car!

Story 4: AEC Matador RAF Truck

Story 5: 1980s Toyota Land Cruiser

I really hope Jungle TV show the wonderful interviews of Keith Marsden and Len Sayers with Bob Curl in the Bexhill ‘local’ while supping some Elva Ale. I am sure the programme will be a great tribute to ‘Elva’ and the Formula Juniors in particular, so many thanks to all of those who found time to contribute to this edition of ‘Wreck Rescue’ Those of you overseas will need to watch the Discovery Channel schedules but I am assured it will be broadcast in many countries around the globe.


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