1963 Elva Mk 7
The Elva Mk7 is much more rare than the Lotus 23. Estimates are that approximately 69 Elva Mk7’s were built, which would be closer to half of the Lotus 23 production – not counting the many Lotus 23 copies that have been made over the decades. This make the Elvas more exclusive, and desirable, for historic race event selection committees.
This Mk7 offered here is , chassis 023. It was delivered from the Elva works to U.S. Elva distributor, Carl Haas. Hass sold the car to Jim Rahal. Jim Rahal is the father of Bobby Rahal.
Jim Rahal raced the Elva in SCCA races in the early and mid-1960’s. The car remained in North America until the mid-eighties when it sold to Roger Fountain in the U.K. Roger began a long rebuilding process of 023 with the Elva next appearing at historic races in the early 2000’s.
The Elva next wound up at Simon Hadfield Motorsports. There it was raced by Rupert Clevely and Bob Hartley. The Elva then moved onto Roger Wills, where it was raced by Wills and Joe Twyman across Europe. The Elva was incredibly successful, winning in Masters, HSCC, and CHE endurance races.
The Elva was then sold and fully gone through at WDK Motorsports. It was thereafter sold to a buyer in the U.S. The Elva still resides in the U.S. where it continues to compete at the front in historic races.
The Elva has twice been a Goodwood Revival entrant. It is eligible for the HSCC Guards Trophy, FIA Historic Sports Car Championship, and Daytona 24 Hour Classic, the U.S. west coast USRRC Series, and more. It is also a Monterey Reunion competitor, and welcome at premier historic races throughout the U.S.
The Elva will come with a history file including photos and records of the car going back to its early days when first raced by the Rahals. The file will also include many comprehensive receipts for the work done to the car.
The Elva is powered by a 1600 cc Lotus twin cam with 45 DCOE Webers and MSD ignition. Redline is conservatively set at 8,600 rpm. Power is transmitted through its five speed Hewland Mk.4 gearbox. The rear axles are splined with U-joints mounted at both ends for durability. Oil is carried through Aeroquip steel braided lines and fittings.
The Mk.7 rides on six lug Elva wheels with 5.0/22.0 x 13 Avons in the front and 6.5/23.0 x 13 Avons in the rear. Handling is assisted by Koni double adjustable shocks, and front and rear sway bars. Braking is four wheel Girling disc brakes. Engine cooling is by twin radiators up front, which enhances stability and handing while keeping the twin cam cool.
A fully functional Traqmate GPS data acquisition system is fitted to the car, along with a hard wired transponder. The safety belts are Schroth, and need to be replaced as they have now timed out. The Elva has Fuel Safe fuel cell, and an S.P.A remotely operated fire suppression system.
The Elva was last raced in April, 2019.
For more historical background on Elva, please see Mike Lawrence’s excellent article in the January, 1986, issue of MotorSport Magazine and the February, 1986 issue of MotorSport Magazine. You can also see more on Elva, the Mk7 models, and many featured photos of Elva 023 in action, at ConceptCarz.com.
Incidentally, the photo that shows Jim Rahal sitting in the cockpit of the then red Elva also shows someone in a white sweater standing behind the right rear corner of the Elva. That someone is future F1 driver, Indy 500 winner, and IndyCar Champion Bobby Rahal.