1957 Elva Mk. IISOLD
See all the Images for this Car
Estimate: £38,000-50,000

Sold: £44,228

It was after racing a CSM-Ford Special and Lotus 6 that Sussex garage owner Frank Nichols decided to build his own sports racing car. He chose the name Elva - an abbreviation of elle va, French for she goes - for the new machine which he had ready for the 1955 season. Employing Standard Eight/Ten front suspension, a live rear axle and rack and pinion steering, the chassis was completed without the aid of any drawings. Power came from Ford's four cylinder 1,172cc engine with an overhead valve conversion devised by one of Nichols' mechanics, which was also sold commercially to raise money for his racing endeavours. It was at Brands Hatch after one of the Elva's first races that Nichols was approached to build another example of his aluminium-bodied sports racer, and he duly set up Elva Engineering to meet further orders for the car.

Following on from this first model, the Mk 1b featured improved wishbone front suspension, and during the 1956 season Elvas would be raced to great effect by such legendary names as Archie Scott-Brown, Stuart Lewis Evans, Robbie Mackenzie-Low and Jim Russell. For the Mk II of 1957 the tubular space frame chassis also had a de Dion rear axle and Coventry-Climax's potent, 1,100cc FWA engine, mated to a four speed gearbox, soon replaced the Ford unit. Subsequently the Mk II was raced very successfully in America; from this Elva realised a lucrative export market and by 1957 the majority of its production was crossing the Atlantic. The following year Elva would produce the Courier, its first road car.

Chassis 100/41 was purchased by one Lester Levitt Senior from Frank Nichols on the Elva stand at the 1957 Chicago Auto Show. He went on to race the car in Midwest Council of Sports Car Club events, and later in California, until the end of 1960. The engine was then rebuilt and the car put into storage, before being purchased by Ray Milo from its original, and then octogenarian, owner in early 2002. In highly original condition - the chassis showed no evidence of damage or repair work and the oil cooler, seat, radiator and roll-over bar were all as fitted when new - the Elva passed to Richard Daggitt in South Africa. He in turn sold the car in 2004 to Josh Lovey who had it completely restored, including the chassis, body, engine and all mechanical components, by Roger Pearce, chairman of national sporting body Motorsport South Africa who also runs one of the most highly regarded restoration companies in the country. The Elva was then campaigned in several David Piper International Races in South Africa, during which a new Salisbury limited slip differential was fitted, and most recently took part in the Madgewick Cup race at this year's Goodwood Revival Meeting.

One of just 12 survivors of the 25 Mk IIs built, this very individual sports racer is offered in excellent restored and race-ready condition. It comes with a history file that includes a record of Elva sports racers, a Factory catalogue showing Archie Scott-Brown racing an Elva at Goodwood, receipts totally some £35,000 for the restoration and FIA Historic Technical Passport. Highly rare and highly effective in its class, this delightful Elva is eligible for the most prestigious historic events in Britain, Europe and America.

Reference Number 13834

as of 10/5/2007

Car 1957 Elva Mk. II
VIN 100/41