History of Elden | The Cars

Mk 8 – Elden PRH 8

Formula Ford 1600 | 1970 to 1972 | ~52 Cars Produced

The Elden PRH 8 is a design development of the Mk 6 Formula Ford 1600 using the Ford Kent 1600cc engine.

Tony Hilder (bodywork designer for McLaren) provided a new bodywork design which was also an interation of the Mk 6, improving both aesthetics and aerodynamics. An alternative set of bodywork was designed by Dennis Falconer (bodywork designer for March) which provided a much sleeker, if controversial, profile.

The prototype chassis and bodywork were all fabricated by the Works with John Brise as the customer and his son Tony Brise driving. On his first day’s testing, Tony equalled the then Brands Hatch lap record.

The first production run of chassis were by Ken Nicholls and the remainder by Arch Motors, with the characteristic ‘AM’ stamp on the rear bulkhead.

The cars initially came with a 14-gauge 1.25″ roll hoop. For the 1972 season, the SCCA required roll hoops to be 10-gauge with 1.5″ diameter. All subsequent Mk 8s that were shipped to the USA conformed to the new regulation, whereas all British destined cars stayed with the old design. Another change for the 1972 season included raising the minimum weight from 400kg to 450kg, so as to account for the now required fire suppresion system.

The original Mk 8 drawings were lost in transit in 1972, so the design evolved into the Mk 10.

Notable Teams, Owners and Drivers

Catnic Team: Danny Sullivan (Later an F1 driver for Tyrrell, 1985 Indy 500 champion and 1988 CART PPG champion), Mike Catlow (Later an F3, Formula Atlantic and Group C driver)

Ippokampos Team: Ian Grob (Later an F2 and Le Mans 24 Hour driver), Johnny Gerber (Inaugural winner of the Formula Ford World Final at Brands Hatch in October 1971), Buzz Buzaglo

Tony Brise (Later an F1 driver for Williams and then Embassy Hill, tragically killed with Graham Hill in a plane crash)

Ben Huisman (Race Director for Zandvoort)

Arie Luyendyk (Later CART PPG driver, 1990 and 1997 Indy 500 champion)

Steve Millen (Later 1994 Daytona 24 winner, Le Mans 24 Hour driver)

Paul Pfanner (Founder of Formula and Racer magazines)

Richard Robarts (Later an F1 driver for Brabham and Williams)

Notable Races, Championships and Records

Won the inaugural Formula Ford World Final (also known as Formula Ford World Cup) at Brands Hatch in October 1972. Driven by Johnny Gerber of Ippokampos Racing Team.

Lap record at Crystal Palace on 7th August 1971, driven by Tony Brise in 58.8s averaging 85.1 mph. This record for Formula Ford will remain unbeaten due to the circuit being closed in 1972.

Lap record at Oulton Park on 16th October 1971, driven by Tony Brise in 1m-45s averaging 94.66 mph.

Equalled existing lap record at Lydden on 19 September 1971, driven by Tony Brise in 46.6s averaging 77.25 mph.

Winner of class, 1973 Singapore Grand Prix. Driven by Steve Millen. 8th overall amongst and beating Formula 2 cars.