The Elva Courier flyer cover drawing

ELVA is a name which has come to mean exciting sports-car motoring; a name which, in the last few years, has achieved fame on the international racetracks. It is derived, incidentally, from the French expression ‘Elle VA’ (she goes!).  And now Trojan Ltd, which has been part of the British motor industry for half a century, is proud to announce the ELVA COURIER

MARK III.  Popular demand for this roomy, well-mannered sports car has led to its transfer from a small factory at Hastings to the modern production centre of Trojan Ltd at Croydon. Here the greatly improved Mark III two-seater is coming off the line in ever-increasing

numbers for the markets of the world. While retaining all the basic design characteristics of the earlier Courier models, it has been carefully tailored to Trojan’s flow-line assembly system and high engineering standards. The 105 mph, disc-braked Mark III Courier – sleek, distinctive and always eager to go-is offered as either a fixed head coupe or an open sports two-seater with a neat hood that is easy to put up and down. It is powered by the British Motor Corporation’s 1622 cc ‘B’-series engine as used in the MGA and, with a light glass fibre body bonded to a sturdy, ladder-type chassis of large-bore tubular steel, it has a power-to-weight ratio so favourable that it is reflected throughout the car’s wide speed range.

The large-scale use of other BMC components, including four-speed gearbox, suspension, back axle and brakes, helps to ensure an exceptionally good spare parts service. Apart from the fully-assembled Couriers-which will be distributed through an ever-increasing dealer network-both versions are available in easy-to-build kit form for little more than the normal basic price. The Courier is lavishly equipped and choice of body colours includes Mediterranean blue, holly berry red and British racing green.  Duotone finishes are optionally available.

Elva Courier front drawing

Road test reports


‘ … quite out of the ordinary. Wheelspin can, of course, be induced, but the rearward, weight distribution gives exceptional traction, as the performance figures prove.’


‘ … the Courier will come right down to 15 mph and accelerate away strongly-all on the highest ratio.’

Gear changing:

‘Really quick gear changes can be made silently, and the clutch does not slip after one has “snatched” a higher gear.’

Drawing of an Elva Courier Couple driving away
Drawing of an Elva race car on track

Maximum speed:

‘104.64 mph, certainly good for a 1600 cc car. At this velocity there are still a few hundred revs in hand.’


‘Fully up to any fast touring demands. The pleasant fly-off hand brake is quite powerful, a regrettably rare virtue nowadays.’


‘Road holding has been improved, particularly at the front end. It is possible to unstick the rear wheels on a really bumpy corner, but the car remains controllable under these conditions and does not tend to spin off.’

Fuel consumption:

‘Driven hard, 28 mpg’

Drawing of an Elva Courier Coupe driving

Specification and technical data

Except for the type of body and the few other points detailed, the two-seater open Sports and Fixed Head Elva Courier oars are identical in specification and performance.

Engine 76.2 mm bore x 88.9 mm stroke; 1622 cubic capacity. Pushrod operated, OHV, water cooled, four cylinders. Twin 1½ bore S.U. carburettors. Lucas coil ignition.

Transmission Four speed gearbox with synchromesh 2nd, 3rd, and 4th: Ratios 3.73, 5.12, 8.25 and 13.56: 1. Central remote control, single dry plate multi-spring Borg & Beck clutch, hypoid rear axle, open propeller shaft and needle roller universal joints.

Chassis and body Duplex tubular steel chassis of welded construction with integral moulded fibre glass body. Uneven length wishbone front suspension, rigid rear axle mounted on twin trailing tubular links with lateral Panhard rod, helical coil springs, Armstrong telescopic oil damped shock absorbers, rack and pinion steering.

Brakes and -heels Disc front brakes, Lockheed 8 • x l ½’ ell-um rear brakes. Pressed steel disc wheels retained by four studs and fitted with 5.60 x 13’m· 14′ tyres.

Electrical 12 v generator driven by adjustable V belt, flange mounted starter motor, 43 Ampere-hour battery.

Equipment Trip speedometer, tachometer, ammeter, trafficators, self parking screen wipers; fuel, water temperature and oil pressure gauges,

Dimensions and capacities


Fuel………..9 gallon…………40.5 Litres

Oil ………… 1 gallon …………..4.5 Litres

Water ……… 18 pints………. 10.l Litres

Wheelbase ……… 7′ 6″ …….228.6 ems

Track ………….. 4′ 1” ……….. 124.5 ems

Length ………. 12′ 10” …….. 391.0 ems

Height (Sports)…..4′ 1½”…126.0 cms

(Coupe)…..4′ 2½”….128.5 cms

Weight (Sports)……2.75 cwt …648 K1

(Coupe) ….13.5 cwt ……..686 K1

Turning circle … 35 ft …..10. 7 Metres


Maximum Top 104.5 mph … 167.2 Kph

3rd 80.0 mph … 128.0 Kph

2nd 51.0 mph …… 81.6 Kph

1st 32.0 mph …… 51.2 Kph

Acceleration …….0 – 30 mph ……2.8 secs

0 – 50 mph ……… 6.6 secs

0 – 60 mph ……… 10.2 secs

0 – 80 mph ……… l 7.4 secs

standing¼ mile …… 17.8 secs

Fuel consumption….28 mpg driven hard

Optional Equipment Lockheed hydraulically-operated drum brakes on all four wheels at a reduction of £25.

Extras Screen washer, tonneau cover, Smiths heater, front roll bar.

The issue of this folder does not constitute an offer, and the right is reserved to alter prices and/or specifications at any time without notice. Sales are conditional upon Terms of Business, Warranties and Service arrangements issued by Trojan Limited. For prices sec separate list. 


Telephone: MUNioipal 2499 · Cables: Trojan · Croydon · England






JULY 22nd, 1960

Photo of Elva Courier convertible

OVER THE TON!  The Elva Courier is Frank Nichols’ idea of a “fast touring and shopping” sports car.

Photo of the front of an Elva Courier convertible with the roof down



A fast "Touring and Shopping" Sports Car

ALREADY tested by AUTOSPORT in prototype form, the Elva Courier has now been submitted in full production guise.  The name Elva is usually associated with Formula Junior single-sealers and sports racing cars, but in fact, the Courier has a higher production rate than either of these models. However, it is more familiar to American enthusiasts than to ourselves, because the bulk of the production goes to the U.S.A.  At present, complete Couriers are for export only, but kits for home construction may be bought in this country: the principal reason is that one can hardly export a kit, but by allowing the British amateur to assemble his own car, factory space and labour are saved. The purchaser must buy certain major components direct from outside suppliers, in addition to the Elva kit. By adding these ” bought out ” components to the Elva package, a fully equipped Courier may be built for £749. This includes such items as hood, side screens, tool roll, and even tins of suitable oil. The Elva Courier is Frank Nichols’ idea of a ” fast touring and shopping ” sports car. Since it has really fierce acceleration and a maximum speed of well over 100 m.p.h., it will obviously be raced by some owners, but it is first and foremost a comfortable and practical road car. The basis of the Courier is a simple, straight, tubular frame, which is bonded and bolted to a one-piece fibreglass body structure. The suspension is by helical springs and telescopic dampers all round. At the rear, the hypoid axle is on trailing arms and a Panhard rod, while tubular wishbones of Elva manufacture look after the front geometry. In passing, one might observe that a remarkable number of chassis components, in addition to the body and frame, are made in the large new Elva factory. The steering is by rack and pinion and the drum-type brakes are of Lockheed make.  The engine and gearbox are M.G.A. the test car having the 1,600-c.c. unit. The body is cellulose sprayed and not self-coloured, in order to facilitate repairs.  Body-chassis units are fully painted and upholstered when supplied in kits, as this work is usually beyond the resources of the amateur.  First impressions of the car are that it is particularly wide, roomy, and luxurious for a sports model. The finish is excellent and many small changes have now rendered the Courier a particularly good-looking and attractive machine. A very good point is the luggage boot, which is literally enormous by current sports car standards. On taking one’s seat, one finds that the driving position is of the fashionable straight-arm variety. The seats are adjustable and the controls well placed, but for a driver of my height a slightly thinner cushion would be better. The engine is mounted unusually far back, which entails a large central tunnel, though there is plenty of room for the driver and passenger.  It is at once obvious that the acceleration is quite out of the ordinary. Wheelspin can, of course, be induced, but the rearward weight distribution gives exceptional traction, as the performance figures prove. Really quick gearchanges can be made silently, and the clutch does not slip after one has ” snatched ” a higher gear. The vivid acceleration is a product of light weight, for the Elva is about 25 per cent. lighter than the sports car to which its engine is usually fitted. Another benefit is the improved top gear flexibility, for the Courier will come right down to 15 m.p.h. and accelerate away strongly-all on the highest ratio. A very good average may be achieved with but little use of the gear lever. Curiously enough, the engine seems smoother in this car than one would expect from previous acquaintance, possibly due to the sound and vibration-damping qualities of fibreglass. The maximum speed of 104.64 m.p.h. is certainly good for a 1,600 c.c. car. The machine is perfectly steady at this velocity, and there are still a few hundred revs. in hand. The performance of this latest Courier is altogether better than that of the original prototype.

The road holding, too, has been improved, particularly at the front end. It is possible to unstick the rear wheels on a really bumpy corner, but the car remains controllable. under these conditions, and does not tend to spin off.  The brakes are fully up to any fast touring demands, though the alternative ” hard ” linings would be desirable for racing. The pleasant fly-off hand brake is quite powerful, a regrettably rare virtue nowadays. The ride is comfortable, and this would be a very suitable car for Continental touring, for which purpose the large boot and moderate fuel consumption would be appreciated.  The exhaust is reasonably quiet for fast touring, but has quite a pronounced “boom” during hard acceleration. Apparently American drivers prefer such a note to the silence of the earlier Couriers, though no doubt an individual owner could alter the exhaust system to his particular requirements. Apart from this, the car is commendably quiet mechanically. The hood

and side screens are neat and cosy, and though the hood material tended to unbutton

itself at over 100 m.p.h., few drivers will attain such a speed with the all-weather

equipment in place.  As the car is intended to be assembled by the amateur mechanic, it has been specifically engineered for ease of construction. Although the machine submitted to AUTOSPORT was complete, an opportunity was given to inspect partly built cars at the factory, and a full kit of parts was also seen. It would appear that there are no difficult tasks, and the parts to be ” bought out” are all readily obtainable standard components.  This ease of assembly goes hand in hand with good accessibility for maintenance tasks. The fibreglass construction allows relatively cheap repairs of crash damage, and highly skilled work (such as panel beating) is not required. Repairs in progress were examined at the factory, and the advantage of cellulose spraying over self-coloured fibreglass was then apparent.  The Elva Courier is a very attractive sports car of moderate cost. Propelled by the 1,600 c.c. M.G.A. engine, its light weight and ” clean ” shape ensure a brilliant performance.  It handles well and has many practical features, which renders it an ideal machine for the fast tourist who may wish to indulge in a little competition work on the side.

Convertable and Hardtop Elva Couriers outside Trojan Factory


Car Tested: Elva Courier sports 2-seater. Price: see text.

Engine: Four cylinders 75.4 mm. x 88.9 mm. (1 .588 c.c.). Compression ratio 8.3 to I. 78 b.h.p. at 5,500 r.p.m. Pushrod operated overhead valves. Twin SU carburettors. Lucas coil and distributor.

Transmission: Borg and Beck single dry plate clutch. Four-speed gearbox with central remote-control lever and synchromesh on upper three gears.

ratios 3.73, 5.12, 8.25 and 13.56 to I. Open propeller shaft to hypoid rear axle.

Chassis: Twin tubular frame bolted and bonded to fibreglass body. Independent front suspension by tubular wishbones. Rack and pinion steering. Rigid rear axle on twin trailing arms with lateral location by Panhard rod. Helical springs and Armstrong telescopic dampers all round. Lockheed hydraulic brakes with 9 in. x 1½ in. drums in front, 8 in. x 1½ in. drums at rear. Bolt-on pressed disc wheels, fitted 5.20 x 14 in. tyres.

Dimensions: Wheelbase. 7 ft. 6 in.; track, 4 ft. 2 in.: overall length, 12 ft. 10 in.; width, 4 ft. 11½ in. Turning circle, 35 ft. Weight, 12¾ cwt. (dry).

Equipment: 12-volt lighting and starting. Speedometer, rev. counter, ammeter, oil-pressure, water temperature and fuel gauges. Self-cancelling wipers. Flashing direction indicators.

Performance: Maximum speed, 104.64 m.p.h. Speeds in gears, 3rd 80 m.p.h.; 2nd 51 m.p.h.; 1st 32 m.p.h. Standing quarter-mile, 17.8 secs. Acceleration: 0-30 m.p.h.; 2 8 secs.; 0-50 m.p.h., 6.6 secs.; 0-60 m.p.h., 10.2 secs.; 0-80 m.p.h._. 17.4 secs.

Fuel Consumption: Driven hard, 28 m.p.g.

EL VA COURIER Two-Seater Sports

Photo of Elva Courier convertible

     SPECIFICATION: Two-seater and fixed head Coupe.

ELVA COURIER Fixed Head Coupe

The Elva Courier_Page_11 v2

       ENGINE-Dimensions: Cylinders, 4; bore, 75.4 mm.; stroke, 88.9 mm.; cubic capacity, 1,588 c.c.; piston area, 27.53 sq. in.; valves, pushrod o.h.v.; compression ratio, 8.3: l. Performance: Max. b.h.p., 78 gross at 5,500 r.p.m.; b.h.p. per sq. in. piston area, 2.83. Details: Carburetters twin S.U. H4; ignition timing control, centrifugal and vacuum; fuel pump, S.U.; fuel tank capacity, 9 gal.; cooling system capacity, 18 pints; engine oil capacity, 6½ pints; oil filter, full-flow.

     TRANSMISSION: Clutch, Borg and Beck s.d.p.; overall gear ratios; top, 3.73; 3rd, 5.12; 2nd, 8.25; 1st, 13.56; rev., 17.73; prop. shaft, Hardy Spicer open; final drive, 11/41 hypoid bevel.

CHASSIS DETAILS: Brakes: Lockheed hydraulic 21.s.; drum internal diameter, front 9 in., rear 8 in. suspension; front, wishbones and coil springs; rear, rigid axle, coil springs, trailing radius arms and Panhard rod; shock absorbers, Armstrong telescopic; steering gear rack and pinion; wheels, bolt-on pierced steel disc; tyre size, 5.20-14′.

DIMENSIONS: Wheelbase, 7 ft. 6 in.; track, front and rear, 4 ft. 2 in.; overall length, 12 ft. 10 in.; overall width, 4 ft. 11½ in.; overall height, 4 ft. 3 in.; ground clearance, 6 in.; turning circle, 33 ft. dry weight, 12¾ cwt. approx.

Elva Coupe and Elva Logo
Inside of the Trojan factory showing the final assembly part of the Elva Courier production line

Elva sports cars have been designed to suit the requirements of club and racing enthusiasts, yet providing a “Monday to Friday” road car which incorporates the proven reliability of B.M.C.’s engine,gearbox and components. At the same time styling and performance are achieved for the individual who is not satisfied with mass production or the necessity of expensive specialist tuning, but who requires “the sports car with a difference.” 

These individualist cars are able to provide an outstanding power to weight ratio giving a 0-60 m.p.h. acceleration in 10.2 seconds and a maximum speed of over 100 m.p.h. from a 1600c.c. power unit. For racing, speeds in excess of 125 m.p.h. are obtainable.

The Elva Courier, therefore, is probably the most successful circuit racing car for its price, available on the market today; in the United States, for instance, its acceptance has become a byword of reliability and record holding. There are three basic models in the range- the Mk III Open Sports Two-Seater with independent front suspension, disc brakes and beam rear axle. Similarly, the Mk III Fixed Head Coupe with reverse angle rear window is carried on the same chassis layout. Both models are available in component or complete form through an ever increasing dealer sales and service network.

The third model, with identical chassis specification, is the Mk IV Fixed Head Coupe, and features attractive out-swept rear boot and body lines. This model, illustrated on the front cover of the brochure, is supplied only in complete form. It has, however, optional customer requirements, which include full independent suspension and disc brakes, wire or magnesium wheels, oil cooler, anti-roll bar, alternative gear ratios, l800c.c. engine and racing tyres.  We at Trojan Ltd. which has been part of the British motor industry for half a century, will be pleased to give individual attention to your needs-the Elva Sales Office being at your disposal should you require further information.

Elva Courier convertible