1959 Elva Mk V

{vsig}2010-9_2528{/vsig}Frank Nichols’ first sports-racer was built in 1954, designed by Mike Chapman, competing immediately and successfully against the similar small-displacement Lotus sports-racers of Colin Chapman. Its success encouraged Nichols to emulate its design with the first few Elva live rear axle sports-racers. Mk II featured a De Dion rear axle. The Mk IV had fully independent suspension and was the first Elva with a tubular space frame.  Nichols continued small-displacement sports-racer development with the Mk V, the ultimate front-engined drum-brake Elva sports-racer. Only 13 were built, but with power from the Coventry Climax FWB single overhead camshaft engine, they were the equal, if not the better, of Chapman’s Lotus 11 in England, Europe, and the United States.

Power is from a 1490 cc long stroke Coventry Climax FWB with dual Weber carburetors through a Taylor Race Engineering rib-case Sprite-type close ratio 4-speed gearbox. The engine was built in 2006, with an aluminum girdle plate to join the block and bearing towers for strength and reliability in its long stroke configuration. Rebuilt in 2007 by VDS engines with a re-engineered head, camshaft, and valves from Sid Hoole Racing, it has only four race weekends since. 

Prepared without regard to cost, maintained to the highest standards, track-ready, and one of the most attractive, aggressive, and aerodynamically effective front-engined, drum-braked sports-racers, this Elva Mk V Climax sports-racer will be immediately competitive and a valued entrant in the most desirable historic racing events.

Thor Thorson

Thor Thorson - SCM Contributing Editor

Thor grew up in northern Iowa. His father bought a red Jag XK 150 in the late 1950s, and that was all it took; he has been in love with sports cars , racing cars and the associated adrenaline rush ever since. He has vintage raced for more than 20 years, the bulk of them spent behind the wheel of a blue Elva 7. When he’s not racing, he is president of Vintage Racing Motors Inc., a collector-car dealer and vintage-racing support company based in Redmond, WA. His knowledge runs the full spectrum of vintage racing, and he has put that expertise to good use for SCM since 2003.

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