|Production||1958-1969 500 approx made|
|Wheelbase||90 in (2,286 mm)|
|Length||154 in (3,912 mm)|
|Width||60 in (1,524 mm)|
The Elva Courier Built: Bexhill, Hastings, Croydon, Shenley, England, from 1958 to 1968.
Like Colin Chapman at Lotus, but to a much more restricted degree, Frank Nichols expanded and changed his Elva concern from one which produced sports-racing cars, to one which also marketed sporting road cars. The original Elvas of the mid-1950s were low-cost sports-racing models, but the Courier sports car appeared in 1958, at a time when interest in glass-fibre bodied cars was at its height. The name of Elva, incidentally, evolved from the French exclamation about the first prototype which was: 'Elle va!', which translated simply and accurately as 'She goes!' The basis of the Courier was a very simple tubular chassis frame, ladder-type, topped by a cheaply-made but distinctive two-seater open sports bodyshell. Elva built
their own front suspension, and the back axle was a BMC unit. The 'standard' engine (in those days, kit-cars like the Courier could be supplied with a variety of engines, if the customer insisted, and if the firm was anxious to make another sale) was the MGA unit.
In hindsight, it is always a mystery as to why such cars sold so well, when they were no faster and certainly not as refined as the cars from which they drew their engines and major components; the only real reason was one of low first cost. In the case of the Courier there certainly was a reasonable demand, for more than 700 examples were sold before the end of 1961. By this time, however, Frank Nichols was losing interest in the car, which was being built on his behalf by Trojan, and control eventually passed to them. Further complex commercial transactions followed during the 1960s, and the last Courier of all was built in 1968.
Engine and transmission: Four-cylinders, in-line, with pushrod operated overhead valve cylinder head, built by MG. Bore, stroke and capacity, 73.025 >< 88.9mm., 1489cc. Maximum power 72bhp (net) at 5000rpm.; maximum torque 771b.ft. at 3500rpm. Four-speed manual gearbox in unit with engine. Hypoid bevel final drive.
Chassis: Front engine, rear drive. Separate steel chassis frame, with tubular side-members. Independent front suspension by coil springs and wishbones. Rack and pinion steering. Rear suspension of live axle by coil springs, radius arms and Panhard rod. Four-wheel drum brakes (later models had front wheel disc brakes).
Bodywork: Separate glass-fibre bodyshell, in two-door, two-seater open sports style, by Elva. Length 12ft. 7.5in.; width 4ft. 11.5in.; height 4ft. 1.5in. Unladen weight 15551b.
Performance: Maximum speed 98mph. 0-60mph 12.7sec. Standing 1/4-mile 18.2sec. Typical fuel consumption 31mpg.
Note: From autumn 1959, the standard engine became that normally fitted to the MGA 1600. Bore, stroke and capacity 75.39 x 88.9mm., 1588cc. Maximum power 80bhp (net) at 5600rpm.; maximum torque 871b.ft. at 3800rpm.
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 28 m/imp gal, 23.3 m US gal, 10.1 1 x 100 km
MAX SPEED: 104 mph, 167.4 km h;
- max power (SAE): 86.1 hp at 5500 rpm
- max torque (SAE): 92 1b ft, 12.7 kgm at 4000 rpm
- max number of engine rpm: 6000
- specific power: 53.1 hp/l
- max speed in 1st gear: 32 mph, 51.5 km/h
- max speed in 2nd gear: 52 mph, 83.7 km/h
- max speed in 3rd gear: 80 mph, 128.8 km/h;
max speed in 4th gear: 104 mph, 167.4 km/h
- power-weight ratio: 17.6 lb/hP, 8.0 kg/hp
- useful load: 353 1b, 160 kg
- acceletation: standing 1/4 mile 17,8 sec, (0 —80 km/h) 6.6 sec
- speed in direct drive at 1000 rpm: 18.2 mph, 29.3 km/h.
VARIATIONS AND OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES:
anti-roll bar front suspension
independent rear suspension
compression ratio 8.9 : 1.