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Old 12 Sep 2018, 17:58 (Ref:3849664)   #1
Jay Laifman
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Which engine - and where to go for such discussions

As I've mentioned in other posts, we have recently purchased a 1962 Elva MKVI, with the intent to go racing.

Elva made the cars for four different engines: 1100 cc Coventry Climax FWA, 1500 cc Ford (pre-crossflow), 1300 cc Alfa Romeo (crossflow overhead cam), and 1500cc 356 (pushrod, not four cam).

When we got the car, the history was not complete. We have now filled in a lot of the gaps. In doing so, we learned that during its most successful period, it was run with the Alfa motor.

We actually weren't thinking of rebuilding the car with an Alfa motor. We've also heard that at this point, parts are scarce and reliability is lacking.

Any thoughts or knowledge here about the Alfa motor? Any suggestions on if there is a better site to inquire about these engines?
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Old 12 Sep 2018, 18:52 (Ref:3849680)   #2
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I've only been involved with 1300 Alfa ( a little) and 1500 Ford ( a lot!)

The Ford, without doubt is tough, and will offer the best bang per buck.

Climax engines are light in weight, and new/modern ones perform well, but not robust like the Ford, also expensive, and some I've seen are hot rod engines, so difficult to maintain.

If the numbers suggested to me a few years ago about Porsche were true, forget it. Elva were based very close to my home, in Sussex, I wasn't aware they ever used anything other than CC or For, from the factory.
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Old 12 Sep 2018, 19:10 (Ref:3849685)   #3
Jay Laifman
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Thanks!

Yes, it is well documented that the factory built an Alfa car and one 356 car. The factory Alfa car's whereabouts are known. I am trying to find that 356 car. I have some history (including Elva records, SCCA race records and pictures of it racing, and an 1969 advertisement of it for sale) and a lead. We'll see.
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Old 13 Sep 2018, 09:12 (Ref:3849795)   #4
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Zef has covered it!

There are a few types of Alfa engine from the period, the earliest 750 series engine is very rare and far more expensive and should run with the early sandcast Weber DCO3 carbs which fetch huge prices on their own.
The later 101 series engine started around 1959 and are easier to find parts for and some are shared with the later 105 series which came in 1962.
They look good but don't go as well as the British alternatives!

The Ford engine is much simpler and a 1500 will be quicker than the Climax. Most parts are available from Burton Power in England, who's parts are of great quality.
Plenty of people have worked on them or similar engines (such a Formula Ford), so plenty of expertise available.

The Climax looks better and would presumably have been a common fitment, there are a few people who specialise in them in the UK and some produce extremely quick engines but the price shoots up with the performance.

There were apparently 19 Elva Mark 7 Porsche's built, they used the 4-cam 356 engine (that seem to have been 1700cc) which is very rare and incredibly expensive - a rebuild apparently costs over 50,000 let alone buying the engine.
The Porsche engined cars had curved lower rear wishbones that were necessary to clear the exhaust system.

In Europe you would be encouraged to fit the original engine for your car (which of course means working out what it was and proving it!), especially if you wanted to run a 1500cc Ford!
There's also the question of which classes you can run in, it's worth looking at the competition in the 1100, 1300 & 1500cc classes, if they exist and then working out where you are likely to place...
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Old 13 Sep 2018, 16:45 (Ref:3849898)   #5
Jay Laifman
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Thanks!

Well, interestingly, the factory documents show that our car actually left the factory without an engine - for the customer to install! So that would suggest we either can install one of the four options - or get out and push it!

Yes, the Mk VIIs had the 4cam motors in it. This one factory Mk VI was the pushrod 356 engine. I actually just found someone who has pictures of it from a 1969 race. I'm looking forward to seeing what details they reveal. One neat thing is that I can flip the Hewland 180* and then the 356 engine bolts right on, without any adapter.

Joe has separately given me similar information about the Alfa engine having more parts availability than I was lead to believe.

Yes, I know that the FIA pushes CC. But, with factory records showing other engines, I'm not sure why they do that. In any event, we are likely never to fly the car to Europe for a race, and most of the US bodies seem to be fine. One of them may be an issue. So if we definitely want to go a non-CC route, we'll first present to them all the documents and pictures we've compiled and make sure they'll ok it too.

From the classes we've seen in the US governing bodies, we are comfortable where we'd be slotted - and that we won't be at the top of the class anyway. So this is not to be on the podium. Just to have fun and enjoy the historic racing camaraderie.
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Old 13 Sep 2018, 18:03 (Ref:3849907)   #6
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If you want "local" information on the Alfa motor - which I had fun behind when I had a 71 GTV Junior back in the 70s - you are probably better off asking for info on the Alfa Bulletin Board - https://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/ - which although international, has a strong US slant.
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Old 13 Sep 2018, 19:13 (Ref:3849924)   #7
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Originally Posted by Jay Laifman View Post
Thanks!… or get out and push it!:
One neat thing is that I can flip the Hewland 180* and then the 356 engine bolts right on, without any adapter.
Just to have fun and enjoy the historic racing camaraderie.
roflont push it too much, will be bent then…
Yes, the Hewland should be a bolt on choice for the Porsche engine. The 4 cams is said to be fragile as crystal and requires good knowledge to settle the timings, ignition and camshafts.
Do you know if the Alfa version used was twin spark type? To get a decent power level from this 1300, you'll have to rev' it high which means reinforce the crank case, à la Novamotor for example.

Have fun is essential together with keeping camaraderie intact, you're soo right!
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Old 17 Sep 2018, 01:17 (Ref:3850885)   #8
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Back in the late 60s I had a customer that had a "Courier" with the "Anglia" sloping rear screen, he ran it out of oil and slung a rod.
As I was a "dyed in the wool" Ford man I put a 1500cc GT engine and box in it that the bloke thrashed around the local roads for a while.
He then decided to do some hill climbs in it and found he needed more power so I fitted a Twincam in it that went very well, so well that he crashed it !
I often wonder if it was scrapped or possibly rebuilt, and if it was is it still in existence ? if it is still around (with a Twincam) the owner can now know why the B engine was changed that it came with. I remember the colour was red but no idea of the reg number
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Old 8 Oct 2018, 15:55 (Ref:3855451)   #9
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Just a couple of clarifications to the above comments.
Peter Morley's assertion that the FIA would require establishment of the original engine for the car to run is just plain wrong.The car may be in any complete configuration in which it or any car just like it ran in an International event, the the engine fitted to comply with FIA regulations may be any of those options and an HTP will be forthcoming, such that engines are not required to that which was specific to that chassis in period
Secondly to answer Jay's question as to which motor is required, the FIA historic motor sport requirement for an International use is solely there to ensure that the car represents/or is a car which met in period the International regulations, not a national specification car .There were different regulations in every country-still are- such that in putting together FIA races for cars from all over the world there would be no way of establishing any commonality and fairness.
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Old 12 Oct 2018, 09:47 (Ref:3856212)   #10
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Just a couple of clarifications to the above comments.
Peter Morley's assertion that the FIA would require establishment of the original engine for the car to run is just plain wrong.The car may be in any complete configuration in which it or any car just like it ran in an International event, the the engine fitted to comply with FIA regulations may be any of those options and an HTP will be forthcoming, such that engines are not required to that which was specific to that chassis in period
Secondly to answer Jay's question as to which motor is required, the FIA historic motor sport requirement for an International use is solely there to ensure that the car represents/or is a car which met in period the International regulations, not a national specification car .There were different regulations in every country-still are- such that in putting together FIA races for cars from all over the world there would be no way of establishing any commonality and fairness.
Jeremy you are definitely better placed than most of us to answer these questions.
But I would like to say that I didn't assert that you have to run the original engine, it was just a suggestion that it might make the application easier!
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Old 12 Oct 2018, 14:41 (Ref:3856257)   #11
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This is great additional information. Thank's Jeremy.

Some people had led me to believe that unless I had the log book from our car, we might as well turn the car into a planter (or the previously mentioned push car).

It's too bad the SCCA American Road Race of Champions doesn't appear to be an FIA event. That's where we have documentation of the 356 Elva racing - and other SCCA events.

Zefarrely mentioned the cost of a 356 engine. I don't know. I've been told that the Coventry Climax rebuilds are $30-$40,000. I'm not quite sure what they are doing for that money - perhaps the aluminum blocks need a lot of hand work. I'm sure there are Porsche guys who spend more than that. But, sure seems just as pricey to me.
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Old 12 Oct 2018, 16:03 (Ref:3856269)   #12
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Zefarrely mentioned the cost of a 356 engine. I don't know. I've been told that the Coventry Climax rebuilds are $30-$40,000. I'm not quite sure what they are doing for that money - perhaps the aluminum blocks need a lot of hand work. I'm sure there are Porsche guys who spend more than that. But, sure seems just as pricey to me.
You might be able to spend that kind of money on a twin-cam Climax FPF but single cam FW engines are much less.

Rebuilt road going Climax engines start at $7,500 outright (from people like Glyn Peacock in the UK).

Under $15,000 should buy you a half decent Climax FW race engine outright.

Of course you can spend more (e.g. new cylinder heads are available @$3-4,000) but there might be no need unless you are in a really competitive series (and if you are you'd be quicker with the bigger Ford engine anyway!).
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Old 14 Oct 2018, 04:04 (Ref:3856753)   #13
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The Elvas Porsche cars had 4 cam engines
These are about 150/220 k pounds and as Zef said 50/80 k to rebuild.
You can buy a new 4 cam from Germany . Those are 220k
Seems like the other alternatives make more sense!
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