Elva Courier (1958 – 1961) Review

Elva Courier (1958 – 1961) At A Glance


+Light and agile, great fun to drive in a basic way, and based on a car that acquitted itself rather well in competition

-Easy to keep on the road, but watch out for structural corrosion

Another of those appealing sporting specials that were being produced in the UK in the 1950s, the Elva was an enthusiast’s creation. Successful garage proprietor Frank Nichols was interested in motor racing and aimed to produce a low cost racing car. This concept proved successful in the UK and also crossed the Atlantic, appealing in the US to amateur drivers in the SCCA racing series. The Mk I Courier had a tubular ladder frame, a 1.5-litre Riley engine and gearbox (later changed to MGA units) as well as a rigid rear axle with coils at the back.

There was a choice of pretty roadster or coupé bodies, and initially the car was exported exclusively to the USA. In 1960 it was finally offered in the UK but only in kit form. In 1962, the Courier was taken over by Trojan who created the Mark III and immediately ruined the handling. The Mark IV put things right, and added independent rear suspension, several body styles and even a Ford GT engine over and above the of the MGB unit now fitted. However, production halted in 1965 due to lack of sales. The name derived from the French for 'she goes' (elle va), and it was the first Courier road car to establish the company internationally.