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Mike's 1964 Elva Courier MkIV Build Thread!

Elva164

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Hey guys! I've never done a build thread before, but this seems like the perfect opportunity and a good way to record my progress as I go. Mods, I assume this is the correct subforum but please move it if I'm wrong.

Let me first give you a little background info on the car I'll be building. It is a 1964 Elva Courier Mark IV, serial #1187. The car first came to our shop about 8 years ago, where it was built as a kind of car-for-hire from our shop. That didn't last long, as one of our customers decided to buy the car outright and race it. Here is a shot of the car at that stage:


The car was run for about two years pretty successfully before the event. We brought the car to the street course in Pittsburgh, where it was to meet its end.

After this, my Dad bought the car back and sold some things like the Prather MGB motor and dry sump system. The remnants sat outside until this past October, when he gave the car to me as a birthday gift.

I'm really excited as I only dreamed I would someday be able to own my own vintage race car! I've been very lucky to race the Lotus Cortina, but it is actually co-owned by my Dad and another one of our customers.

Current pictures in the next post so this one doesn't get too long!!
 
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aeronca65t

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Great stuff! Best wishes on the build. I am in the middle of a "build" myself.

One of my favourite photos of my car (on two wheels) has that Elva in the background.

The picture was taken at NHMS and that's Keiley's Ferrari chasing me.

nhms-08.jpg
 

DNK

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It looked like it just went all under steer on him

Dang that must be hard with all those light changes ..in and out of shadows
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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Great stuff! Best wishes on the build. I am in the middle of a "build" myself.

One of my favourite photos of my car (on two wheels) has that Elva in the background.

Nice picture, but that's actually a MkII Courier, not a MkIV. Note the differences in the fenders and the front.
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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A few updates! Got some of the rough fiberglass done on the nose:



Also picked up a Triumph Spitfire chassis that will be donating the area between the front bumper and the firewall!


Last but not least, cleaned out all the wiring and removed the dashboard.
Here's a shot of sme of the harness and the old fuse box(who needs that?):


The pile of extra weight and the dash:


The top of the dash is facing right, by the way.

Next on my list is to remove all the gauges from the dash and surround, then decide which gauge setup I will be using and make an aluminum dash to fit those!
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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Ahh...you are correct.

I guess I was thinking, "How many yellow Couriers are there around here?"

At least two obviously. :glee:

Haha, actually three! Norman Berke drives a yellow/green Mark...II maybe?

Question: Do Elvas use Herald/Spitfire front upper/lower control arms?
Yes they do! That's why I'll be using everything between the firewall and front bumper from the Spitfire chassis I bought.

Isn't that the noted Elva @3:10 or so he passes?

Nope, that's an MGA.
 

DNK

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As I was typing that , that thought occurred to me.
Can't remember the owners of the ones I saw when we raced in the middle to late 70's @ the Point
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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Small update. Got the gauges out of the dash and got it ready to return to the car:

I also unearthed an aluminum gauge pod that was made for the car before its demise:

I might need to see how it works! :D

Also, there were rumblings about some additional fiberglass work getting done over the weekend!
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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The bodywork is on hold until things warm up due to space constraints, so that leaves me some time to think about things way before I need to! :D As such, I've been putting a little thought into color choices and would love your opinions. Here is how the car looked before:

This is my (badly photoshopped) idea at the moment:


I went with this scheme to integrate the dark blue which is one of the shop colors (blue/yellow) with a bit of a change to differentiate the car as mine. I also thought the silver stripe would match the silver bumperettes on the four corners well.

Feel free to share/photoshop any ideas you have! I'd love to see what you guys come up with!
 

dougie

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There's a blue one with a white stripe and red highlights racing here in the PNW. It looks great, but I like the darker blue you're suggesting.

Elva.jpg
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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^ Looks good! Interesting fender air exits. Yeah, I really think a dark color is best for the MkIV. It helps hide the....less sumptuous angles and curves as opposed to the MkI-III.

For any potential photoshoppers: I found a good amount of photos of the car online last night! Here are some, I can provide more if you would like!




 
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Elva164

Elva164

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Got some pictures of the number plate today! Unfortunately, the time outside took its toll on the paint. Does anyone have a good method of restoring the plate? It was tough to get a clear shot because the car has been basically pushed into a dark corner until the weather improves, but here you go:






It's tough to see, but the serial number is indeed 1187 and the engine number is RS22145.
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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Another slightly important detail to mention regarding the serial number:

According to the build info for serial number E1187, my car should have independent rear suspension! Only downside is it's the setup from a TVR Griffith :( Not sure how or even if I could find something like that, but if anyone has any leads it would be much appreciated!

All I've read about the setup so far is that it uses unequal length wishbones and a "Salisbury independent differential." I've never read much about TVRs so it's all new to me! :smile:
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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After looking at our options, our materials, and potential labor, we've come to the conclusion that keeping the rear suspension setup we have is the most intelligent route for me. I'm okay with that, though; never bothers me in the Cortina!
 
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Elva164

Elva164

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Post-Sebring update!

We've been gone to the races for a few weeks now, and when we returned I was surprised with some pretty exciting progress on the chassis!

A new setup to replace the destroyed front section of the frame:


Complete with the Spitfire suspension towers, which just need to be perfectly aligned and attached:


A great-looking new rocker panel to replace the old bent/warped one:


A new steel floor, both for a bit of added stiffness and some extra protection:



And a good amount of work un-twisting the chassis, which is almost straight again. You can see where the frame was cut at a damaged weld near the trans mount to allow the chassis to get happy before re-welding:



One interesting detail was the...odd angles the rear shock mounts currently have:



I think I'll also be either cutting the bottom halves of those huge trailing arm brackets off or just making new, proper mounts to replace them.

Some of the next things to do are bring a dummy engine block/transmission over to start figuring out mount locations and disassembling the rear end to replace any seals/gaskets and check the condition of the hubs, hub bearings, and diff internals. Pretty exciting stuff! :D
 

dougie

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Nice progress, have you decided on a color yet.
 
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