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1970 Lotus Europa Project


The Lotus Europa may look more pickup than supercar, but all is forgiven once you get behind the wheel. It was intended to be a replacement for the driver focused Seven, so low-weight and perfect balance were necessities. This example from 1970 has seen a curve in a while, but we are hopeful that someone can rescue it. The sale includes boxes of parts and a rebuilt spare engine. It wont be an easy project but the post-restoration driving thrills should make it worth the effort. Find it here on eBay where bidding is at $2,247. Thanks goes to Jim S. for the tip!


  1. Horse Radish

    I never could endear myself to these looks.
    Necessitated by the mid engine.was there nothing that could avoid this awful rear half of the car ?
    I have a ’77 Eclat, that I need to get going.
    A better looking car at least than this.

  2. Don Andreina

    Eclat is a nice looking car. Hope you get it up and running. There’s a S1 Esprit for sale over here sans engine ang gearbox.

  3. paul

    I think I know someone who would be all over this, as for Europas, they were road going F1 cars in their day, if I could fit into today like I fit in one back then I would be all over it.

    • paul

      Oh & of course if it was mine it would have to be BRG

  4. Dolphin Member

    I have a lot of respect for vintage Lotuses, and for CC himself, who was the most innovative team owner/designer of his time. But…….

    Whether I can fit in a Europa or not (I can), I just can’t bring myself to buy one. They handle and GO, but a big part of that is their light weight, about 1,400 pounds. I saw the reason for that the first time I looked under one—there’s very little there, and what’s there looks real light. CC added lots of lightness, and I can’t see myself driving one surrounded by SUVs, pickups, and 18-wheelers, the smallest of which has wheels that are about as tall as this car. For me, I guess getting older and more chicken go together.

    Best of luck to the new owner. It’s got bids, no reserve, so it will have a new home.

    • paul

      Yeah SUVs & cell phones. It is hard to think of yourself driving around in a go kart in these day’s.

    • Don Andreina

      You ever see that movie ‘The Arrangement’ where kirk Douglas drives his Alfa under a semi trailer?

      • paul

        No, never seen it.

      • Don Andreina

        check this out (spoiler alert: its not an accident)

      • rusty

        holy cr@p Don…amazing.
        feels that way in my Goggo Dart but I would have cleared the windscreen no worries. Maybe not my head..ok ok its too big.

      • paul

        Crap I had a dark blue Duetto just like that for 26 years.Mine was a late 66 that one was a 69.This car didn’t have the headlight covers.

  5. rancho bella

    For folk that can’t stand the looks…’s o.k, I’m on the other side. I think they are so neat looking as there is little on the road (ever) that had this shape. Many folks can’t stand the 914 Porsche……..I think it to be a wonderful shape as well.

    I will agree that that things are tight in the earlier Europa. But to clarify, the later Europa TC has a larger interior. I wouldn’t mind having the Cosmics off of this car. Gee I wish those were still being made.

    Can you imagine………a frame made from sheet metal………..CC………you will always be the man.

    • paul

      Your the guy I was thinking of , never cared for the 914, but these, I had a friend who had one, I drove it often, back then I would have killed for one.

      • rancho bella

        There is a ’73 Europa TC sitting with his stable mates as I write :)

    • paul

      Colin was the Adrian Newey of his time with his lightness, high revving, small jewel like cars, then came Jim Hall who introduced the world to aerodynamics, & while I am a huge fan of Alonso at Ferrari, I suspect that nothing will stop the Vettle/ Newey team from another title, Newey has combined the lightness of Chapman & the aerodynamics of Hall into one unstoppable package.

    • Don Andreina

      The backbone chassis was discovered almost by accident when CC noticed a Y-shaped test bed used by his R&D section. Karl Ludvigsen’s book on CC – superb read.

      • paul

        Thanks I’ll check it out.

  6. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    You can’t go wrong owning a street car offered by the man who employed Jimmy Clark, Graham Hill, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi, Nigel Mansell & Arton Senna.

  7. rusty

    nice, probably not everyone styling cup of tea, ….but a condition I’d be wrapped to get one in, even though he says the body is rough [and needs regell coating] I’d say relative to other unrestored fibreglass cars this body is probably pretty good simply because it still sports an old full coat of paint…[and I can attest to rough fibreglass bodies]..once you lose the top coat then its a harder job than this to least the top coat offers some reduction of element destruction…looks like a simple body restoration for a fiberglass car.guy..

    I once sprayed an Europa for a good friend of mine as a gift as he was a mate [before I was into fibreglass cars]..I said as long as you prepare the body properly and do the hard work I’ll spray it..well fortunately in the late 70’s/early 80’s he had a Europa with a reasonable body [was a registered car]… he did prepare most of it as it was just body rubbing and smoothing etc [though I helped a lot] but he wanted it in metalic green..I shuddered at the thought but when it was did look good. .I didnt think it would.

    It turns out later when i got into sportscars he was the nephew of the Builder of an Australian sportscar Icon [well only to Aussie sportscar people] called the “Velacia” a total of only 3 made, considered beautiful and purposeful…at the time I sprayed his Europa that tidbit [though remembered] probably went over my head for its importance…I’ve lost contact with him now [often wondered if he still has the Europa and how he is going]…but the Velacia is one car I’d love in my Impossibility.

    This Europa is definately an easyish fibreglass project so dont let it scare you if you think its of interest.. I know cars always sell for less in USA because you have so many more to choose from but its certainly one to keep an eye on.

    • Don Andreina

      Velacia looks like a mini Apollo 5000. he he he. Remember the red one-off Mirella? I know the nephew of the guy who built it and I’ve been thinking of tracking him down.

      • rusty

        Sure do Don..the red hatch, on page 88 of Great Australian Sportscars [Mike McCarthy] its my bible of Aussie sportscars..infact this book was my inspiration for collecting them once I had restored my Goggo Dart..

        Go for it Don….he also built another design car too called The Mirella [yellow].

        That Mirella TS230 you mention [red one] I reckon the Mazda/Ford Lazer design was “inspired” by this Mirella for want of being polite..beautiful hatch beating the manufacturers to it..

        Oh dear I think we are going to be typecast on here or worse, outcast hee hee..sorry guys.

      • Don Andreina

        Yep, that’s a great book. Used it when you mentioned your stable. Mebbe we should get a room…

  8. rusty

    hee hee

  9. Jim-Bob

    I am not too fond of the looks, but it has so much potential to be a fun driver that I can get past it. I have to wonder about swapping in a more modern engine though. Given the light weight, it wouldn’t have to be a very powerful one. My thoughts immediately turn to the Suzuki G13B DOHC 1.3 liter from a Swift GT, or even the GA16DE from a 90’s Nissan Sentra. You would get 100-115hp from either of them, but with much better driveability and fuel economy. The easy parts sourcing (for the engine at least) would make this a decent daily driver in areas not hot enough to require A/C. Imagine Lotus handling with a 7 second 0-60 all in a car that gets around 35 city/50 hwy fuel economy!

  10. Chris A.

    Anyone buying a Mk 1 Europa should take a very close look at the backbone chassis. As the body is bonded to the backbone, both are dependent on each other for overall strength. If there is any corrosion or cracking of either backbone or body, look out unless you are really good at fiberglass and chassis work as you would have to separate the body from the backbone. I think I’ve read that you can buy a new replica Lotus Mk 1 backbone chassis. I was cramped in an early Mk 1 at 5’11”, 160 lbs with size 11 feet. Pedals adjust, but not the seat. But the driving experience is really worth any discomfort. I was surprised at the ride quality, it felt soft, but well controlled. The engine swap suggestions are a great idea. I’d try to add a later 5spd and a Honda 2000. Paint? The brightest yellow I could find. As for Lotus drivers, don’t forget Innes Ireland who earned Chapman his first F1 win.

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