One of the rarest and most expensive new automotive books has been unveiled. Elfin: The Spirit of Speed is being published in three editions, but it’s the latest and last edition that is unconventional.
Elfin: The Spirit of Speed Ultimate Edition is 704 pages long, weighs almost 20 kilograms (book and case), costs $2750 and is available to only five enthusiasts. The book features high production values, with a specially made matching slipcase, heavyweight stock, ribbon bookmark modelled on the famous Elfin-made magnesium wheel, and is packed with rare historical photos and specially commissioned photographic essays of every Elfin model produced between 1959 and 2012.
Published by automotive identity and one-time Elfin Sports Cars owner Bill Hemming and written by motoring journalist David Dowsey, Elfin: The Spirit of Speed captures the story of the South Australian marque founded by Garrie Cooper through the eyes of those who lived it.
“David Dowsey took five years to write this book, interviewing over 50 people who were intimately connected with the Elfin story,” said Bill Hemming, founder of Elfin Heritage Centre. “Members of Garrie Cooper’s family, employees, mechanics, designers, body-builders and drivers, including Vern Schuppan, John Bowe, Kevin Bartlett, John McCormack and Larry Perkins, tell their stories in the unforgettable tale of the tiny Adelaide company which became the second largest racing car manufacturing business in the world.”
Elfin: The Spirit of Speed Ultimate Edition is packaged in a wood and aluminium presentation box, complete with leather straps and a special presentation plaque cut from Vern Schuppan’s Elfin MR8A-C, which he campaigned in Australia and – in Can-Am specification – North America. Housed inside their own compartments is a signed and numbered copy of the book, along with a selection of genuine Elfin Sports Cars body-making tools used by Garrie Cooper and body-maker and designer John Webb from the late 1950s through to the late 1970s.
“I was lucky enough to visit Elfin employee John Webb in Adelaide one year ago and he gifted these tools to me,” said Hemming. “Later that night he had a heart attack and died. This unfortunate event has become part of the Ultimate Edition story and those lucky enough to purchase this book will have genuine tools used by Mr Webb and Garrie Cooper to build the aluminium versions of almost all the models constructed under Cooper’s ownership. It’s an incredible and unrepeatable story.”
Five Ultimate Edition packages have been made and only two remain available.
Elfin: The Spirit of Speed is available in Standard Edition, Limited Edition and Ultimate Edition versions and can be purchased exclusively from the Elfin Heritage Centre and elfinspiritofspeed.com.au.