Back at the Cape Town docks, invoices showed the total cost to Gouws at that point came in at £1 200, which included the dark-green-with-yellow-stripe paint finish that represented the South African racing colours. Loaded up, the car headed north to Edenvale where Porsche and racing preparation expert Al Gibson fitted Gouws’s Porsche RSK four-cam engine and 718 gearbox. Dr Gouws debuted the Elva MkVII at Kyalami on 5 June 1965 and then sold it on to Luki Botha when he decided to hang up his helmet. In true racer fashion, he didn’t fully retire from the sport and often shared the Elva with Botha in endurance events.
The pair’s most notable performance in the car took place in December 1965 at the Angola Grand Prix. In an awesome show of versatility, the Elva carved through the streets of Luanda climbing from 10th on the grid to finish 5th with only four Ferraris in ahead. Incredibly, the latest Porsche 904 offerings finished lower than the Elva. Gouws and the Elva Porsche swansong took place on 5 November when, again with Botha as a co-pilot, the Elva took on the 9 Hour. Three hours in, the car held 5th place overall, but a terminal gearbox problem sidelined the attempt.
In 1967 another legend came to the Elva Porsche party with Koos Swanepoel taking ownership. Unfortunately, during his ownership the Elva lost its ‘Porscheness’ when a 2.7-litre Climax engine and Hewland gearbox were installed. Luki Botha appears to have used the car again in 1968, perhaps on loan from Swanepoel, as an advert from Car magazine shows that Koos sold the car in 1970. Pietermaritzburg resident John Truter bought the car and circa 1973 transplanted a Lotus twin-cam engine into it. He also fitted a Lola T212 body style (moulded off Andre Verwey’s Lola) and renamed the car a JTS, standing for John Truter Special.
From Truter the car went to Hagen Wulff of East London and then, if the grapevine is to be believed, Boet Pelser, Martin Jacobs and Dennis Geyer. Along this route a Mazda Rotary engine found a home. Geyer apparently moved to Cape Town and wasn’t allowed to race it there, so he took it drag racing. When the flywheel self-destructed, it damaged the back end of the chassis extensively (the repairs became a key to identifying the car later). Geyer is said to have sold it to someone in the Free State. Don van Staden of Chartwell, north of Johannesburg, followed as the next owner; he in turn moved it on to a Mr Mitri in Natal and then well-known engine builder Pat Duckham, also in KZN. Van Staden then got the now rather ropey Mazda engine/Lola-bodied car back and stored it until 2001.