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Elfin fires up for more models

Holden help: While the MS8 Streamliner is an Elfin design, the styling was done by Holden Design.

Holden is set to play a part in building more Elfin models

8 Apr 2004

ELFIN Sports Cars is planning to add more models to its line-up as the reaction to the MS8 Clubman duo continues to build.

Under most serious consideration are a rear-engined coupe and an open-top sports car which would be a modern day evocation of the Elfin 400. And like the MS8s, Holden could take a hand in this project.

"They (Holden) are looking at it for us but they are not involved yet," said Elfin Sports Cars co-owner Bill Hemming. "They are obviously keen that we get the MS8 up and running first." The MS8 Clubman and Streamliner are Elfin designs, but the interior and exterior styling of both cars was done by Holden Design.

Mechanically they use various Holden-supplied parts, including 245kW versions of the Gen III V8 engine.

Elfin has already taken 18 confirmed orders for the two MS8 variants with another 25/30 serious expressions of interest.

Apart from Australia, there have been orders out of the US, UK and Europe.

The Elfin 400 would be part of a plan to expand Elfin’s line-up to a minimum of four cars

The strong response has prompted Elfin to double its annual domestic sales expectations for the MS8s from 50 to 100. The first cars will be delivered out of a new 25,000 square metre factory in the Melbourne suburb of Moorabbin late this year.

The Elfin 400 would be part of a plan to expand Elfin’s line-up to a minimum of four cars with a significant export component to sales.

"Our intention is to have a range of at least four cars, so therefore we have to get export," Mr Hemming said.

"We took on Elfin to save the brand because of what it means to Australia and to do that we have to keep moving forward. We do need a range of cars and we do need export." But he said putting a timetable on the development and launch of the 400 was impossible at this point because of the need to concentrate on the MS8s and the new factory.

"We have got all the historic stuff for the Elfin 400 together and cast up a body, and started talking about getting a more modern styling and more efficient styling for that," Mr Hemming said.

"We will probably do it along those lines." Elfin Sports Cars was founded in 1957 by South Australian racing car enthusiast, designer, builder and driver Garrie Cooper.

For a 25-year period until Mr Cooper’s death in 1982, Elfin produced 250 sports and racing cars over 27 different models and became Australia’s most prolific and successful racing car manufacturer.

Elfin was purchased in 1998 by Mr Hemming and fellow businessman and historic racing enthusiast Nick Kovatch.

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