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  Bexhill Museum (February 2007)


After a busy few weeks, the Elva-Climax Mk.III destined to be the 'show car' in the refurbished museum has finally arrived in the south and now the project can really start. This car with chassis number 100/56 was one of the last ELVA sports racers built in the town of Bexhill-on-Sea and there is much local enthusiasm and anticipation for the rebuild, particularly as several of the people who helped construct the car in the first place are to be involved.

There just cannot be a better way for the town to remember the ELVA legacy and for future generations to learn and enjoy. I hope you will watch this story unfold and no doubt there will be much to tell as the restoration progresses.

Known so far is that this car, built in 1958, was purchased in December 1971 by John Raddings who lives near Hull in the north-east of the UK and he slowly worked on the car over the next 35+ years. It had previously been bought by a local business family for their 17 year old son to use as a road car, having it road registered with the number 'YWF 542K'. It was obviously totally unsuitable, hence the sale to John, but amazingly the car was granted an 'MOT' certificate of road worthiness in September 1971.

Earlier history is to be researched, but meanwhile please enjoy some pictures of the car 'as found' and do PLEASE consider offering some help in the way of a donation to the Society of Bexhill Museum funds as there will be much to do. Please read this information about the Museum.

Let’s start with a ‘spot the car competition’.   There it is. Note the interesting paintwork.
The front end is almost 100% original apart from the Triumph Herald engine implant.    
The rear has thankfully retained the correct parts and the frame remains unmolested
thanks to many years of hibernation.

The aluminium bodywork has seen some better days but as Alan Jenner commented "They were only meant to last a race season".

The aluminium bodies were made by Moore & Tye in nearby St. Leonards-on-Sea on behalf of Elva, with Alan building the front section, Les Tye building the centre and Roy Watson the rear section.

Alan is involved in this restoration project, and remains a true craftsman who has passed on his amazing skills and knowledge to his son Ian.

Any chance of finding the doors John? He found them plus a myriad of other goodies.

Click here for earlier jottings about the Museum and Elva.

Roger Dunbar


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