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ELVA "300" series FORMULA JUNIORS 
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Post ELVA "300" series FORMULA JUNIORS
I am always extremely pleased to receive contact from previous owners of an ELVA; to date the stories have been full of enthusiasm and nostalgic memories. Most recently I heard from Daryl Wilson who lives in Maine who had owned a rear-engined “300” series ELVA Formula Junior.

“The car that I owned was originally owned by Chuck Hall. He is alleged to have been a part owner in Elva at the time the 300's were built. He crashed the car very heavily in Colorado and while in the hospital sold the car to Chuck Trowbridge. It was at that point that my father helped Chuck T rebuild the car. That was in 1962 I think. In1972 we found the car and the owner offered it to us for US$200 with a trailer. How could we refuse? I raced it for 3-4 years then stored it for 2-3 more before selling it as a basket case for a whooping $2000. Dumbest thing I could have done! From there I lost track of it. When I bought the car it had been converted to run in Formula Ford.”

Daryl sent the three photographs, being...
#1 is Hank Candler. There is a 35mm camera on the car for an in-car trip around Continental Divide Raceway in Castle Rock, Colorado.
#2 taken at Woody Creek Raceway in Aspen, Colorado. This is the ex-Hall car. I still have that white steering wheel in my garage.
#3 is the Candler car leaving the pits for the photo lap.

I then sent Daryl the build list as recorded by Bill Meace; the ELVA works manager, which gives at least some useful details...

The surviving lists of cars built by Elva are hand written and minimal; however the 1961 Formula Junior "300" cars are shown as...
300/001... colour white; Ford Holbay powered, engine # 229607; 5-speed VW box; shipped to "USA" which I think would have been to Carl Haas.
300/02... colour white; Ford Cosworth powered, engine # 4611002, 5-speed VW box; shipped for HALL (USA).
300/003... colour red; shown as "less engine" RYTUNE; 4-speed Elva box; and for Chris ASHMORE.
300/004... colour red; 1100cc Cosworth (no engine #); 5-speed Hewland; 14" wheel (?) and for ELISS.
300/003... colour green; 1100cc Holbay powered (no engine #); 5-speed Hewland; for Chuck DIETRICH.
300/ (no car number shown)... colour red; 1100cc Cosworth powered, engine # 462603; 5-speed Hewland; "cooler in front - 6 row rad, side & brake vent, stiffened chassis"; for RIECHAL.

These details recorded by Bill indicate that 300/002 was destined for Chuck Hall who indeed was an ELVA Cars (1961) Ltd. share holder at that time. These records are rather vague due in part to being of the period when Elva was trying to recover from the US importer fiasco that ultimately lead to the company being forced into voluntary liquidation. It would not be surprising if there were one or two cars built which are not listed. At the time chassis numbers were not of particular interest, other than to the authorities, and so it becomes difficult to be absolutely sure of the history of some cars.

Daryl commented that Charles Dietrich shows a green 300 on his Company website and wonders if the car shown is his original 300/003 car. Another ‘project’ car appeared on this website in 2009 being chassis #300/005 which is probably the RIECHAL car, unless anyone knows otherwise?
Finally Daryl wrote... “It was a “300” that was my first race car and will always hold a special place in my heart. Tell the ex-Elva folk... thank you for all of their wonderful work and that at least one person in this world is hugely grateful.”
I think quite a few other owners will share those sentiments. ;)


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Elva FJ.jpg
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ELVA F-J #300-05.jpg
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Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:12 am
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