McLaren cover image
The Mclaren-Elva team. Peter Agg, Bruce McLaren, John Bennett, Bill Meace and Harry Pearce.
McLaren cover image
McLaren-Elva M1B on track
McLaren-Elva Manufacterers Register Logo
Mclaren-Elva M1B in factory

This is the next step in the Elva cars history, a joint venture between Peter Agg of Trojan Ltd and a young man called Bruce McLaren

Peter Agg and Frank Nichols talking about anElva race car.

Peter Agg and Frank Nichols deep in conversation regarding a partially built Elva

New McLaren-Elva M1 race cars on truck outside the Trojan factory in Purley Way, Croydon

We hold an extensive archive of material including all of the chassis records for all of the McLaren-Elva’s produced, none of which have ever been in the public domain

A pair of McLaren-Elva M1’s leaving the factory

The documents posted are a snapshot of the history of Elva Cars (1961) a 100% owned subsidiary of Trojan Ltd.

Bruce McLaren standing with a McLaren-Elva M1 race car at a race track

Bruce with his McLaren-Elva M1

The history behind the future of McLaren - ELVA

Sixteen of the most important years of post-war motor racing are built into every Elva car. Among the early pioneers of Formula Junior, Elvas took the first five places in the Brands Hatch Boxing Day Meeting of 1959. An Elva/Porsche-a marriage of two master-pieces of engineering and a precedent in the history of the German company – won the European Hill Climb Championship at Rossfield and Oliver Schmidt, in an under 2-litre car, became the overall winner of the U.R.R.C., with a similar win at Mosport. With this kind of record, the Elva works at Rye in Sussex went from strength to strength and in 1964 the company announced its amalgamation into The Lambretta-Trojan Group whose 11-acre site at Croydon employs over 1,000 people, with engineering facilities permitting an even more rapid development of specialised parts. Elva were now ready to expand into the big banger field. Mutually opportune at this time was the arrival on the scene of Bruce Mclaren who had previously been building his own cars, but joined forces with Elva to establish what has become a famous and enviable association of design, development and racing, on the one side, and production and marketing on the other.Mike Beckwith testing the Elva-Porsche at Brands Hatch

Mr P James Agg Managing Director Lambretta-Trojan Group with Bruce McLaren signing the contract which combined the talent of their respective companies 1965 saw Bruce McLaren win some outstanding events including the Players 200 and the Datona 500 in his Elva/BMW V8, resulting in 20 of these cars being shipped to the States in the first year of production. The 1966 version was even more brilliant with Chuck Parsons winning three major awards in a Chevrolet powered Elva. Free from production problems, Bruce was now also able to give his attention to introducing the first of his famous single seaters for Formula 1. Much of the invaluable development data he obtained, despite being dogged by engine trouble in his first season, has proved of vital importance in the production of the 1967/68 unlimited sports car. The single seater development has also enabled Elva to start building Formula 2 and 3 cars as well as a Formula B version which, fitted with the Twin-Ford engine unit will be available almost immediately. Apart from having more racing successes in the States than any other make of sports car in 1966, the McLaren-Elva proved conclusively the benefits of the Elva space-frame chassis which in the event of spin-offs and other incidents, can be easily be put to rights, This year,- three of the top teams in the U.S.A. are racing Elva in what should develop into one of the most exciting seasons of all time. The thousands of pre-production miles Bruce McLaren puts into driving the prototypes in his tyre-testing programmes, coupled with the engineering skill that is built into them at Croydon, should tell its own story in the final analysis.

McLaren - ELVA Mk 3

Engine Mountings and exhausts supplied for Chevrolet, Ford or Oldsmobile units

Electrical System 12v Positive earth system, regulator, head lamps stop tail lamps, master switch, two Bendix fuel pumps

Transmission Hewland 4-speed LG with limited slip differential, pressure Lubricated, Hew land 5 – speed LG. ZF transmission o/extra

Clutch See appropriate engine specification

Chassis Large diameter tubular space frame with light alloy sheet, bonded and riveted to frame forming floor and bulkheads

Suspension: Front Independent unequal length, wide base wish- bones, incorporating anti-dive characteristics, cast magnesium uprights, adjustable camber, castor and wheel alignment, anti-roll

bar, adjustable coil spring and damper units Rear: Independent trailing arms with top and bottom wishbones, cast magnesium uprights, adjustable camber and wheel alignment, anti-roll bar, adjustable coil spring and damper units

Brakes Girling disc, 12″ front, 11 j ” rear with B.R. callipers, twin master cylinders actuated via a restricted movement compensator with adjustment for bias, air ducting to brakes

Steering Rack and pinion, helical cut in magnesium housing

Wheels Cast magnesium, 15″ diameter front and rear, rim width 1r front 12″ rear

Tyres Front 550 x 15 rear 650 x 15 Dunlop or Goodyear

Cooling Cross flow forwarded mounted radiator, alloy header tank with bleed system, coolant passed to engine via top chassis tubes

Body Reinforced Polyester resin moulded body comprising of four sections, side sections housing synthetic rubber fuel tanks, built in ducting for brake, radiator and oil coolers, full width moulded seat with loose trim panels, moulded acrylic front screen and side screens

Fuel Two synthetic rubber tanks, 25 imp gallons each a total of 50 imp gallons

McLaren - ELVA Mk 4A

Chassis Very light and rigid chassis of monocoque construction using light alloy panels bonded and rivited to four steel bulkheads Suspension pick-up points taken from these steel bulkheads

Front Suspension Twin transfers, link and radius arm. Outboard spring damper units with cast magnesium front hub carriers

Rear Suspension Transfers, l ink and lower reverse wishbone twin radius arms. Outboard mounted core spring damper units with cast magnesium hub carriers

Engine Chassis designed to accept Cosworth Formula II or Twin-Cam engines. Suitable other mountings available for engines of suitable size and weight

Transmission Hewland FT standard and will accept Mk.5 and HD type.

Clutch See appropriate engine specification

Brakes 10½” disc front and rear with Girling AR callipers. Alternative. Lockhead calipers

Steering Mclaren-Elva helicoil cut rack and pinion in a cast magnesium housing

Wheels McLaren-Elva 13″ cast magnesium. 7″ front rim width 10″ rear rim width

Tyres 500 x 13 front, 625 x 13 rear

Cooling Combined oil and water radiator, Ford mounted, with delivery and return pipes fitted in external chassis. Channels for additional cooler and driver comfort

Electrics Standard 12-volt system

Body Monocoque chassis provides the main body structure with light-weight fibreglass nose and tail section. Moulded acrylic screen

Fuel Synthetic rubber tanks contained in monocoque side sections with an additional tank behind seating. Total capacity 25 imp gallons

The history behind the future of McLAREN - ELVA
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