Elfin Sports Cars
Elfin Sports Cars Pty Ltd (formerly known as Elfin Sports Car Company) is a car manufacturer company founded by Garrie Cooper. It has been an Australian manufacturer of sports cars and motor racing cars since 1959.
|Founded||1957; 63 years ago|
|Products||Elfin T5 Clubman|
Elfin MS8 Clubman
Elfin MS8 Streamliner
Elfin Sports Cars is currently owned by the estate of former British racing driver Tom Walkinshaw, through his company Walkinshaw Performance which also owns Holden Special Vehicles. 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. The original factory was located at Conmurra Avenue, Edwardstown in suburban Adelaide, South Australia. The company is currently located at Braeside, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.
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
Cooper died suddenly from a burst aorta, due to the vessel's weakness from medication he was taking to keep his blood thin after a heart valve operation in the mid-1970s, on ANZAC Day (April 25) 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.
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. The centre features around 12 current and historic vehicles on display.
Elfin drivers have 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 Series (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, Allan Grice, Peter Manton and Mark Mclaughlin.
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. The MS8 has huge power but is infamous for it's "spirited" handling. The vehicle is somewhat disappointing, considering Elfin's motorport history.
Historic vehicles – Garrie Cooper eraEdit
The original company produced 248 racing and sports racing cars in 27 different models over a 25-year period.
|Streamliner||23||1959–1963||Sports racing car (front engined)|
|Formula Junior & Catalina||20||1961–1964||Formula Junior racing car & small capacity racing car. The two models differed only in minor specifications and the majority built were Formula Juniors.|
|Clubman||14||1961–1965||Clubman sports car|
|Mallala||5||1962–1964||Sports racing car|
|Type 100 Mono||19||1964–1969||Australian 1½ Litre Formula racing car|
|Type 500||21||1965–1969||Formula Vee racing car|
|Type 400||4||1966–1967||Group A sports racing car (V8 powered)|
|Type 300||6||1967–1969||Sports racing car|
|600/B/C/D/E||27||1968–1971||Racing car (various formulae)|
|600 FF||17||1969–1972||Formula Ford racing car|
|Type 350||1||1969 only||Sports racing car|
|ME5||1||1969 only||Group A sports racing car (V8 powered)|
|Type 360||3||1971 only||Sports racing car|
|MR5||4||1971–1972||Australian Formula 1 racing car (F5000). The first F5000 car designed and built by Elfin.|
|620FF / 620B||20||1972–1975||Formula Ford racing car|
|622||6||1972–1974||Australian Formula 2 racing car|
|623||8||1973–1974||Australian Formula 3 racing car|
|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|
|700||7||1975–1977||Australian Formula 2 racing car|
|MR8||3||1976–1978||Australian Formula 1 racing car (F5000)|
|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. This remains the only ground effect F5000 car ever constructed.|
Historic vehicles – The post Garrie Cooper eraEdit
|FF84||1984||Formula Ford racing car.|
|NG "EP"||8||1984–1986||Edmondson-Porter run one of the NG Series Formula Vee racing cars.|
|Crusader||20||Circa 1990||Formula Vee racing car.|
|852||1985||Australian Formula 2 racing car driven by Mark Mclaughlin.|
|FA891||1||1989||Formula Holden racing car fielded in the 1989 Australian Drivers' Championship by Elfin Sports Cars driven by Mark Mclaughlin. 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||1998–2007||Clubman sports car. Powered by a supercharged Toyota 4AG ZE engine.|
- McGrath, McGrath (15 December 2006). "Elfin joins the HSV club". Carsguide.com.au. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2007.
- Round, Jason. "Going for gold". HOT4s. Archived from the original on 3 September 2007. Retrieved 12 March 2007.
- "Elfin Sports Cars – The Perfect Classic? – Australian Classic Car". Elfin.com.au. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- "Elfin MS8 review, specs, stats, comparison, rivals, data, details, photos and information on SupercarWorld.com". www.supercarworld.com. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
- John Blanden & Barry Catford, Australian Elfin Sports and Racing Cars, 1997
- Bissett, Mark. "Elfin 400/Traco Olds: Frank Matich, Neil Allan and Garrie Cooper". primotipo.com. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
- ELFIN SPORTS CARS, www.shannons.com.au Retrieved 25 June 2016
- Old Racing Cars – Elfin
- "Celebrate with Elfin". Shannons.com.au. 30 October 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2010.
- The Formula Vee Story, www.terrywalkersplace.com Retrieved 29 September 2015
- Elfin Clubman Type 3 advertisement, CAMS Magazine, Autumn 2003, page 21
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