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COURIER OWNERS .. Some info please 
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
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Post COURIER OWNERS .. Some info please
Would you Courier owners who are not totally transfixed or glued to your computer screen please take a moment to take a peek under the bonnet/hood of your car and jot down the engine number FROM THE CHASSIS PLATE please.
Some might be a little difficult to read after close to sixty years but a trip to SpecSavers might help.
It would also be helpful if you confirmed the heading on the chassis plate, be it Elva Engineering (Bexhill); Elva Cars (Hastings); Elva Cars (1961) (Hastings) or Trojan-Elva (Croydon). If it says made in China then it's a dud! :lol:
If you would then kindly return to the screen and email that engine number etc to me, I will be eternally grateful.
Why you might reasonably ask .. I would like to put together some information regarding the original engine units supplied to, and by, Elva particularly in the early days and of course during the difficult 1961 period bought about by the shenanigans of Walter Dixon the US importer.
Many thanks for contributing, on the assumption that you will :D
Email: roger@elva.com


Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:35 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:16 pm
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Post Re: COURIER OWNERS .. Some info please
Roger, on the theory of better late than never, the engine number on the chassis plate in my Courier Mk. 2 (Hastings) No. 400/9/L is 48G157RS17793. This car was sold new in Germany and brought to the U.S. by a member of the military, who sold it to my neighbor in Blacksburg, Virginia. His wife detested the car and I bought it a few months later in 1967 (??). I mention the above because when I purchased the car it had an HRG cross-flow aluminum head with 1-3/4 inch SU carburetors. The coolant hose to the head was extremely cramped -- to the extent that a standard water hose would not bend sufficiently to fit and a lighter weight hose had to be fitted. These had an extremely short life and driving required keeping one eye on the temperature gauge at all times, as an unnoticed burst was guaranteed to result in a warped head. Several months later, I jumped at an offer for an even swap for a newly rebuilt 1622 cc engine from a fellow who raced an MG-A and wanted the HRG head. (Will also e-mail this to you.)


Thu Nov 05, 2020 2:00 am
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Post Re: COURIER OWNERS .. Some info please
Stan ... I imagine that you have already solved your engine number query, but if not 48G157RS17793 appears to be a reconditioned 'Gold Seal' MG unit as per ...
"Using your engine number, the following can be noted.
First number 15= 1489cc 16= 1622cc 48G= Gold Seal recon.
Second letter G= M.G., R= Riley, AMW or AA= Austin/Morris/Wol.
Third letter is engine type, ie 'A', 'E' or 'F', ( 16GE or 15RA, etc.)
Fourth letter U= floor gear change, A= Automatic. D= diesel.
Fifth letter, H= high comp 8.3 to 1, l= low comp 7.2 to 1.
The next group of numbers is the engines number. "


Fri Nov 20, 2020 3:19 pm
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Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:25 pm
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Location: Albany, NY USA
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Post Re: COURIER OWNERS .. Some info please
Hi Roger,
Do you have an explanation of why there is an intermingling of rebuilt and factory numbered MG engines in cars with close chassis numbers? The ten series Couriers (10/#/L) of which we have identified I think 5 or 6 have both new and rebuilt engines. The factory engine numbers seem to correspond to the engines in the 100/ 6# /L to 100/ 90ish /L production but this range also contains new and rebuilt engines. The new engine numbers correspond to early '59 MGA production. Did engines sit around waiting for chassis or did chassis sit waiting for engines or was Father Frank an early adopter of JIT? Are you aware of any instances where a used engine was installed? Also did the factory or customer supply engines to the so called "kit" cars? If the customer I would guess it would not be recorded on the VIN plate. The engine in 10/4/L has an original MGA number (15GB-U-H 51784) but the intake and exhaust manifold is not the same as found in an MGA and the rear carburetor enrichment lever has been replaced by a screw because the stock lever would not clear the steering shaft. I have no reason to think this was a previous owner modification.
Bill B.


Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:12 pm
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Post Re: COURIER OWNERS .. Some info please
It comes back to the times and what the customers wanted plus the cost of these very much handbuilt cars.
All low volume motor manufacturers had issues with the supply of power units and often other parts, as unsurprisingly manufacturers of the engines had to ensure that their own requirements had priority, while companies such as Elva were relatively 'small beer' and so there were occasions when cars at Bexhill/Hastings could be awaiting crucial items.
However, the workshops were full of talented hands-on engineers, plus there were top class machine shops in the locality who were more than capable of building up and/or rebuilding used engines if required. Added to this was the requirements of the buyer and the money that was going too be paid so I again repeat the cars were individuals built to order.
The logistic problems of building these cars didn't fade away as my time with Peter Agg confirmed why the Courier production was eventually sadly discontinued, despite a healthy order book; it was that Peter could not achieve any sort of guarantee that the supply of the MGB 1.8 unit would continue and he could not justify a future investment into the Courier production with such uncertainty. The Ford engines were not popular although ironically Ford themselves soon became the manufacturer of choice for performance versions of their family cars.
The Ford V6 powered Cougar by Tony Ellis could have been the cherry on the Courier cake, but times had changed and funds to develop the car not forthcoming. A shame ...


Sun Nov 22, 2020 7:45 pm
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