Elva Courier MKI photo

1958 Elva Courier MKI

The Elva Courier was designed by Peter Nott and Tim Fry. It featured a fiberglass body construction, making it one of the first vehicles to be outfitted with this lightweight material. The engine was a 1500cc MGA power-plant while the suspension was borrowed from the Riley 1500.

The engine was placed in the front of the vehicle, but pushed back as far as possible. This may have created some discomfort for the driver and passenger, but it allowed for a 50/50 weight distribution, enhancing the overall handling and response of the vehicle. The suspension followed this theme by favoring performance rather than comfort. The result was many racing career victories in the American production car circuit.

The Courier Mk2 was introduced in 1961. A 1600cc MGA engine was used and could propel the car to over 100 miles-per-hour. A new backbone tubular space-frame chassis and standard front disc brakes improved the ride and the handling.

In 1962, the Courier Mk3 was introduced. The engine and transmission were moved slightly forward. Options such as rear disc brakes and independent rear suspension could be ordered, improving the overall drivability of the car. Three body-styles were now available: the roadster, fastback, and coupe.

By moving the engine and gearbox forward, under-steer resulted. Frank Nichols was asked to helped rectify the problem; which he did so by moving the engine and gearbox back.

The Mk4 T type followed the Mk3. The chassis, suspension, and engine received modifications. A 1800cc MGB engine was now available as optional equipment. the front suspension and steering was borrowed from Triumph. A Sebring version was later introduced which featured a light-weight version of the MK4 T Type. A Lotus/Ford 1600cc was used.

A prototype Courier using a Ford V6 engine was built. In 1969, the prototype crashed and was never produced.

Throughout its lifespan the style of the Courier was virtually unchanged. It saw the company change hands three times, including Elva, Trojan, and McLaren. One of the greatest accomplishments achieved by a Courier during its racing career was with the famous driver, Mark Donahue. In 1961, the duo was the National Class Champion on the US Road Racing Championship (SCCA).

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2005

Related Reading : Elva Courier History

After World War II, Europe was ready to get back to auto racing. Many of the buildings and factories that had produced the engines and chassis before the War had been ruined or transformed into making military vehicles. Club racing offered a competitive means for individuals to enter the racing scene and prove there skills while maintaining a level of affordability. Specialty vehicles were....
Continue Reading >>

Recent Vehicle Additions

Related Automotive News

1964 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers: Survive for One Last Victory

1964 Nurburgring 1000 Kilometers: Survive for One Last Victory

During the late 1950s, Richie Ginther would begin a relationship with John von Neumann and this partnership would result in one of the most dominant periods of American sportscar racing in which Ginther and Porsche would be virtually unbeatable. Nearly...
Corvette Shines in the Big Apple

Corvette Shines in the Big Apple

All-new Corvette Stingray comes to New York City 60 years to the day after Motorama debut 2013-01-16 Sixty years ago tomorrow, spectators lined New York Citys posh Park Avenue, waiting to get a glimpse of the ground-breaking Chevrolet...
Corvette's Chassis Innovations Refined on the Race Track

Corvette's Chassis Innovations Refined on the Race Track

Zora Arkus-Duntovs racing-bred development legacy continues to improve Corvette Its been said that racing improves the breed, and when it comes to the Chevrolet Corvette, nearly six decades of checkered flags are the proof. As Corvette marks...
1967 Can-Am Road America: The Beginning of the 'Bruce and Denny Show'

1967 Can-Am Road America: The Beginning of the 'Bruce and Denny Show'

While Formula One will be forever considered the pinnacle of motorsport, from a period between 1966 and 1986 there existed a series that would likely be the closest to anything goes as any motor racing series could truly get. Based upon the FIA Group...
Carroll Shelby, Ford Family for More Than Half a Century

Carroll Shelby, Ford Family for More Than Half a Century

Carroll Shelby was a member of the Ford family for the better part of 60 years, producing stunning performance vehicles from concepts to production models. He once said his energy and passion for performance products were always strongest when he was...
© 1998-2021. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Vehicle information, history, And specifications from concept to production.
Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed
© 1998-2021 Reproduction Or reuse prohibited without written consent.