View Full Version : Mk 1 project in Hampshire

26-05-2011, 08:52 PM
Nice looking starting-point will need floorpans, wiring and an engine rebuild, Q plate so you can do what you want with this one! I'd be tempted if I didn't have one...... Jason - how about it?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NOVA-KIT-CAR-KITC ... 27bb53220f (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NOVA-KIT-CAR-KITCAR-VW-BEETLE-BASED-/170646512143?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item27bb53220f)

27-05-2011, 03:17 AM
Sounds like a great deal to me. Would be perfect for someone looking to rebuild one of these cars as it's mostly there and the windscreens intact.

27-05-2011, 12:09 PM
Man, that is so deja vu, my car was the same colour, with identical wheels when I bought it. Even the details, like the heavily dished Mountney 12" steering wheel and the stick-on rubbing strip were the same. I wonder if it is an original ADD Southampton car (in which case it hasn't strayed far), or perhaps more likely given the choice of wheels and Q-plate, an Elam Mk1 like mine?

Definitely a nice project.


01-06-2011, 08:02 PM
This has the old style V5 document - I thought new documents should have been automatically issued at some point in the last 6 years?

Any one had experience of buying a car with an invalid old V5 document?

Big Birds Car
02-06-2011, 08:51 AM
Any one had experience of buying a car with an invalid old V5 document?

Yes bought a Spitfire about 6 weeks ago with the old style V5, the original owner sent off his bit but after 4 weeks I rang the DVLA (not easy to get a person there) and they said nothing had got to them so I went to my local DVLA office and put my part in the internal mail system and got a reciept from them to say who I was and the registration of the vehicle, has only been 2 weeks so not expecting anything back as yet but maybe by the end of next week I will give them another call.

The thing you are probably worried about is, is it still legal, well two things there, firstly the DVLA man in swansea didn't understand what the V5 I had was until the penny dropped and he said that they had been changed and you should have a new one (at which point I informed him I had a number of cars with this type of document and no-one had contacted me to get them changed), he also said I would need to apply for a new V5c and pay 25.00 for it (I told him were to go on that front).
Secondly, when I did go to my local office they had no issues with sorting things out and didn't charge me, so I can't see the problem as they would have said there and then.

Obviously until I get (or don't get) my new V5c for the Spitfire all could change but I can't see a problem.
If you do buy a car with this type of older V5 then photo copy EVERYTHING and if possible go to your local DVLA office (while they are still there, a totally different story but they are closing them down to save money) put them in their internal post and get a reciept for the lot.

02-06-2011, 09:43 AM
This has the old style V5 document - I thought new documents should have been automatically issued at some point in the last 6 years?

Any one had experience of buying a car with an invalid old V5 document?

The old style V5's became invalid from 1 Jul 2005. Vehicles that were on the road and taxed at the time had an automatic update to the new style. Vehicles that were 'off-road-road' (like my 1953 motorcycle) needed the owner to apply for a new one (you could ask for the original V5 to be returned to you for 'historic' reasons).

According to the DVLA website the change was introduced to help prevent vehicle crime if you (or previous owner) have sufficient evidence of legal ownership I wouldn't think that getting the V5 sorted is a problem.


05-06-2011, 07:08 PM
Jumped to 1020 in the last few seconds - above what I was prepared to pay for it.

05-06-2011, 07:27 PM
A bargain for someone (not an unrealistic price - not much more than a new Nova kit cost in the seventies!) - I wonder if Jason now has a Nova to play with? :whistling:

05-06-2011, 09:11 PM
That is an absolute bargain. If I lived elsewhere with a very large garage with room to spare I would have bought it just for the body panels in case I ever needed to replace mine. Nice rare wheels too which will look wonderful once reconditioned.


19-06-2011, 08:04 PM
And the sale fell through - so it's back on again at a mere 800 Buy-It-Now..........

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NOVA-KIT-CAR-KITC ... 27bbf98064 (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NOVA-KIT-CAR-KITCAR-VW-BEETLE-BASED-/170657415268?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item27bbf98064)

20-06-2011, 08:26 AM
Are drivers window and exhausts hard / expensive to get?

Having been looking for only a month or so, do Nova's usually come up for sale complete or with several bits missing? - was thinking about buying this and then finding another one and taking the best bits to make one.

I like the wheels - someone mentioned they are rare - what do the usual ones look like?

20-06-2011, 08:59 AM
Are drivers window and exhausts hard / expensive to get?

I like the wheels - someone mentioned they are rare - what do the usual ones look like?

It all depends on whether you want functional or 'show standard'. My side windows are (functional, mostly) made from a sheet of Acrylic from Wickes DIY store stuck in with bathroom sealant (about 30 plus effort).

The exhaust is now hand made (by me) but the original one that I fitted to my car was sourced from eBlag for 10 plus postage.

As far as wheels go, the 'original' ones were Wolfrace Slot mags, but even these were an option on the original kit so in reality there is no such thing as 'usual'. Its whatever you can find / afford and appeals to you as the builder.


20-06-2011, 12:05 PM
The option wheel for the Elam Novas was the Wolfie Turbovec, which is what this car wears. I sold mine together with the complete VW floorpan to a Beetle enthusiast in the end...


20-06-2011, 12:12 PM
You're not going to go far wrong with this one, it's not costing a great deal more than the screen would cost to replace, and that's the normal thing to be broken/missing when a Nova is being sold..... But I wouldn't hang around if you want it or it will vanish again pretty quickly!

20-06-2011, 10:50 PM
Yep - gone before I got back from a day at the zoo for my son's birthday.

Was going to put in an offer or pay the full 800 but still wasn't 100% sure this was the one, so glad I had the decision made for me.

08-09-2011, 02:39 PM
Greetings all -

I should introduce myself as the new owner of this one. Yes, I snapped it up when the original sale fell through, and got it for GBP 800.
I feel almost guilty ...

I can reassure everyone that it's gone to a good home. I've been into my kit cars since a teenager and currently have two Marlins (a Roadster and a Cabrio), a Ginetta and a Southern Roadcraft SRV12 Daytona replica. I'm also into my classics - which is kind of how I got into buying the Nova: I was toying with the thought of what the classic non-replica kit cars would be if you had to nominate a top 5 - and the Nova seemed a pretty obvious candidate (along with the Hustler, I guess, and the early Marcoses, Davrians etc: maybe a new thread?).

Anyway, I want to make the car as good as it can be: both to look at, and to drive. With that in mind, I've been looking at Dave Aliberti's tube chassis and Subaru engine options and am thinking about going down this route. Question is:

- does anybody have experience of mating an Mk1 body to one of his chassis's?
- given that it has already been registered, would there be any issues on changing the underlying chassis and engine?

Lastly, I haven't actually seen the car: I got it picked up and put into a store (as a sort of excuse, I do travel a lot....). So I'm planning to have a good look at it next month - question, is there any way of identifying when/where it was made? Did ADD or Elam's make a chassis plate somewhere?

Any feedback really welcome: hope to share the re-build as and when it goes ahead -

Vasco Da Gamer
08-09-2011, 03:33 PM
Hi ntaterob

Given the amount of money I paid for my car, yes you should definitely feel guilty ! :laugh:

Welcome, and good luck with it - I think everyone here agreed that yours is/was a good buy. A friend of mine was seriously interested in it, but has nowhere at all to put it right now so didn't bid.

Mine is an early Elam MK1, and so are a couple of others on here - including the Green Machine, which has a bespoke mid-engined chassis, so Lauryn (owner) will be most enthused on the subject of your own potential one. I would love to do that, but money and practicality make it an impossible ambition for me.

So far as I am aware the fact that you have a Q plate means you can do pretty much what you want with it.

If your car is an Elam, and if it has a identity plate, then it should be on the front bulkhead under the bonnet. Mine did not turn out to have one - it is reckoned that many of them didn't have anything.

As I say, others will provide a wealth of information in due course.

Regards from Steve

08-09-2011, 06:39 PM
I thought Lauren's was an ADD like mine, but I lose track! Serial number should be an impression of a strip of Dymo tape (remember that?) on the drivers side front bonnet bulkhead they weren't changed that reliably, there are at least three that share '125' with mine. Later cars had numbers in the rim of the engine cover recess. Yes, if you have a 'Q' plate then you are pretty much free to do whatever your insurers will allow, the biggest problem is trying to make major alterations whilst maintaining classic (tax exempt) status.......

Vasco Da Gamer
09-09-2011, 07:40 AM
I do too :D I don't doubt I could well be wrong about Green Machine !

09-09-2011, 07:03 PM
Hello ntaterob - finally caught up with you!

Yes, Alex is right, my Nova is an Elam Mk1, although as Steve has pointed out, the early Elam cars sometimes/often lacked identification as such, leaving the hapless owner with the task of trying to establish its provenance!

If your car lacks a plate or moulded-in identifier on the inside front compartment (usually on the driver's side inner wheelarch), all you can do is piece together the history based on the body parts you have. Here's a run-down of what I looked for...

Mk1 identifiers are open intake on the front undertray, lowline canopy (no "eyebrow" over the top of the windscreen), approximately 1" shallower body tub (not easy to establish unless there is a Mk2 nearby), "twin-pod" dashboard, with two identical removable instrument pods. Also the rear undertray is heavily contoured where it is hidden by the light panel, with access to the VW oil filler cap etc. Later Mk2 cars had a simple flat panel under the hideous "wraparound" rear bumper moulding.

Elam era cars had some additional identifiers, but these could equally apply to late ADD cars. These are factory seats with "tombstone" type integral headrests (from what I can gather the ADD version of these were subtly different, but I've never seen an ADD car with original seats), rear light panel (again often lost during engine mods) with space for a single-row number plate between the Lucas lamp clusters (Aston Vantage/Scimitar GTE/Lotus Elite 501 etc.). This differed from early ADD cars which used a 2-row number plate between Bedford CF lamp units, mounted sideways.

Other features of Elam cars are Armstrong "Red Max" dampers on the front beam, and the use of Wolfrace "Turbovec" wheels instead of the more well-known slot mags. My car had both of these features.

Another useful identifier can be found on the windscreen - Triplex used a date coding system where dots above the letters in TRIPLEX signify the month of manufacture and a dot under one of the letters in LAMINATED signifies the year of manufacture (0-9). Unfortunately it is left to the reader to guess which decade the screen was made, mine is date coded June 19?6. You couldn't buy a Mk1 Nova in 1986 (although it could be a replacement for a broken screen) so maybe it is 1976, which is perhaps a little too early for an Elam car, but it might give you another clue.

Another identifier of an Elam car is a very badly bonded in screen, which always leaks!

Early Elam cars were delivered from the factory with the canopy and hinges pre-fitted. Later cars were supplied with the canopy separate and the builder was expected to trim it to fit the body. Because this often resulted in a very poor finish the wobbly shutlines were dressed-up with stick-on black-on-chrome edging trim. This was often fitted along the join lines of the sills and undertrays as well (mine had a factory fitted canopy, but with trim strips on the panel joints, peeling off of course...).

The strobe-script "nova" graphics were introduced by the Elams on their advertising literature in ~1979/80. My car had this strobe script applied to both sill panels in chrome effect sticky-back plastic, which looked quite good, in a DeTomaso Pantera GTS-5 kind of way, but they had to make way for my green colour scheme :D

Anyway, if applied at the factory, these graphics date my car to around 1979, which seems reasonable.

As for your chassis desires - well, the US Sterling is a carbon copy of the Mk1 Nova, without any of the later headroom creating modifications of the english car, so the answer is yes, the Sterling chassis will fit. In the current legislative climate, a Q plate is your friend if you want to go down this route. Be prepared to spend lots of money though (not just on the price of the chassis)!

Good luck,


09-09-2011, 07:45 PM
Me again - just looked at the photos in the ebay listing and there are a couple of other pointers - your car is soooo reminiscent of mine when I first got it - Mountney 12" deep-dish steering wheel, Smith's clocks and aftermarket side repeater lamps (ADD cars used BL-sourced items) at an angle that follows the line of the nose.

Turbovecs, later style rear lamp panel, stick-on rubbing strip... its all saying Elam Mk1 to me!

It may have taken its time to get on the road though - the Q-plate wasn't introduced until 1984-ish, so even if this kit was purchased in '79/80, it was 4-5 years in the making. Worth remembering if you are taking the plunge with a tubular replacement chassis!


10-09-2011, 05:52 AM
Hi Lauren / Alex / Steve / all

Thanks so much for all of these answers! Really appreciated -

Yes, I'm also trying to piece together the history just by looking at the photos : I also see that at some time the owner bought a Mk 2 dashboard (curved wings) whereas the original kit/road-going car clearly had pods in place: might be that the second dash was a later purchase, perhaps from a subsequent owner, who had plans for a grand re-build .....

Anyway, really looking forward to actually seeing the car - next month .... hope to keep you all posted, and thanks for all the feedback so far

03-11-2011, 08:27 PM
Hello all

I finally visited the storage facility where I have been keeping since buying this ebay Nova (unseen) and ...

... was really intrigued.

In trying to peice together some history, here are a few things I noted while going over the car today:

1. Definitely Mk 1 bodyshell but with later flat rear lights (Scimitar GTE) - support theory of an Elam car
2. Underside of front bonnet has some (rather home-made looking) additional bracing in thin metal strips, now rusty, bonded onto the bonnet underneath with figreglass matt, going over what appear to be white paint or chalk guide marks; did the owner do this or was it Elam practice?
3. Couldn't find any evidence of a factory ID plate
4. But did find lots of blue dyno tape markings in front bonnet area and on underside of rear engine cover, showing where things go or what they are (eg 'brake cylinder', 'solex carb', etc)
5. The pod dashboard is quite well upholstered with what appears to be genuine leather, with a soft sponge on the central pad (where some owners fitted eyeball vents on the early Sterlings, I think)
6. Interior has some really long upholstered panels, which get slimmer at the end and bend inwards, with a hole for an air vent; these are also covered in black leather
7. Rear window is perspex, quite badly pock-marked
8. Sunroof is well-fitted and works very well, featuring a central handle with red buttons either side, which are then pressed to open the sunroof, and which be locked in the open position
9. At some stage, a previous owner has marked out a proposed access panel in the rear bulkhead but it doesn't look like this was actually cut out; but there is a small access panel on the bottom of the rear window tunnel, presumably allowing access to something or other?

On a separate note, apparently the car was seen in the store a few weeks ago by another customer who, very mysteriously, said he used to own the company that made the Nova ... he was visiting the storage place to pick up one of his cars (prestige / supercar, can't recall the make); it's near Gatwick. Who could this have been??

04-11-2011, 07:03 PM
Steve Driver perhaps? He operated out of Surrey, but there is no telling who it could have been really.

I spoke to Richard Oakes (at great length it must be said) at Exeter and he confirmed that ALL ADD cars used the square number plate with Bedford CF rear lights. Any light panel with the Aston/Scimitar lights was from the Elams - although the remainder of the car could be from anywhere at any time!

But yes, all the evidence points to an Elam Mk1. I don't think the extra underbonnet bracing was done by the factory, as far as I know the recommended bonnet fixtures were two bolts through the rear corners and a key operated lock at the front. However, I have read that the thickness of the fibreglass layup was reduced over the production span, so maybe it was one of the later bonnets and a bit on the flimsy side?

From your description, the long upholstered panels sound like the canopy internal trim pieces - these are screwed onto the inner panels of the canopy and conceal the hinge assemblies when the canopy is closed. Having vents in them is an interesting feature, I wonder how far the builder went with the design? There is no direct connection to the dash or outside airflow from this area. I am planning to have side window demister vents that "plug-in" to the heater ducting when the canopy is closed - similar to the way many production cars do it with doors.