Sometime ago, January 13, 2011 to be specific, I posted a brief story on this website on the Elva Courier which was the late Mark Donohue’s first race car. Gary Cossaboon recently saw that post and we exchanged several email messages on that topic.
A Young Mark Donohue With His Elva Courier
As a young boy Gary would go to the original track in Vineland, New Jersey during the period when Mark Donohue was racing his Elva. Now Gary Cossaboon has his own Elva Courier which is tribute to Mark Donohue.
Gary Cossaboon’s 1959 Elva Courier
As an Elva Courier enthusiast, Gary Cossaboon has put together a race record for Mark Donohue when he was racing his Elva Courier. Gary sent me a very detailed record of Donohue’s Elva Courier race record for the years 1960 and 1961. I have summarized Gary’s extensive record and any mistakes in the records below are all mine.
The race records below are for Donohue’s first year of racing, 1960.
|First race:Limerock, CT||P 4||April 23, 1960|
|First win: Marlborough, MD||P 1||June 5, 1960|
|Vineland, NJ||P 1||June 11-12, 1960|
|Watkins Glen, NY||P 1||June 25, 1960|
|Limerock, CT||P 1||July 2, 1960|
|Vineland, NJ||P 2||July 24, 1960|
|Montgomery, NY||P 2||August 6-7, 1960|
|Vineland, NJ||P 1/DNF||August 21, 1960|
|Thompson, CT||P 1||September 5, 1960|
|Watkins Glen, NY||P 1||September 22, 1960|
|Watkins Glen, NY||P 5||September 24, 1960|
|Thompson, CT||P 2||October 9, 1960|
|Vineland, NJ||P 1||November 6, 1960|
As you can see, Mark Donohue did very well considering that he was a rookie racer in 1960.
In 1960, the Elva Courier competed in the F Production Class. Some of the other cars that were competing in F Production in 1960 were as follows:
- Austin-Healey Sprite
- Berkeley (692cc)
- Denzel 1300 Super
- Deutsch-Bonnet (750cc and 850cc)
- Fairthorpe Electron Mk. II
- Fiat-Abarth 750 Record Monza (DOHC)
- Elva Courier (1500cc and 1600cc)
- MGA (1500 and 1600)
- Mercedes-Benz 190SL
- Porsche 1300, 1300 Super, 1500, and 1600
- Siata 208S
- Turner 950 Sports
Many of the cars that Donohue and his Elva competed against in 1960 listed above were built by manufacturers who no longer exist. In 1961, the Elva Courier was moved up from F Production to compete in E Production. Some of the cars that were in the E Production in that era were as follows:
- A.C. Ace and Aceca
- Alfa Romeo Veloce, Super, Spider, and 2000
- Austin-Healey 100 (4 cyl.) and 100-6
- Daimler SP250
- Fiat 1500 Spider
- Lancia Aurelia GT and Spider
- Lotus Elite
- MGA Twin Cam
- Porsche 1500 Super and 1600 Super
- Triumph TR2, TR3, and TR3A
In 1961 Mark Donohue had the following race record while racing in the E Production class.
|Vineland, NJ||April 9, 1961|
|Marlborough, MD||P 1||April 16, 1961|
|Danville, VA||P 1||April 30, 1961|
|Cumberland, MD||P 1||May 14, 1961|
|Bridgehampton, NY||P 1||May 28, 1961|
|Vineland, NJ||P 1/DNF||June 11, 1961|
|Limerock, CT||P 1||July 1, 1961|
|Meadowvale, IL||P 1||July 23, 1961|
|Bridgehampton, NY||P 1||August 5, 1961|
|Thompson, CT||DNF-12||September 4, 1961|
|Vineland, NJ||September 10, 1961|
|Watkins Glen, NY||P 5||September 22, 1961|
As a result of the above record, Mark Donohue was crowned the 1961 Sports Car Club of America E Production Class Champion. A great result for both Mark Donohue and the Elva Courier.
In addition to cars that Donohue raced against that are no longer around, he raced on some tracks that no longer exist or are different now from the way they were in 1960. In a book written in 1960 by William S. Stone “A Guide To American Sports Car Racing” he outlined some of the major tracks of that time. The following images of these tracks come from that book.
Bridgehampton, NY Race Track
Cumberland, MD Race Track
Lime Rock, CT Race
Marborough, MD Race Track
Montgomery, NY Race Track
Thompson, CT Race Track
Vineland, NJ Race Track
Danville, VA Race Track
Glen, NY Race Track
It is interesting to look back at the early days, including the cars and race tracks, in the career of one of America’s greatest race drivers.
For the detailed race record of Mark Donohue that was prepared by Gary Cossaboon see the attached file below: