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Elfin Catalina Chassis Number 6313

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#1 mmciau

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 11:29

Elfin Catalina Chassis Number 6313 was built for Dunlop Tyres for use on the Lake Eyre salt to determine certain characteristics for the tyres that were fitted to Donald Campbell's Bluebird Record Attempts during 1963. The Elfin was fitted with 'miniature Bluebird Tyres" and driven over the salt to determine factors such as co-efficient of friction and adhesion.

There are references to this Elfin Catalina Chassis Number 6313 in the associated thread titled "Clisby V6":


The images attached to this thread have only recently been found and were shown to several Elfin Owners at the Elfin 50th Anniversary Exhibition at Wayville, South Australia on 16 August 2009.


When the Bluebird Records were completed in 1963, the Bluebird Tyre designer Mr Andrew Mustard bought the Elfin from Dunlops. The Elfin was in quite poor condition as a result of its work on the Lake Eyre Salt. The Magnesium based suspension struts, etc were quite corroded.

Mr Mustard asked me if I knew where there was an available workshop where the Elfin could be stripped to its bare elements and then restored. A close acquaintance of mine had a workshop and the restoration took place over the end of 1963 and into 1964. Mr Mustard was living at North brighton and so I became associated with the car and its exploits at Mallala and its Record Attempts for 1500cc vehicles in 1964 and 1965 using the access road, alongside the Main Hangars at Edinburgh Airfield (Weapons Research Establishment) South Australia.

The car was used for training the SA Police Force Driving Instructors in advanced handling techniques, etc. the car was regularly used by myself and others at Mallala and other venues (closed meetings for Austin7 club, etc).

The images I had of the car when I drove it at WRE in October 1965 were lost in Cyclone Tracy in 1974. At that Record Attempt, the Elfin had two Eldred Norman Superchargers mounted over the gearbox, 2 x 2" (with 4 fuel bowls) SU Carburettors jetted for methanol by Peter Dodd, a heavily modified head by Alexander H Rowe and a 20 second life expectancy at peak revs!!

The following day ( Labour Day October 1965), I raced the car at Mallala as a "Formula Libre" with the two superchargrers, the 4 'stub' exhausts and methanol as there was insufficient time to revert the engine back to Formula II specifications.

Wonderful little motor car!!

I understand the car is currently owned by the Rainsford Family of South Australia.

Michael McInerney





#2 terry mcgrath

terry mcgrath
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Posted 18 August 2009 - 13:21

one of the cars used by dunlop for tyre testing was of course the XK150 coupe jaguar a borrowed car and Dunlop made 1/2 scale tyres at 16 inches for the XK150 for tyre testing,
The XK150 S was used at speeds up to 150 mph and there are photos in the Dunlop archives and in period magazines of the car and special tyres
Also worth seeing the evan green book on the event with line up of cars