Elfin Sports Cars

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Elfin Sports Cars Pty Ltd
Type Private
Industry Automotive
Founded 1957
Founders Garrie Cooper
Headquarters Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Key people Don Elliott
Tom Walkinshaw
Products Elfin T5 Clubman
Elfin MS8 Clubman
Elfin MS8 Streamliner
Services Automobile manufacturing
Parent Walkinshaw Performance
Website www.elfin.com.au

Elfin Sports Cars Pty Ltd is the current name of the car company which was founded by Garrie Cooper. It has been an Australian manufacturer of sports cars and motor racing cars since 1957.

Elfin Sports Cars is owned by the estate of former British racing driver Tom Walkinshaw, through his company Walkinshaw Performance which also owns Holden Special Vehicles.[1] It was previously owned by businessmen and historic racing enthusiasts Bill Hemming and Nick Kovatch (who remains as technical director) who purchased it in 1998.

Elfin is the oldest continuous sports car maker in Australia and one of the most successful with 29 championships and major Grand Prix titles.[2] The original factory was located at Conmurra Avenue, Edwardstown in suburban Adelaide, South Australia. The company is currently located is at Braeside, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

History[edit]

The company was founded by Garrie Cooper, a successful championship driver and designer and builder of racing and sports/racing cars as Elfin Sports Car Company. In 1983, following the death of its founder, the firm was bought by Tasmanian Don Elliott, racing driver Tony Edmondson and mechanic John Porter who re-established the provision of parts and service to existing owners

Garrie Cooper died suddenly from a burst aorta due to the vessels weakness due to medication he was taking to keep his blood thin after a heart valve operation in the mid 1970s's on ANZAC Day (25 April) in 1982, at the age of 46. Cliff Cooper, Garrie's father, completed outstanding orders, including six new generation Formula Vees, before offering the business for sale as well as designing a new Formula Vee, the Crusader, and a Formula Brabham car.[3]

In 1993, Victorian Murray Richards acquired Elfin and set out to build new generation Elfin Clubman called the Type 3. In failing health, he sold Elfin to Bill Hemming and Nick Kovatch in 1998.[3]

Currently, Elfin is owned by the estate of British racing driver Tom Walkinshaw.

There is a heritage centre dedicated to Elfin Sports Cars in Melbourne, Australia. The centre features around 12 current and historic vehicles on display.

Racing[edit]

Elfin won 29 championships and major titles including two Australian Drivers' Championships (1973, 1975), four Australian Sports Car Championships (1970, 1973, 1974, 1975), three Australian Tourist Trophies (1966, 1976, 1978), and four Australian Formula Ford Championships (1970, 1971, 1974, 1982). In addition Elfin cars also won the Singapore Grand Prix (1968), the Malaysian Grand Prix (1968, 1969, 1972), and the New Zealand Grand Prix (1973, 1974).

Drivers of Elfin cars included 1976 Formula One World Champion James Hunt, and French F1 driver, Didier Pironi. Others included Australian F1 drivers Vern Schuppan and Larry Perkins, as well as John Bowe, Frank Matich, John McCormack, Bob Jane, John Harvey, Allan Grice and Peter Manton.

Models[edit]

Current vehicles[edit]

Elfin is currently producing two V8 powered sports cars: the MS8 Streamliner and the MS8 Clubman and has recently introduced an entry-level model, the turbocharged four cylinder powered T5 Clubman. The engines are supplied by GM Powertrain.

Elfin MS8 Streamliner 
Elfin MS8 Clubman 
Elfin T5 Clubman 

Historic vehicles - The Garrie Cooper era[edit]

The original company produced 248 racing and sports racing cars in 27 different models over a 25 year period.

Model Total[4] Production Description Image
Streamliner 23 1959–1963 Sports racing car (front engined) Elfin Streamliner of Ian Brock.jpg
Formula Junior & Catalina 20 1961–1964 Formula Junior racing car & racing car. The two models differed only in minor specifications and the majority built were Formula Juniors.[4] 1962 elfin fj.jpg
Clubman 14 1961–1965 Clubman sports car Elfin Clubman of Pete Ffrench.jpg
Mallala 5 1962–1964 Sports racing car Elfinmallala.jpg
Type 100 Mono 19 1964–1969 Australian 1½ Litre Formula racing car Elfin Mono Type 100.jpg
Type 500 21 1965–1969 Formula Vee racing car
Type 400 4 1966–1967 Group A Sports racing car (V8 powered) Elfin 400 Repco of Bill Hemming.jpg
Type 300 6 1967–1969 Sports racing car Elfin 300 Coventry Climax.jpg
600/B/C/D/E 27 1968–1971 Racing car (various formulae) Elfin 600E Graham Ruckert.jpg
600 FF 17 1969–1972 Formula Ford racing car 1971 elfin 600.jpg
Type 350 1 1969 only Sports racing car
ME5 1 1969 only Group A Sports racing car (V8 powered) Elfin ME5 of Trevor Lambert.JPG
Type 360 3 1971 only Sports racing car Elfin 360 of Ian Ross.jpg
MR5 4 1971–1972 Australian Formula 1 racing car (F5000). The first F5000 car designed and built by Elfin. Cooper-1972-Graham-Ruckert.jpg
620 FF 20 1972–1975 Formula Ford racing car
622 6 1972–1974 Australian Formula 2 racing car Elfin 622 of Mark Goldsmith.JPG
623 8 1973–1974 Australian Formula 3 racing car Elfin623.jpg
MR6 1 1974 only Australian Formula 1 racing car (F5000)
MS7 1 1974 only Sports racing car (V8 powered)
630 2 1974–1975 Australian Formula 2 racing car Elfin 630B 01.jpg
700 7 1975–1977 Australian Formula 2 racing car Elfin 700 of Keith Morling.jpg
MR8 3 1976–1978 Australian Formula 1 racing car (F5000) Elfin mr8c.jpg
New Generation "NG" 29 1976–1983 Formula Vee racing car
792 3 1979 only Australian Formula 2 racing car
Aero FF 1 1979 only Formula Ford racing car
GE Two-25 1 1980 only Australian Formula 2 racing car
MR9 1 1980 only Australian Formula 1 racing car (F5000). The first open wheel race car to be designed and built in Australia using Ground effect aerodynamics.
Total 248


Historic vehicles - The post Garrie Cooper era[edit]

Model Total Production Description Image
FF84 1984 Formula Ford racing car.
NG "EP" 8 1984-1986 Edmondson-Porter run on of the NG Series Formula Vee racing cars.
Crusader 20[5] Formula Vee racing car.
852 1985 Australian Formula 2 racing car.
FA891 1 1989 Formula Holden racing car fielded in the 1989 Australian Drivers' Championship by Elfin Sports Cars. Follow up orders from competitors were not forthcoming, largely preferring to import the latest British designs from Lola, Ralt and Reynard. The FA in FA891 was for the category's original working name, Formula Australia.
Type 3 Clubman 70[5] 1998–2007 Clubman sports car.[6] Powered by a supercharged Toyota 4AG ZE engine.[6] Elfin Type 3 Clubman.jpg


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McGrath, McGrath (2006-12-15). "Elfin joins the HSV club". Carsguide.com.au. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  2. ^ Round, Jason. "Going for gold". HOT4s. Archived from the original on 2007-09-03. Retrieved 2007-03-12. 
  3. ^ a b "Elfin Sports Cars - The Perfect Classic? - Australian Classic Car". Elfin.com.au. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  4. ^ a b John Blanden & Barry Catford, Australian Elfin Sports and Racing Cars, 1997
  5. ^ a b "Celebrate with Elfin". Shannons.com.au. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  6. ^ a b Elfin Clubman Type 3 advertisement, CAMS Magazine, Autumn 2003, page 21

External links[edit]

 
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