A poetic Tribute to my Temperamental and
Much Loved British Sports Car -- a rare Elva Courier
(More Elvira Photos are pending)
Copyright (c) 1977, 1986 and 2000 Azar Attura

It was love at first sight,
Elvira Super(bleep*).

There you stood, in that used car lot,
Upsweeping your rakish blue fins
   At me,
And smiling
your huge Vredestein smile
Through modified wheel wells.
I was smitten.
How could you NOT
  be mine!!?

How many times had I seen
an Elva, before?
1962 -- a red one, leaning
Against a building in a used car lot
Looking warily at me
through split windscreen,
Sun shining on grey plastic bumpers.
Then YOU - Elvira - camoflaged
in Castrol Racing Green and little
on white mini-wheels.

Or who could forget
that midnight blue beauty
seductively parked on a dark street.
But they were all fanasies in the wind,
Only you existed now --
Newly painted and lovingly cared
We had waited a long time
for each other.

Only YOU would get me
Two tickets in three weeks
Or stop dead on a cold rainy
I walked a mile
in my cutoffs
for you that night.
Even when your fuses
popped out of the fusebox,
So that I had to use matchsticks
to wedge them back tightly--
I didn't mind.

when I drive you
down a twisty country lane
In a snowstorm,
And I hear your engine roar,

your tyres sing
wipers flap,
and I brush the snow
off your tachometer
when a veteran MG
tips its horn
at us,
And Jaguars
smile through British teeth
as we hum along
fragrant roads
at 105 **
I know
all those years
you had been waiting
for me.

It was
at first sight,
Elvira Superbeep.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
* - kindly substitute the appropriate word for this. You know it. I can't print it here.
** - That's MPH -- NOT KPH. Kids -- don't do this. End of disclaimer.

It was love at first sight,
Elvira Super.Bleep

There you stood, an Elva Courier,
in that used car lot
Upsweeping your rakish blue fins
And smiling a British Smile
At me
Through modified Wheel Wells
*(Note to all: Yes, hot rods can be British cars, too)

How many times
Had I seen an Elva before?
The first one -
Red and rakish,
Wearing skinny little tyres
On skinny white wheels,

And staring warily at me
Through split-windscreen:
A 1959 model, grey plastic bumpers.

And who can forget
That midnight blue beauty,
Black ragtop, fancy wheels,
Seductively parked under a street lamp
On a foggy night,

Then You, Elvira - Born in 1960,
Fiberglass body
Painted "1970 U.S. Ford Blue",
Oversize Vredestein Race tires
Jutting from modified (gaping) wheel wells,
huge rear fins.
Ragtop, roll bar, birdcage frame,
Independent suspension,
Koni Shox all around!
Blueprinted, balanced
MGA/MGB/Triumph engine
Jahns pistons, side draft SU carbs with 
persnickety dashpots.
"Muffler" (more like a Cherry Bomb)
to wake the dead
(and the neighborhood).
And four-speed crash box. Wheeeee!!!

We were made for each other, Elvira SuperBeep!

(The EPIC version)  Read black text first, top to bottom -- then, read the blue text.
Only YOU would stop dead
On a cold wintry night!
In the middle of  NOWHERE!!
For what?
Because of  a gaping hole in front of your
Battery --  your electrics got drownded!!
I walked a mile in the snow for you.
You started instantly, when I returned
empty-handed and TTT (totally Ticked Off).
For that, I was grateful.
I stuffed a kitchen towel
In front of the hole
Until I got some Bondo.

But how could I stay mad at you??!
For when we drive
Down twisty country roads,

In a snowstorm,
And your
Wipers Flap,
Tyres sing,
And I happily brush the snow off your tach
(leaky top),
Or when we drive through shimmering, summery dusty roads,
And Jaguars tip their horns at us
and grin
Through chrome teeth.
The epitome of cool, very vroomish indeed.

Even when
half of your fuses popped out of their fuse holder,
(haha - there were only TWO fuses total!)
and I had to wedge it back using a matchstick
so we could get home,
We made it. 
You limped along at times, but
I'd pat your door and sing
To keep your spirits up.
Our relationship?
Blood and guts, steel and rubber,
And four-speed crash-box - Wheeee!
I knew all along,
That we WERE made for each other.

It was
Love at first sight,
Elvira SuperBeep.
So just what is an Elva Courier?

She's highly modified, with altered track, wheel wells, engine (MGA/MGB/Triumph clone), and thick metal bumpers painted flat black.  But those huge fins are stock!!! They were 4 inches thick (fiberglass) in some spots. This car was designed and hand-made in the late 50's.  Whatever was on hand in the factory was slapped on, put in, installed. The 2nd owner (there have been four, so far) of Elvira did some extensive modification on her.  When I bought her, I had the responsibility of keeping everything together. And when you have Vauxhall brakes with Simca parts (you thought swapping a Jag rear end was tough??!), it was a challenge not to be missed!

Even in stock trim Elva Couriers were fast, low slung and did well on the race course.  There are still some being raced today. I never put Elvira through her paces on the race course.  But the streets, ah, the streets.  Every Road Runner and its uncle thought they could pass us.  Elvira and I would jazz down the street in 3rd, and as we passed our challenger of the moment, I'd pop her into 4th, and wave goodbye.  Lively conversations always ensued when the other car caught up to us at the next stoplight.  Those were the days before Road Rage. 

So where is the love of my life today?  Somewhere on the West Coast.  I had to sell her, in order to afford college.  I still miss Elvira and the wonderful roar we'd make, barreling down the roads in the early dew of the mornings, when the speed limits were in the 70's and the roads were wide open, empty and endless. Maybe, just maybe, one day I'll find her again...

The next time you wake up early, stay in bed and listen down the road  Elle Va -- she goes!

More pix to come!!
(Ahem... I have to find them first ! <:-)
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