Jim Clark's Lotus 23 trouncing the opposition at the Nurburgring in 1962 (recent post), including the then-latest Porsche Spyders, reminded me of the second lease on life as a giant killer granted to one of my favorite engines, the Porsche 4-cam 4-cylinder. It wasn't long before people were asking themselves "What if I put a 2 liter engine in a car like the Lotus 23?" Which they did, and began slaying giants again in the mid-to-late 1960's.
Follmer's success inspired others to copy his car (John Morton, for instance, as he pointed out in a recent Jay Leno interview). Still others tried different 1.7 to 2.0 liter engines, notably the BMW inline
4-cylinder. Elva Cars designed the Mark VII to take several inline 4's. Many were successful, especially in the SCCA's amateur division.
Meanwhile, Porsche was moving on to its own series of 6 and 8-cylinder lightweight prototypes, starting with the 906 Carrera. But the 904 GT had guaranteed a supply of the old 4-cam 4-cylinder engines. The success of the Lotus 23 and the Elva Mark VII inspired a demand. Elva redesigned the rear frame of the Mark VII to take the engine and partnered with Porsche for a short production run of Elva-Porsches which were very successful in the Under 2 Liter class. One more bite at the apple for the old torquey, powerful, giant-killing 4-cam 4-cylinder.
|The Elva Mark VII, inspired by the Lotus 23, was designed to take a variety of 1.5 to 2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder mills.|
This one has a BMW.
|Bill Wuesthoff was notable among several drivers who had great success in an Elva-Porsche. This picture shows Bill|
and his car at Meadowdale Raceway in the late 1960's.