Tag Archives: Transport

Elle va à Bexhill On Sea – Elva Climax Mk III

Bexhill on Sea second hand car dealer and engine tuning specialist Frank G Nichols decided to enter the racing car manufacturing business as a response to enquiries arising from a CSM Frank bought from Mike Chapman, no relation to Colin and raced successfully in 1954.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The Elva name is a mash up of the French “Ella va” which means ‘she goes’. By the time production ceased the Elva name had appeared on over 1000 vehicles.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

By 1958 Elva was manufacturing the Coventry Climax powered Mk III, known drivers of the cars back then included Charlie Kolb, Burdette Martin and William Jordan in the USA with Eugine Hall and Ian Raby representing the Marque in the United Kingdom.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Of the 92 starts known for the model at Racing Sports Cars.com three were outright victories Kolb at Miami, William Bradley at Green Acres both in 1958 and the last recorded by George Ranney at Grayling in 1960, many additional class wins were also recorded.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The history of the car seen here at last years Classic Motor Show is unknown, it is owned by Bexhill Museum who had the original aluminium body that had at various times been painted red, blue and white, replaced by a new one manufactured by the original suppliers Hastings Motor Sheet Metal now known as Moore & Tye in 2009.

Elva Mk III, The Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

The Nostalgia Forum member Bloggsworth has kindly informed that the team that made the new body included Alan Jenner who worked on the original car. A small reunion of ex Elva employees took place when the restoration was complete. The Mk III can now usually be seen in the Technology Collection at Bexhill Museum.

Thanks for joining me on this “Elle va à Bexhill On Sea” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Congratulations to Johnny Martinez who was awarded a trophy for his ’29 Ford Model A at the Grand National Roadster Show yesterday, John would also like to thank every one who has voted for him in the Cool Rides Online ® pole at goldeagle.com. The vote is still incredibly close, YOU CAN VOTE “John’s 1929 Ford Model A” ONCE A DAY ON THIS LINK until poling closes 31st January, please keep your daily votes coming in, thank you.


Driver to Sponsor – Simon Lewis

During the early 1980’s Simon Lewis was a regular spectator at Castle Combe where the biggest attraction used to be Formula Libre events run for any car built to known regulations.

McLaren M30, Castle Combe

At the top end of the entry would be vehicles that had run in Grand Prix like Alo Lawlers McLaren Cosworth DFV M30 resplendent in it’s original colours and bearing the name of it’s original driver Alain Prost,

Lola T330, Castle Combe

or Formula 5000 vehicles like Tony Trimmers Lola Chevrolet T330,

Lola T530, Castle Combe

and once in a while something extremely exotic like a Can Am 2 Lola Chevrolet T530 would appear.

March BMW 822, Castle Combe

A car with a large engine was not a pre requisite to be a contender to win as Eddie McLurg found out when he beat the big boys driving a 2 litre Formula 2 March BMW 822 Formula 2 car to victory in May 1989.

Simon Lewis

When he turned 18 Simon started on the long path to becoming a book mogul, surprisingly he specialised in automotive books with a business called Simon Lewis Transport Book Shop.

Simon Lewis, Rover SD1

As and when resources allowed Simon turned to competing in rally events running against £50,000 Subaru’s in an comparatively archaic gargantuan Rover SDI after three seasons the enlarged to 4.5 litre / 274 cui Rover V8 was put into a Ford Escort shell for a season.

Simon Lewis, Rover 220, Castle Combe

When that project proved fruitless Simon moved to circuit racing at Castle Combe with a Rover Montego Turbo and then with some success he ran the Rover 220 Turbo seen above.

Simon Lewis, MG Maestro

Simon has also tried his hand at Grass Track racing with an MG Maestro, that vibrated so bad in top gear that the bits of roll cage in Simon’s eye line ‘became almost invisible’,

Simon Lewis, Morrish Kawasaki

and at hill climbing with a Kawasaki powered Morrish built in Cornwall.

Van Diemen RF00, Swift SC92, Castle Combe

(# 6 Roger Orgee Van Diemen RF00 & #17 Alex Drabble Swift SC92)

Inspired by the reaction to a thread on The Nostalgia Forum Simon has taken a leap of faith and decided to sponsor a new Mono Libre series at Castle Combe in 2011.

Nemesis Mygale, Castle Combe

(Winner of the first race #85 Peter Bragg Nemesis Mygale)

With a snappy title THE SIMON LEWIS TRANSPORT BOOKS FREE SINGLE-SEATER SERIES is open to any open wheeler that can pass the 108 db noise test.

Ralt RT 3, Castle Combe

(# 3 David Cox Ralt RT3)

An interesting array of single seaters took part in the first race was on July the 18th, I caught practice the day before and look forward to seeing the next races on July 24th.

If you have a single seater that can pass the 108 db noise test and is in need of exercise you could do worse than make enquiries at the Castle Combe website.

Hope you will join me in wishing Simon and his series all the best.

Thanks for joining me on this Simon Lewis Transports Books Free Single Seater edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil psycho on tyres’, join me again tomorrow for a Grand Prix edition of Ferrari Friday. Don’t forget to come back now !