The Dunham Elfin 249 replica is one of the best-known products of the small family business of Dunham Engineering of Wigan in England. It was a close copy of the original 1949 radial-mount Elfin 249 diesel which made a very strong impression upon the British marketplace during the period of less than a year during which it was produced before being replaced by a somewhat inferior beam mount model.
In the early 1980's a few Old Time modellers discovered that the outstanding power-to-weight ratio of the light and powerful Elfin made it a strong contender in the SAM Class A Old Time competitions which were then very popular. Since original examples were both scarce and costly, the Dunham Elfin replica was introduced to meet the demand for examples of the engine which could be used in competition. Perhaps as many as 500 examples were produced between 1984 and 1987. In competition terms, the engine was a great success, permanently changing the face of SAM Class A in the USA by influencing a swing towards diesel power. Its success spawned a series of similar replicas from other makers, including Gordon Burford, CS, ARGO USA and Hobby Club.
Dunham also became well known for their fine Orwick replicas. Full details of these and other Dunham products may be found in the in-depth article on Dunham Engineering to be found elsewhere on this web-site.