This is an ELF, and we don’t mean it in a derogatory way, because that’s the actual name of this 1979 Honda Civic-based kit car.
It was the product of a now defunct Canadian company called ‘Spex Design’ founded by vehicle dynamics engineer Paul Deutschman and industrial designer Kell Warshaw back in the late 1970s or early 1980s (there are conflicting reports on when the company was launched).
In a featurette in the January 1985 edition of Popular Mechanics, Deutschman and Warshaw figured that an amateur builder could assemble the car in roughly 200 hours. At the time, the base kit was priced at $5,995, while a Deluxe version that included wheels, tires, seatcovers, sports steering wheel and exterior mirrors cost $6,995.
The one pictured here that’s for sale on eBay right now, is claimed to have had the kit “installed by the dealer when it was new back in 1979”, though, this contrasts the dates mentioned in the magazine’s report in regards to the availability of the kit car.
According to the seller, “This car is one of 20 that were built by Waterloo Honda back in 1979. What sets this one apart is that it doesn’t have the Civic engine. This is the only one that was upgraded with the Prelude engine making a true one of a kind.”
While an oddity these days, the ELF probably looked pretty unique back in the time, with its edgy styling being somewhat reminiscent of Maserati’s boxy 1980s models.