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Frank Mons and ELVA Mk.VI 60/21 
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
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Post Frank Mons and ELVA Mk.VI 60/21
Frank Mons has been hugely enthusiastic about his ELVA Mk.VI 60/21 and just part of the history story relates to previous ownership by Ken Tripkos told in an email from Ken to Frank ...

(From) Ken Tripkos , SCCA Pro Racing , Competition & Technical Director

Frank,
Yes, the car did belong to Mr. Woodward; I was told that he passed away recently. I purchased the Elva from a shop called Roach Racing Works in Lawrence, KS which never raced the car. The car did not have an engine in it when I purchased it because the Climax engine was ruined when the car was driven into Lake Garnett by Mr. Woodward. Lake Garnett as you may or may not know is located in a town by the same name in Kansas that used a public road course around the lake in the sixties and seventies. Something that you may find interesting is that when Roach Racing was trying to weld up a newly mandated roll bar they could not get the metal of the frame to heat up enough for welding. After turning the heat up they burnt through the frame and were showered with water. It seems that the entire frame had filled up with Lake Garnett water, so if you had seen a few small drill holes in the bottom of the frame you now know why!
Looking back on it now I committed a sacrilege by installing a hopped-up Type 3 VW engine complete with SU carburetors which was not an easy thing to do since the chassis was too narrow for a pancake motor but the engine did set very low in the chassis which helped the handling. You also have to remember that in 1975 vintage racing as we know it now was not in vogue and to me it was just an inexpensive way to go racing in a very obsolete race car that was fourteen years old. I did pretty well with the car in the Midwest Division despite the odds, probably because I was much younger then and was driving it way over my head. As a point of record I did compete in the National Run-Offs at Road Atlanta which is where one of the attached pictures was taken. I didn’t do very well at the Run-Offs mostly due to the Horsepower advantage the BDH engines enjoyed at Road Atlanta which is a horsepower course, most of the Midwest tracks shorter handling tracks. The VW engine development program is a whole separate discussion since I am sure you have retrofitted the proper period engine to the Elva.
One of the major problems I had with the car which is why I ultimately got rid of it were suspension failures due to the new (then) very sticky racing slicks. At a race in Ponca City Oklahoma the left front lower control arm broke at the fastest point of the track which sent me flying off into the trees. Luckily the car missed every tree even though no amount of sawing on the steering wheel by me had any effect on the direction of the car. The same thing happened again at Brainerd, Minn. but with less potentially life threatening results.
The last race I drove the Elva was at Lake Afton located outside of Wichita, Ks. probably around 1977/78. I had sold the car prior to that race to a gentleman from Nebraska for I think around $4000 but during the race I badly damaged her and ended up selling it for around $1500. There is a moral to that story that I’m sure I will never repeat again. Until now I have completely lost track of what happened to the Elva. I believe the gentleman who bought the car told me he was going to restore the car for something called “Vintage Racing”. At the time I was thinking “Really? People want to race old obsolete race cars??”
I still get a little misty eyed when I think about the Elva, it’s how I cut my teeth in racing and I learned so much about driving and the care and feeding of race cars. I still race sports racers and own a Spec Racer Ford with my son which we both enjoy immensely at SCCA races. If there was ever an opportunity to sit in my old Elva again I would be very grateful.
I think I still have an old log book for the car which you should probably have; I’ll have a look around the shop for it this weekend. If you have a current picture the Elva I would love to have one.


Nice to read how interested and helpful previous owners can be and hopefully the old SCCA logbook is back with the car now. Frank has done a superb job on keeping the pretty Mk.VI on track.


Attachments:
Ken Tripkos Mk.VI.jpg
Ken Tripkos Mk.VI.jpg [ 1.08 MiB | Viewed 3163 times ]
Ken Tripkos MkVI.jpg
Ken Tripkos MkVI.jpg [ 243.78 KiB | Viewed 3151 times ]
Frank Mons 2.jpg
Frank Mons 2.jpg [ 114.32 KiB | Viewed 3151 times ]
Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:33 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:22 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Near Los Angeles
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Post Re: Frank Mons and ELVA Mk.VI 60/21
As always Roger I thank you for the kind words. I must admit that I would not have had such success in running down some of the history of this car without the help of John Lindsay, he sent me a link to a site showing where to find a possible lead that just grew. Yes, I did receive the log book from the mid 70's, what a treasure to add to the cars history, Ken has been such a gentleman and really came through, Thanks all.


Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:30 pm
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
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Post Re: Frank Mons and ELVA Mk.VI 60/21
Always good to hear that there are nice people out there ... do keep us in touch with progress Frank, and maybe you could share your experiences as a race instructor with Vanderbyl at Brands? Must be some stories! :)


Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:26 am
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:22 pm
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Location: Near Los Angeles
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Post Re: Frank Mons and ELVA Mk.VI 60/21
Sorry to mislead anyone, In responding to the Mini Quiz Roger posed to us I merely copied a caption from a photo which was the authors relation to the MKV, I was but a child when the photo was taken.


Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:08 pm
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