This web page is intended to document the history of Elfin FV Chassis 6719. The Elfin kit was one of four purchased by the NSW or Sydney Elfin agent Jack Bono between June 1967 and December 1967. These kits were purchased from Garrie Cooper the owner of Elfin Racing Cars in Adelaide South Australia. The Formula Vee was relatively new on the world scene and the first racing took place in Australia in 1965. Formula Vee is still a Confederation of Australian Motorsport category to the present day with national and state championships being conducted.

Initial History - Purchase and Assembly
In December 1967 Jack Bono purchased the kit from Garrie Cooper. 

First Owners
Ian Mackenzie-Smith - Sydney New South Wales

First Race History
March 1968 - Oran Park - driver Brian Berry

History of the 1967 Elfin 500 Cars
In 2013 I purchased an Elfin 500 Formula Vee. Little did I know that the history of the car was to become a project of great interest?  Not being a racer of Formula Vee or even being involved in the open wheeler race scene in that time my only memory was of Saturday afternoon watching Channel 7.  Those fabulous Vee races from Amaroo Park with the voice of Evan Green commentating; and all broadcast in wonderful black and white television. Little did I know that some 40 years later I was to own one and be researching the history of events of that time?
I purchased an Elfin 500 that was log booked under the current National CAMS log book system in 1984. The chassis plate has 6719 as the number of the chassis. Why purchase an Elfin? As a teenager in the 1960’s and a follower of motorsport; Garrie Cooper and Elfin are forever inscribed in my memory and of course it is our own Australian built and designed motor racing company.
I was curious as to the history of the car and so started my quest to give a complete picture of the 48 year history of the car. Questions were raised in my mind. Is this car built from pieces of other cars and started as a car in 1984? Where was the car and what did it do before 1984?
So this did not start out to research the Elfin 500 cars of 1967 or those Jack Bono cars that there are no records for; but one of personal interest. It has now turned into a project that may be of assistance to others. Whilst I have not got every detail recorded I believe that I have gathered enough physical evidence from my research to prove the history of those four Elfin 500 FV kits.

The sources of this information are the following.
  1. The Elfin Register (2010)
  2. CAMS Historian – Keith Simpson
  3. CAMS Logbook  1984 – 2014
  4. Historic Formula Vee Australia – Facebook
  5. Autosport Forum – Old Formula Vees – Group Vee in Australia
  6. Formula Vee Historians and Researchers - Glenn Moulds, Ian lee and John Fabiszewski
  7. Bill Hemmings – Elfin Heritage Centre
  8. Brian Lear  – Elfin Register
  9. Autopics
  10. Autosport Forum – Australian Race programs from the 1950s and 60s
  11. Bryan Henderson – Formula Vee driver from the mid 1970s and owner of Scanpix – scanned race programs  and photographs from the NSW Vee series from 1973 – 1976
The Four Bono Cars of 1967
To establish the heritage and history of Elfin 6719 it is essential to also establish the history and heritage of the other three Elfin kits delivered to Jack Bono in Sydney in the second half of 1967.
Currently the Elfin Register has no information that clearly establishes this heritage and history.
The chassis numbers for four Elfin 500 kits sold to Jack Bono the Sydney agent for Elfin in 1967 were 6716, 6717, 6718 and 6719. Jack Bono kept no records but from my research he race prepared the Elfin kit for prospective owners or to sell on the open market.  He also ran his own race team. After his Vee days he ran an Elfin 600 in Australian Formula 2 racing. Terry Quartly was part of his race team. It appears that Jack prepared an earlier Elfin 500 (one of the 1966 cars) for Terry Quartly. Jack Bono kept no records as to who he sold each of these cars to. The Elfin Register and entries in Racing Car News magazine has provided the following information.

Chassis V6716

6716 Sold June 1967 to Jack Bono - and I believe used by him personally. This car was then sold to Larry Greenhalgh (1968) then to Gary Clare / Allan Nelson and then to Peter Houston. When Peter Houston owned and raced it was the Swagman Campers Vee.  Peter Houston sold it to Bruce Colby and then when it came to Queensland in the very early 1980s it was written off by Jim Smith at Lakeside in 1982 or 1983. Later information will show that Mick Cain entered the car in Vee races at Surfers paradise in 1983 and 1984. There is an entry for the August 1984 Surfers meeting of an Elfin Mk1 for him.  
Chassis V6716 is quite a significant car in its race history and results.  Internet research will provide video footage from the Amaroo Park races of the yellow Swagman car at the front of most races. This car was competitive for a great number of years.
Race Programs and Magazine References for Chassis 6716
Race programs and photographs and references of 6716 driven by Jack Bono, Gary Clare, Peter Houston.

Fig 1: Race Program from Warwick Farm – September 1967

The Elfin 500 cars here were Bono, Grimley, Quartly, Reynolds, Bolton.
Cross referencing the Elfin Register shows that the Reynolds car is chassis 6714. The Bolton car is chassis 666 sold to GP Cars in QLD then sold to D. Bolton. The Grimley car fits with chassis 6715 as it was delivered to Jack Bono in June 1967 as a kit and is referenced in the Elfin register as such. The Elfin register has chassis 6713 delivered to Jack Bono in February 1967 and listed with Terry Quartly.  This leaves the other car being Jack Bono in the yellow Elfin and chassis 6716. 
Fig 2: Jack Bono and Terry Quartly Elfin 500 Chassis 6713 and Chassis 6716
Fig 3: Gary Clare Bathurst 1972 – caption on picture incorrect.
image-482819-Figure 5.jpg?1440487434074
Fig 4: Gary Clare Warwick Farm October 1971 
Ian Lee (Formula Vee Historian) stated on January 20th. 2009 that Peter Houston's FV was owned previously by Larry Greenhalgh, Gary Clare and Alan Nelson
Race Program from 1976 – Peter Houston Chassis 6716 Car No: 24 A.A.R.C.Meeting Warwick Farm Automotive Imports Div 2. Formula Vee Cars 8/2/76
Motoring Magazine Entries for V6716

Larry Greenhalgh – Oran Park 8/1968 page 41 - RCN
Gary Clare – Amaroo – 4/72 page 59 - RCN
John O’Brien (ex Gary Clare) for sale – 12/10/73 page 14 – AMN
Peter Houston (ex Allan Nelson) – 7/74 page 10 – RCN
Peter Houston – for sale -  10/75 page 104 – RCN
Information below is from the Elfin Register
Peter Houston sold his car to Bruce Coleby who then sold it to “someone in QLD” believed to be Mick Cain. This car was then written off by Jim Smith at Lakeside in 1982/3.
Chassis 6717 and 6718

Event 8 - H.M.V. Formula Vee Racing Trophy Race
The race program from Warwick Farm September 8, 1968 has six Elfin 500 cars driven by; 
 B. Pymble,  B. Berry, L. Greenhalgh, L. Grimley,  J. Bono, P. Samuels

As the program shows there were six Elfin 500 cars running with one being L. Greenhalgh
The Elfin Register lists a Geoff  Grimley as being the owner of chassis 6715 between the years 1967 – 1971. The assumption is that this is L. Grimly as in the program. Chassis 6715 exists today as recorded in the Elfin Register in the ownership of John Holmes.

Chassis 6820 is one of these cars but the Elfin Register does not list the actual owner in 1968 only 1969 onwards. As that car has a documented history then it is also eliminated from the unknown history of the other chassis numbers. This leaves in that race three cars that were log booked in early 1968 (CAMS reference) and were in that race. Chassis numbers 6717, 6718 and 6719 all delivered to Jack Bono in the second half of 1967.

I believe chassis 6717 or 18 was driven by Brian Pymble. From information provided by John Holmes in the Elfin register Brian Pymble’s car 6717 went to Joe Lapp and it was eventually turned into a hillclimb car. Joe Lapp was reported as running in the 22/10/69 meeting at Warwick Farm.
Paul Samuels was also reported as running. One can assume that they were in different cars. The Samuels car was entered by Campfield Service Station, West Auburn. The CAMS log books show that a Laurie Campfield log booked a car first in 1968. This cannot be the Greg Mackie car (chassis 6821) as it was not purchased until early 1970. Therefore this is also either 6717 or 6718.

From information provided by John Holmes as documented in the Elfin register the 6718 car was sold by Fred Vogel to Graham Vaughan who destroyed it at Oran Park in 1975. In the August 1969 edition of RCN the Vogel car was for sale noted as ex Bono. I may be wrong in the plate numbers but these two cars as listed in the program by process of elimination were chassis 6717 and 6718.