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1958 1/2 Elva Sports Racer Mark 1V, 100-58 
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Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:30 pm
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Location: Ocean Shores,Wa.USA
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Post 1958 1/2 Elva Sports Racer Mark 1V, 100-58
1958 ½ Elva Sports Racer Mark 1V, 100-58

Mid 1958 Built at Elva Engineering Co. Ltd. Factory at Bexhill-on-Sea, England., Engine: Coventry Climax FWA, Stage 111, No. 7441, Body color-white or red.
1958 100-58 may have been raced in England before shipment to the US Distributor.
58/59 Believed to be imported to Continental Motors Inc., 1401 Rhode Island Ave, N.W., Washington D.C. 5-8122.
58/59 100-58 may have been raced in USA before it appeared at Sebring, Florida
3-21-59 12 hr. International Grand Prix of Endurance for the AMOCO Trophy, Sebring International Raceway, Sebring, Florida, It may have been one of the backup cars. 3-23- 3-23-59 Air shipped directly after Sebring to Grand Prix Motors, 5th Ave. & East 12th Street, Oakland, Calif. Owner-Bob Potter. The fork lift driver had damaged the frame at the transmission mount while loading it onto the cargo plane in Florida.
Grand Prix Motors bought and sold Sports and Competition Cars, Bob’s corner lot had a small show room & several bays for mechanical & specialty work. The lot held about 30+ cars. You would find Siata, A.H., Jaguar, Mercedes, Maserati, Courier, Arnolt, Allard, AC & just about any other sports car. There were also some economy and domestic cars there. Grand Prix Motors was in business from the mid 1950’s to the mid 1970’s.

Bob was involved with the Highland Touring Club, California Sports Car Club (CSCC) & SCCA. He raced a Panhard, MG-TF, TR3, Arnolt, Alfa, Lotus, & later a Jaguar C type. Bob also raced his 41’ Sail Boat- The Mutineer.
100-58’s frame was repaired & a extra tube was added for strength. I believe at this time the orig. roll bar and head fairing was removed and a SCCA spec. roll bar was added & the roll bar was painted black. At this time it I have not determined if 100-58 was originally White or Red.

4-1959 Purchased by John Shonle, 376 Colusa, Berkeley, Calif. (Berkeley Prof.).
John raced with Bob, racing a AC, Arnolt, Porsche 356 & a Alfa Romeo GI. John was also building a Deven Special.
John had previously told Bob that he was looking for a Sports Racer. The Elva was brought in especially to resell to John. Part of the deal : Bob was going to get to race the Elva at least once (Stockton 4-19-59 #161 GM).
When John first bought 100-58 it was bright red, it had the SCCA spec. black roll bar, the mag. wheels were painted white. It had a Raydot mirror (painted black) mounted at the top center of the windshield on a special mount, it had no head fairing.
In John’s 1st. race it had bearing failure because the wrong oil was in it when delivered. The only other problem that he had was when he lost a keeper for the shifter during another race, the shifter came off in his hand but he was able to finish the race by holding down on it.

John raced 100-58 at Stockton 4-19-59 #167 CM & about 4 other regional races from 5-59 to 6-60.

John put two different ads in Road and Track magazine in the Market Place section.
11-1959 & 12-1959
1959 ELVA MK IV. Ex-factory, with full team
modifications. Stage II, plus Climax 1100-cc. Just
o/hauled. Trailer. $4750. Trades considered. Car
too much for me. John Shonle, 2335 Parker St.,
Apt. 5, Berkeley 4, Calif.

1-1960 & 2-1960
1959 ELVA MARK 1V.Ex-factory team, 1100cc
Climax. Five bearing camshaft, polished and bal-
anced crank, etc. just o/hauled, close ratio trans-
mission. Dunlop R-5’s, 800 lbs. trailer, $4250,
Trades considered. John Shonle, 2335 Parker St.,
Apt.5, Berkeley, Calif.

John sold the Elva to a racer in the Oakland area, a conn. rod failed in his 1st. race. The rod was repaired but the new owner filed Bankruptcy, John received the car back.

1960 John Shonle moved to Portland, Oregon (Prof. at Reed College).

John again placed 2 different ads in Road and Track Magazine in the Market Place section.
12-1960 & 1-1961
1959 ELVA Mk1V, 1100-cc Climax Stage 111, just overhauled: magnafluxed,
rebalanced, polished crank. MG-A gearbox, superb handling, real bomb.
Ex-factory team, trailer, $2995. John Shonle, 7816 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, 15 Ore.
5-1961 & 6-1961
1959 ELVA Mk 1V, Why don’t you race G-Mod? O/hauled Stage 111, ready to
Scoot, Trailer included, $2495 or offer. I need money. John Shonle, 4614 S.E.
46th. Ave, Portland 6, Ore.

6-61 Purchased by Sherrill K. Smith: S.K. Smith, Import Car Service, 1454 N.E. Prescott, Portland. 11 Oregon
Specializing in Porsche, BMC, VW, Triumph, EMPI Dealer, Race Tires & Roll Bars
SK also became manager of Autosports N.W., 2063 W. Burnside, Portland, Oregon. They were a Lotus
Dealer & bought & sold Sports & Race Cars, They built & sold Roll Bars & Sway Bars.

Sherrill (SK) Smith raced a A.H. Sprite & later a Triumph Spitfire & a Porsche.
SK (Smitty) raced 100-58 at Delta Park Raceway, Portland, Oregon, Pacific Raceway, Kent, Wash., Shelton.
Raceway, Shelton Wash., The Elva’s # was 166. Engine=FWA(G-Mod) FWB(F-Mod) It was always bright red.

6-62 Purchased by Tracy Franks, 118 East Street, Cosmopolis, Wash.
Tracy first raced a Corvette then a Lotus 7A (BMC powered) He traded the Lotus for the Elva S.R.
100-58 was always powered by a Climax. Tracy’s mechanic was longtime friend Wayne Puller.

1 Tracy’s 1st race: Delta Park, then at Mary Hill Loops Hill Climb near Goldendale, Wash. still painted Bright Red.
2 Tracy then competed at Westwood Raceway, Coquitlam, Canada & Pacific Raceway now painted a medium Blue
with White accents streaming back from the front of the hood. Engine =FWB (F-Mod).
3 100-58 was again raced at Delta Park but now it had the front wheel wells cut out for clearance.
4 Then it was raced at Westwood & Newport Raceway, Newport, Oregon now painted bright red with white
accents streaming back from the headlights. The Elva’s usual #’s were 7, 77 or 177.
Tracy put the Elva on consignment at Autosports N.W., They had sponsored Tracy.

10-63 Purchased by Norman DuBosch of Pendleton, Oregon. He had a business & had dealt with Autosports N.W.
many times. He traded an almost new Saab (rolled 5 times, they wanted the drive train) plus cash for the Elva.
He had them paint it Ferrari Red. It came with 3 Coventry Climax engines. He prev. raced a MGA.
Norman’s mechanic was Earl Thompson of Pendleton, Oregon. He had a body shop there.

1st.race- Mary Hill Loops Hill Climb (DNS), while unloading it off the trailer the steering came apart.
Norm said that if it would have happened 10 minutes later he would have been at the bottom on a ravine.

6-14-64 2nd race- Delta Park(N-4th) where he was gridded between 2 Corvettes. At the start, corvette fish tailed with
their rear ends coming into contact with the Elva’s rear section & knocking it off. Norman stopped & reinstalled
it and then finished the race.
8-23-64 3rd race was at Pacific raceway. This was described in the “Elva” Book on page 178. Norman’s description of the event is very similar but more detailed: He was coming down the straightaway & the throttle spring broke, this caused his engine to rev., He put the Elva into a slide. Stalled & partially on the race track. He jumped out, as he did a corner worker went to push it off the track. That is when it started down the hill of the race track, with Norman trying to catch up to it. He said he watched in horror as it gained speed & finally going up the bank at the bottom of the hill only to come backwards through the bottom S corner, all the time scattering workers & race cars. It finally came to a rest on the inside of the S corner. Norman said he was amazed that it had not hit any other race cars, workers or anything else and the Elva was still intact.
Norman and his wife moved to La Grande, Oregon, Norman had a fishing buddy who was on the highway patrol. Norman would call him to find out if it was safe to road test the Elva out on the old La Grande to Baker City highway. Norman said the Elva had more highway than race miles on it.

Norman had Earl Thompson install a Alfa 1500 twin cam engine & trans. Earl designed the mounts so the engine & trans. could be quickly removed with 2 bolts for the engine & 1 for the trans.
The Elva was raced at Westwood where the engine had bearing failure because it had not been rebuilt after
removing it from the donor car. After the race they removed the Alfa engine & trans.

10-64 Norman decided to sell the Elva, he was going to college and his wife had a child on the way.
AutoSports N.W. eagerly bought the 3 Coventry Climax engines he had.

10-64 Don Clark of Baker City, Oregon bought the Elva without engine or trans. Don raced a TR2 at the Westwood opening in 59 & other races, he also raced a Alfa Romeo & a Porsche 356. Don was going to put a Cov. Climax back in but he couldn’t locate one. Don never raced the Elva.
4-75 After sitting in Don’s garage for 10 years. Don sold it less engine & trans.

4-1975 Richard Langrell of Baker City, Oregon purchased the Elva while attending Baker High School. (Grad.1975)
Richard had been working on his Model T Ford with the garage door open. Don Clark happened to walk by and they started talking about cars. Don mentioned that he had a unusual sports/race car that he was going to sell. Later when Richard was looking for another project he called Don. The Elva was in Don’s mothers garage.
Don had soured a transmission but no engine. It was Ferrari Red and in good shape but w/out engine or trans-mission. Richard purchased the Elva for about $350 & $125 for the custom built black trailer for it.
Richard & his Scout Master installed a 1960’s Datsun 1600 w/dual carbs & 4 speed trans. + the Datsun radiator. He left most of the original gauges in place and painted it Corvette yellow. He then licensed it for the highway. When Richard first road tested it, he took it out on the old highway. He came up on a Chevy and decided to pass It. Richard said that the acceleration was great due to the hp/weight ratio.

Richard drove the Elva to Graduation rehearsal about a week before graduation and someone stole it. They drove it around town then returned it. But when they were parking it, they were spooked and spun it out and hit a parked car. This damaged the R. rear ¼ panel. Richard repaired it. Richard said that he had a ball driving it out on the old Baker City to LaGrande highway & around town. 8-1975 Richard enrolled in Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He trailered the Elva Sports Racer there. Once again having a ball driving it on campus & around town without much trouble from the police.
6-1977 Richard moved back to Baker City, Oregon and sold the Elva Sports Racer to Harry and Tessa Williams for $1000. Harry didn’t want the trailer so someone bought the trailer to use for their Golf Cart.
Richard said that the Datsun engine should be tossed away and a original Coventry climax should be installed. Richard said the Elva Sports Racer was one of those cars that come along in your life that you wished you would have put it away so you could later appreciate it even more. Was it for sale?

To follow: 1959-1964 Race history & pictures(100's), a few wild, crazy & true stories that happened to this Elva Sports Race Racer. It’s unbelievable that some of these cars survived!

I want to sincerely thank the following people for helping me document 100-58:
John & Shirley Shonle, Patricia Abbott, Sherrill Smiths daughter-Sherry Ferguson, sister- Galye Smith, longtime friends- Lee Landis & Gary Schmidt, widow- Jennie Tyrell, bus. partner/race buddy & good friend-Frank Fitch…Tracy Franks son-Ken & good friend Wayne Puller, Norman DuBosch, Wayne Clark (Don’s son) Richard Langrell & Tessa Williams (previous owners).. Jerry McDowell, Ocean Shores, Wash. 425-422-2927

Last edited by JMSRMK1V on Tue Feb 16, 2016 5:20 pm, edited 7 times in total.

Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:17 pm

Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:18 pm
Posts: 3
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Post Re: 1958 1/2 Elva Sports Racer Mark 1V, 100-58

Thanks for posting this fascinating info on your MkIV. After completing the full story of my own MkIV (#100/74) I have recently started to try and piece together the histories of some other examples of these great little cars. You post is very important part of the jigsaw as I had come across pictures and race records of cars run by Tracy Franks, SK Smith and Norman duBosch but had no idea they were the same car!

Do you currently race your MkIV? Look forward to more info and pics if you have them.



Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:33 pm
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