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  Honours List for the ELVA Jubilee Year  

I made the decision that individual photographs of current cars on this website would open up a can of worms and maybe upset people who were not included, but 2005 was a special year - and so it would seem appropriate to show achievements of particular interest as a 50th Birthday treat. 

If you feel that you deserve a similar mention then please send photo and details to me and we will make it an ELVA year to remember - Contact Us

Roger Dunbar



Great to learn that Stu Hockman was invited to participate in the prestigious 2005 Jaguar 19th Wine County Classic event which was sponsored by Bank of the West and General Racing headed by Steve Earle. Stu finished in a creditable 10th place in his Courier Mk.II (1622cc) with two other Elva entries being Richard Emerson in a later Courier (1800cc) placed 12th, and Tom Matychowiak in his early Courier (1622cc) placed 19th. There was some big-bore machinery on the Group 4 grid so a great effort by the Courier guys.



Some time ago Bud Byrnes contacted me as he had bought a Courier with an interesting history as it was once owned and raced by Ron Lutz. You will of course recall that Ron was involved with Dick Osteen in the much modified Courier coupe that was entered for Le Mans (see the website www.elvacourier.com for full story).

His Trojan built Courier Mk.III with chassis number E1042 was ordered by Ron Lutz in February 1963 as LHD car, in white with a modified Barwell tuned engine listed as 1622cc but was a stretched 1800cc. Work included a reworked, repolished and gas flowed head, racing valves with Terry springs, block bored and re-sleeved for oversize flat top pistons (Peugeot), M.G. twin-cam type con rods, the Sebring camshaft, competition clutch, lightened flywheel and of course a full engine balance. All this for £126.00 …. Can I have one please!!


Obviously a lot has happened since those days but the car is still a race winner. Terry Peterson prepared the car for Bud and his first race season was the 2005 HMSA Reno Historic meeting and the team won their class for under 2 litre pre ’65 cars. A great start. Next trip was to HSR-West ‘Southern California Historic Sports Car Races’ in September when again another winner’s trophy was handed to the team. Then to the VARA Oktoberfest when second place was the order of the day having been taken on the last corner of the last lap.

Two weeks later it was Top Gun territory at Coronado with a mixed group including Lotus 23, a Brabham BT-8 and having to start from the back of the grid meant a 10th position but second in class. Sadly the season ended less well with a DNF at the SCCA Vintage races and the VARA Willow Springs 6th place, but overall a great season for the new team. Watch out for Bud and E1042 in the coming season which includes a confirmed entry in the Monterey Historic Races. Superb.


ELVA-PORSCHE wins awards

Enthusiasm comes in all shapes and sizes, but Ray Morgan certainly wins my applause for his amazing input into the rebuild of Elva-Porsche 70P/030 and his resulting accolade from the Porsche Club of America in winning the inaugural Concours Performance Award and perhaps more importantly the People's Choice Award.

This resulted in another nice article in Porsche Panorama magazine (September 2005 issue) an early feature having been written by Jerry McDermott, but this one was nicely put together by Bill Oursler. I quote .. "These days the Elva-Porsche is little remembered by all but hardcore Zuffenhausen enthusiasts, although at the Porsche parade at Hershey this summer, Morgan's example was singled out for the coverted People's Choice ward from an unusually rich field of possible candidates. In many ways the Elva-Porsche is a significant milestone, being the first non-Porsche built chassis to be officially welcomed by the factory into its family, and, perhaps most importantly, a vehicle that would point the way to Porsche's future."

An accolade indeed ... well done Ray.

Ray tinkering with the Porsche power unit and the car at Augusta Raceway 1964 driven by Hap Sharp.
Elva Porsche #70P/030

Further wonderful pictures of 70P/030 taken by photographer Leonard Turner and used with his kind permission.

Courier in Japan

I was delighted to offer a little help to Hirokazu Kurihara with regard to sourcing a part for his Elva Courier (100/157L) which is in active use in Tokyo, Japan. Some years ago I sent a very similar red Courier and a Mk.V sports racer to Japan and thought this to be the same Courier, but this one was shipped from the States.

Originally sold from Continental Motors, it has had very few previous owners and remains very original. The Courier is a sought after classic around the world and so I am delighted that Hirokazu made it safely back down the mountain!

All the Couriers I have owned would have become extremely hot on the way up, thus Hirokazu deserves a spot on the 'Honours' page!

Reminds me of a very funny story about collecting a rather sad Courier with Elva machine shop guru John Playfoot some years ago and the car heading off down a VERY narrow steep hill with no brakes ... with the owner in it and John's new Volvo and trailer awaiting half a mile ahead!! The poor guy became a reluctant stunt driver in milliseconds. I will share it with you sometime...


Bobby Rahal

Bobby Rahal needs no introduction but these are the words I wrote when he kindly added his signature to our special multi-signed print...

"Bobby hit the headlines in the UK following his appointment, in December 2000, as the Chief Executive Office and Team Principal of Jaguar Racing F1, but to the dismay of many this venture did not last. Bobby has developed an impressive career in his 17 years of championship racing - three PPG CART World Series championships, 24 career wins, 18 career pole positions, has been Driver of the Year twice etc. He has stepped down from his position of CART President, but continues to run his two-car "Team Rahal". How did all this start? Bobby had his very first race in his father's Elva-Porsche, one of several Elva sports racing cars once owned by Mike Rahal. This car now belongs to Bobby Rahal and he will be back in the driving seat very soon.
See www.rahal.com"

Time has moved on and the Elva Porsche 70P/040 is now looking superb having been seen at the 2005 Amelia Concours with the proud owner. Another fantastic restoration of a very important Elva sports racer, and I am delighted that Elva Racing was able to help with bodywork and other specialist parts. Hopefully the car will be out racing during the 2006 season. Keep us in touch Bobby


Winning down under

Further success for the Elva Courier thanks to Tony Calderwell and Rick Marks who have been campaigning their superbly presented and obvious potent early Couriers in Australia. Tony reported ...

Here are some photos of what we had been getting up to at Wakefield Park south of Sydney, last weekend. Started out hot 28ºc, then wet and then cold 15ºc (typical Wakefield weather). I got the Elva home second behind Rick Marks’ Courier in both the two scratch races for Production Sports Cars and had a good run in the wet in the handicap. Couldn’t quite catch Rick Marks in his Courier in the dry, but could hold him in the damp (beat him in the handicap). Had a great race with an MGB in the first scratch race driven by Lisa Tobin-Smith. Needed more wet races. Ian McDonald was there racing his Repco Holden open wheeler. He has bought his Courier back and is getting it ready for historic racing again.

Rick Marks comments were interesting (it was his first run in his newly acquired Courier, the ex-Michael Kent car). Rick has raced a number of cars over the years, including a Sunbeam Tiger, Shelby Mustang and open wheelers and he said he had never stepped into a car that felt so “right” straight away. Great balance, “like putting on an old shoe”. That is partly a tribute to the former owner, but something I have always felt about my Courier, a very good package. I might also add that with my co-driver Paul Hamilton, we won the pre 1961 group in the 100k Production Sports Car race at Eastern Creek last march, which included a compulsory driver change, great fun.

Here’s a few more shots of Elvas racing here:

The Oran Park shot has me in front, closely followed by a Turner and Michael Kent in his Courier.
The Eastern Creek shot is me again, with that Turner again and a very quick Triumph TR3.

Roger Dunbar's comments ...

Aren't these pictures great? Show the early Couriers at their best, out front, sitting perfectly on the corner, and without a massive roll hoop that looks more like a lighting rig from a Rolling Stones concert! The flat cornering compares very interesting with a lovely old b&w photo of Tony Lanfranchi going like a bat out of hell in his very early Courier and the front of the car twisting so much that the bonnet was almost 'open' ... think the cars have improved a bit since then and quicker too!


George Smith

Starting the ball rolling is George Smith in his Ford powered Courier and his remarkable third place in the March SVRA Sebring 1.5 hour Endurance race was a great result for George and the Courier against some hefty opposition.

"I hardly knew how to shake the champagne and spray people. Anyway...it was an unbelieveable experience." ... George Smith

George Smith - '59 Elva Courier George Smith - 3rd overall, H&V Motor Check Enduro These images are copyrighted by R Harrington and are reproduced here with his kind permission.


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