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Acquisition, Care and Feeding of a 1963 Elva Courier Coupe

In the summer of 1963 while working as a mechanic at Dave Fawcett Import Motors in Lubbock Texas, a baby blue coupe drove in the service entrance and parked. Most of the guys in shop gathered around, as we had no idea what it was. Turns out, the driver was a returning Soldier that had been in England. He bought the Elva there and had it shipped home when he came back. He had come to us as the only new British car dealer in town, to try to trade cars. Seems he had not figured on the 100 degree days in Texas and driving around with no air conditioning in the car. Everywhere he inquired about trading, called our sales department to get a value. I had told our salesman that I wanted the car from where ever it was traded. After a month or so, the soldier traded it in on a Corvair Monza at the Chevy dealership across the street. As luck would have it, my girlfriend at the time was the head bookkeeper there, and drove the Elva over within 30 minutes of them taking it in trade. We went for a drive and set our plan in motion to buy the car.

I was racing a TR3 at the time and my boss had just been killed at Rattlesnake Raceway, right in front of me. Rattlesnake was in Midland, TX and home to Jim Hall, and the Chaparral race cars. All this is to say I had little money, and needed to sell the TR3 in order to buy the Elva Coupe Mk III choptop Coupe, Trojan E1021. My new boss of a 3 weeks said he would give me a company draft with which to buy the car, but I had to repay in 90 days or the car was the companies. I was able to buy the Coupe from their used car department, and the manager did not like the fact that I knew to the penny how much he had in the car. Dixie, my girlfriend, had supplied me with that information. I sold the TR3, paid off the Elva and that started a long period of autocrossing the car. Later that year I moved to Dallas,TX to start my working career, and I also joined the Dallas Sports Car Club.

In Dallas, Through the SCCA I met another Elva courier owner, Lon McKinstry, we became close friends, and still are. He still owns a 1960 MkII #122 that he bought new in Feb. of 1961. He and his wife introduced me to Barbara who became my wife.

Long story short, I autocrossed the Coupe for over 10 years on a 12 Club Championship Circuit, 10 events a year. The Elva proved extremely competitive and help me win the series 5 or 6 times. By 1965 I had moved to Ft Worth, TX and was president of the Ft Worth Sports car Club a few times over the next 10 to 15 years There may have been 150 or so trophies in the attic when the house burned in 1977. That fire also took a 1961 MkII Courier with it, I had rebuilt it from a basket case.

In 2000 we moved to 8 acres just out of Weatherford, TX, so that I could build my dream shop for the Elva and a couple of other toys. 2015 was hard as I lost my wife Barbara, of 48 years. But good things can still happen, I called Dixie my girlfriend of many years ago and reestablished communications. On her first visit out to Weatherford, I took her to the shop and showed her the Elva Coupe. She had a hard time believing that I still had the car.

In 2016 Dixie became my wife, and holds a very special place in her heart for the Elva that brought us together so many years ago, and then again 4 years ago.

Dan Ehrhorn

PS: Not only is Dan an exceptionally nice guy, an enthusiastic longterm Elva owner but also an accomplished musician singing all the bass notes in a quartet ... the Bass Upscale Quartet. "Hey, I am the bass man, but can do tenor in falsetto. My music started in Middle school, 7th grade and I continued to play the Baritone Sax through 12th grade. Played in a few dance bands, and did sit in with Buddy Holly and the Crickets a couple of times, but the Bari sax was not the right instrument for that Rock and Roll Band. I grew up with Peggy Sue, in fact we talked often and had dinner with her before her passing in Lubbock, Texas. Also Mac Davis was in our class as well."
Wonderful memories ... thank you Dan

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Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:25 am
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