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Very original ELVA Mk.II s/racer with great history.. 100/35 
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Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
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Post Very original ELVA Mk.II s/racer with great history.. 100/35
1957 Elva Mark II

Frank Nichols introduced his Mark II in 1956 as a competitor for the Lotus, specifically aimed at the SCCA G-Modified class in U.S. amateur racing. Imported into the U.S. by Continental Motors in Washington, D.C., the Mark IIs dominated the Nassau Speed Weeks in 1957, and they had many other successes. It resembled the Lotus in its light space frame and alloy body, its de Dion rear suspension, and its Coventry Climax engine. Both cars often had a “single cockpit” body, with a windshield that wrapped around the driver. With an overall weight of about 900 lbs and good aerodynamics, the car could reach about 120 mph.
Being the second production Mark II built, my car 100/35 was driven to second place in the Governor’s Trophy race (G Modified Class) at Nassau in ‘57 by Frank Baptista, carrying race #36, and is the car tested by Charlie Kolb for an article in Sports Cars Illustrated. I talked with Art Tweedale, who along with Baptista and Charlie Kolb, raced the cars that came to Continental Motors. He said nobody knew or cared which car they had on a given weekend, so it’s hard to establish race histories for particular cars. However, 100/35 is one of very few (perhaps two or three) “bobtail” cars with rounded rear bodies that hinged at the top. This and unique features of the engine plumbing help to establish its Nassau and magazine feature history. Some years later Frank Opalka won the Midwest Regional Championship with it. He cut the distinctive scoops in the sides, and had very positive memories of it when I talked with him.
I bought the car about twenty-five years ago. It was cosmetically rough, with accident damage (body only) in the left front from an accident at Road America (which I have an old picture of). However, absolutely everything important was there, and original to the car. The allowed engine size for G Modified gradually rose from 1100 cc, and Opalka put 1220 (FWE) sleeves in the original FWA block. I did a full restoration in the late ‘90s, with authenticity the primary aim, I don’t like making old race cars into something they never were, although I did modify the footwell for more space making an ideal driving position for my six-foot frame.
It’s got a strong three-point rollbar. This can be easily unbolted and removed, but for both safety and weight distribution reasons, I put the fuel cell on the left floor, so that would have to be moved to the rear to carry a passenger. It has a period-looking Stack tachometer, and an authentic Les Leston steering wheel.

On the track, this car is a delight. The Climax has a hard-edged bark, and revs eagerly. At low speeds the ride feels very harsh, and if you drive it without ear plugs and a helmet, you’re overwhelmed by the noise level. Everything changes when it gets into the environment it was designed for. The suspension soaks up track irregularities. The steering is miraculously light and accurate, and at the limit, the car goes into a neutral drift where neither steering input nor adding or reducing power has much effect. If you see you’re going too fast, you just ease off a bit, and it smoothly comes into line. It’s all very benign and progressive.
At an Elva reunion held at Road America in 2005 I had two great races with Fred Burke, whose Mark II is prepared to period specs (I beat him by a car length both times). Our parity confirmed my feeling that my car performs just as it did when new. I was much slower in the reunion in 2015, but that was due to old tires with no grip (maybe even the same ones it had in 2005!).
My reason for selling it is that I am now of mature years and have a dwindling race schedule, I've also got two other vintage race cars that I usually choose, my Jabro is a cheap, Sprite-powered, fiberglass-bodied American special, safe and fun to drive, while my Lola T70 is a thrill but so fast and valuable I'm reluctant to enter serious races with it.
The Elva is SO original; it's beautiful, well-sorted, and healthy and deserves a new caretaker.

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Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:41 am

Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:52 am
Posts: 1012
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Post Re: Very original ELVA Mk.II s/racer with great history.. 10
A further update ....
* Second Production Mk2 built.
* 1957 Governor's Trophy Race at Nassau - 2nd place finish driven by Frank Baptista.
* Sports Car Illustrated test car by Charlie Kob.
* One of two or three Bobtail cars with rounded rear body that hinges on top.
* Full restoration in 1990's with authenticity primary aim.
* Footwell modified for more space (owner is six foot).
* Period looking Stack tachometer.
* Authentic Les Leston steering wheel.
* Logbooks
* Sold on Bill of Sale as a race car. Located in Virginia.

Price is $120,000.00US

CONTACT for more images/details ....
Kelly Dietrick
Exceptional Car Broker
Steam to Sportscars
Philadelphia, PA
Tel: 412-737-5593

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Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:49 pm
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