Mike Catlow in the Elden PRH12 at Snetterton


Brian and Peter Hampsheir were the guiding lights behind Elden, Peter was an engineer whilst Brian had been a driver until his career was curtailed as a result of an accident. After building a number of F4 cars called Brihams the first Elden, the PH6 also a F4, appeared in 1969. In 1971 they produced the PH8, a Formula Ford, driven by Tony Brise, it was a huge success and premises at Wrotham Hill near Brands Hatch were bought to produce the car in larger numbers. Elden was taken over by Howard Drake in 1977 but reacquired by Brian Hampsheir in 1980 and moved to Brands Hatch.


Emerging late in the 1972 season after extensive testing, the PRH9 contested two races in October and didn’t disgrace itself. The chassis consisted of a space frame skinned with aluminium, it had wide based wishbone suspension at the front with a top link, lower wishbone and radius rods at the rear. The chassis was slim with small radiators at the rear of the cockpit. Power was via a Holbay engine.


The PRH12 (also listed as a Mk12) was basically the PRH9 with revised bodywork, notably a full-width nose, higher cockpit sides and a high tapering engine cover. In addition the water pipes ran externally along the bottom of the chassis. Three cars were built, two going to the USA for Formula B racing, the best result in the UK was a 3rd at Brands Hatch for Andy Sutcliffe who showed that given a decent driver it wasn’t far away from the March/GRD combinations.


The PRH15 looked very similar to the PRH12 although underneath things were a little different. For the first time the chassis was a full monocoque and the wheelbase was longer. One of the three cars built went to the USA, a works car was entered in German F3 rounds for Steve Farnsworth sadly in the UK results were not forthcoming and Elden would not produce another F3 chassis.Interestingly Autosport showed a picture of the rear of an Elden F3 car in January 1974 showing a Schnitzer BMW power unit in the rear, a very early appearance of this engine.


1972 Mike Catlow.

1973 PRH12
Mike Catlow, Andy Sutcliffe, Ted Wentz.

Steve Farnsworth, Jorge Koechlin, Bertram Schäffer.

Jerry Blaine

Jerry Blaine

Tim Brise

The PRH9 on it's announcement on the Racing Car Showboat in early 1972.
Mike Catlow in the PRH9.
The engine bay of the Elden at the Motor Racing Showboat exhibition.
The PRH12 (sans rear wing) at its announcement.
One of of the three PRH15s built.