Rare as Hen’s Teeth #2


Emerging from the shoestring budgeted British club racing scene of the 1950s, Elva cars was the brainchild of Frank G Nicols – who successfully raced at Goodwood throughout that austere decade — and began marketing special road-going racers for customers after some notable success.

The name Elva is apparently a corruption of ‘elle va’ meaning ‘she goes’ in a variety of latin languages – and no matter how quaint this story is, the brand was seen on around a thousand sports racing and road going cars.

Whilst the most famous and popular Elva Models was the Courier – for us their most interesting creation was the GT160 coupé – of which just three were built. The car stood just just 40″ high and was based on a BMW racing car chassis, with a body by Italian coach builder Fissore.

One of the three was offered for sale last year. A slice of English auto history, and a pretty one at that…


One Response to “Rare as Hen’s Teeth #2”

  1. I was lucky enough to own and restore two of the three the ELVA-BMW GT160 vehicles so a couple of points that need ‘fine tuning’. ELVA is a ‘corruption’ of ‘elle va’ from the French not Latin, and the cars were built on the modified tubular chassis frames developed for the very successful ELVA-BMW Mk.7S sports racing cars. The car recently sold is chassis # 3 and has been beautifully rebuilt again to be used in historic racing in the UK and Europe. Chassis # 1 which ran at Le Mans in 1965 now resides in a US based collection, while chassis # 2 now lives in Denmark having been converted to Buick V8 power in the late 1960’s. ‘She Goes’ … you bet!