1961 Elva Courier

Started on Aug. 25 by elvacar

Ride Rating



A recent issue of the magazine indicated that the Elva was a suitable alternate foil for a person hankering after a MGA/MGB as they shared a similar engine.

I am going to come very close to British Car heresy - but as I have owned several - "The Elva Courier is a suitable and prettier alternate to the Lotus Seven"

Here is the justification - Note the similarities

Designed in 1957/1958 A Race Car Company's - Road Car for the Track Proprietary Race Front Suspension - Unique Geometry - and very similar design Tube Frame - Lotus Space Frame - Elva Ladder Frame Both Light Weight

*Modified Production Derived Engine - Lotus - Ford, BMC or Climax Elva - Weslake BMC

There were several (4) versions of each car Mk 1 thru Mk 4

*Heaters and Disc Brakes for options

*Both cars were purchased to race

Mark Donohue chose a Courier to start his winning racing career.

There were at least 4 to 5 Couriers on every grid in the early 60's for E Production Racing out numbering every car with the exception of Porsche. Elva Couriers were competitive up till 2003 with Craig Chima's SCCA National win.

I have had this car since 1985 and I have known the car since 1979 as it belonged to a friend. The car is original down to the 1600 MGA Spec engine and spare tire - it contains the jack and speed handle tools in the trunk.

I had the opportunity of meeting Frank Nichols the founder of Elva in England and the US - a wonderful man. The people who worked at Elva went on to do some phenomenal things Peter Nott - the Elva Courier designer and engineer went on to do the Hillman Imp . Keith Marsden went on to do the King Cobra with Len Terry - and the Ford GT40 program. The master welders, machinists and fabricators went on to McClaren.

This car engine was revised by Weslake (Right across the road in Rye England) with polished rods and crank , lightened flywheel - Big Valve Head (1622 MGA) and a few other tweeks The engine is now featuring JE Pistons and Pauter rods - an APT crank with Aluminum flywheel - Sean Brown Head - it spins readily past 6000 rpm and the downshift bark is addictive.

Like a few cars in England in the early 60's it was sold as a kit to avoid Value Added Tax of 20% - but the kit form was an England only option - All Elva Couriers delivered to the Continent or the US were complete - Frank Nichols told me that kit was a dodge - The cars came upholstered, wired ready to go with the exception that you had to purchase a modified rear axle with brackets welded on. This minor assembly could be obtained from an employees brother, and for a pint the two brothers would install the missing kit pieces and bleed the brakes in front of the pub while you waited with their beers.

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