1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 70-003

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Lot 581
1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer
Chassis no. 70-003

Sold for £ 45,500 (US$ 57,695) inc. premium
1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer
Chassis no. 70-003


  • Frank Nichols' Elva sports-racers enjoyed a faithful following in North America and were very successful, their forgiving track manners commending them to the amateur racers of the SCCA. This Elva MkVII, chassis number '70/003', was completed on 19th March 1963 and originally fitted with a Coventry Climax FWA1100 engine (number '11079'), Koni dampers, Hewland Mk4 five-speed gearbox, ducted brakes, optional handbrake and painted white. It was immediately exported to the USA and sold to Gordon Heald of Babson Park, Massachusetts by importer Carl Haas. The car was probably first raced by Heald at the SCCA National meeting in Virginia on 27th April 1963, finishing 8th. Heald raced the Elva through to at least 1966, winning the SCCA Northeast Divisional Championship in 1965. Other noteworthy results include 2nd in the American Road Race of Champions at Daytona Speedway in November 1965 and 3rd in the American Road Race of Champions at Riverside International Raceway in November 1966.
    In 1971 the car was sold to Mr S A Gilliland of Fairfield, Connecticut, who raced with the SCCA on the USA's East Coast. Mr Gilliland's accompanying SCCA logbook shows that the car ran in various races between May 1972 and February 1974. During this period it was modified with flared wheelarches and wider wheels, and it is likely that the Lotus Twin-Cam engine and Hewland Mk8-9 gearbox were fitted at this time. In February 1977 the car was sold to James Tears, remaining in his ownership until 1984 when it passed to Chuck Haines of St Louis, Missouri.
    Its next owner, from February 1984, was William 'Jerry' Gordon of Chicago, Illinois, who raced with the VSCDA in the Mid-West USA. Jerry had the car professionally maintained by Baurle Autosport and Paradise Motorsport, as invoices on file totaling approximately $92,500 demonstrate. In September 1995 the Elva was sold to Tom Snellback of Lake Bluff, Illinois. An historic car racer and proprietor of 'The Last Detail', a specialist classic and sports car preparation and repair business in Lake Bluff, Snellback also raced the car with the VSCDA in the Mid-West.
    Between July 1996 and February 2004 the Elva was owned and raced in historic events by John Golanty of Wilmette, Illinois. Mr Golanty had the car maintained by International Classics and PHP Racengines (see invoices on file totalling in excess of $40,000). It is believed that at this time the car was modified to run a centrally placed water radiator and the side mounted fuel tanks were replaced with a single centrally mounted item.
    In February 2004 the car was re-imported to the UK by the current owner and entrusted to the professional historic racing team, Wren Classics for race preparation. The car was stripped down, checked and then prepared to FIA specification and FIA HTP papers obtained. Works undertaken included installing new a fire extinguishing system, seat belts, wheels, brakes, tyres and gear ratios. The car was raced regularly in the Top Hat pre-'66 sports car series, Sports Racing Challenge and then the Masters series of events for sports racing cars. In January 2005 the 1.6-litre Lotus Twin-Cam engine was sent to George Wadsworth at Racing Fabrications for a full rebuild to characteristics that better suited some of the slow speed corners of European tracks. At the same time a more elegant roll-over bar was fitted together with a second fuel tank for longer distance events. The car has had one outright race win at Mallory Park, three class wins at Donington, one class win at Castle Combe and was 3rd in class last time out at Donington. All of the current owner's race entry forms and results sheets are available together with copies of all invoices relating to the period 2004 to date totalling £82,500 for race preparation and maintenance.
    Possessing exceptionally well-documented history, the car has full FIA HTP papers and comes with a quantity of spare parts. The latter to includes new Mk7S magnesium chromated front suspension uprights; upper wishbones; chrome-moly axles and new bearings; wheel studs and fittings (supplied by Lee Chapman Racing for $2,740 plus import duties); spare front bodywork worth approximately £1,000; original Elva wheels; and various alternative gear ratios.
1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 70-003
1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 70-003
1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 70-003
1963 Elva Mk7-Ford Sports-Racer  Chassis no. 70-003
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