Just Delete The Shag: 1971 Lotus Europa

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

More than ever, I feel like listings on eBay are being pulled and re-posted with increasing frequency. This 1971 Lotus Europa is the most recent up-then-down listing, and it recently re-appeared with a £6,695 Buy-It-Now on eBay UK. The seller claims it shows just one repaint and largely original condition throughout, with only some shag carpeting on the console to detract from its otherwise preserved appearance. Find it here on eBay in a classifieds listing and recently exhumed since being dry-stored since 1982.

The seller believes the 45,641 on the odometer is “…probably genuine” due to the overall solid condition of the Lotus. The body does appear mostly straight with good lenses front and rear. It does appear some of the body has separated just beneath the right-side taillight as you can see here. Badges are gone as is the thin chrome rear bumper. The seller does mention that the body was “partially stripped” at one point in time, likely for a restoration that never got off the ground.

I do hope the plans call for restoring the original “Bronze Yellow” paint, as it looks stunning even underneath the decay of its flat black exterior. The cabin looks OK, but Lotus interiors always seem to look destroyed to me after just a few years of neglect. The door panels are peeling off, the wood dash fascia is in need of total restoration and the shag carpeting absolutely must go; I wonder if it’s hiding a dilapidated console underneath. The bucket seats look good, however.

The seller provides some details about the Europa’s mechanical past but doesn’t elaborate: “It appears that mechanically the car has had plenty of work but this was many years ago. Exhaust, manifold and carburetor plus other mechanical bits and pieces are missing.” Some of those pieces can be quite hard to find, so a full recounting of what needs to be sourced would be quite helpful for potential buyers. Oh, and be sure you meet the height requirements to drive a Europa – six footers need not apply.

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Comments

  1. Beatnik Bedouin

    Shagadelic, Baby!

    These are wonderful cars, if you own a garage and have customers who own them. The Europa was notorious for being unreliable – at least they were, stateside.

    This one has the advantage of the Renault 16 engine and transaxle to go with the Lucas electrics… 😉

    5
  2. Bob in Bexley Member

    Had a friend with a JPS version, parked it & about a minute later heard some crackling noise & then some smoke & then the engine bay wiring harness just burnt up. No joke, I was there.

    6
  3. Sanity Factor

    Those are so fugly

    4
    • Dick Johnson

      Especially if you couldn’t (back then, let alone now) afford a 250LM. The cartoonish 250 influence that the Europa had on me didn’t seem to bother me as much as the license plates of Petes, KWs, and REOs did when viewed from my review mirror at 70 mph. Not much performance margin there, boy.

      1
  4. SMS

    Yes, I know, they look funny, and several parts do double or triple duty so they wear out quickly, and weight savings comes at the expense of reliability.

    BUT, when mine ran it was so much fun.

    The story that fits these cars so well happened in Japan. A friend gave me a ride in his. We were up in the mountains. Lovely winding roads and beautiful scenery. Off to the side was Mt Fuji, then the lakes. Problem was that the car was so low all you could see was the armco barrier.

    10
  5. AirBoss

    At six foot four, I was a press-fit into a Europa. Really could have used a Gurney bubble to boot….

    7
  6. John D.

    I remember climbing into one I found unlocked on a dealer’s lot. At 6’1″ getting in was a challenge. Getting out was a bigger challenge. By gawd, I am surprised I got out unassisted on the same day!

    3
    • Al

      You were lucky to get out.
      I’m 6’7″ and had to crawl out the passenger side, dislocating a knee in the process. The best version of this car sits on a shelf in my wreck-room.

      2
  7. Chuck F 55chevy

    I owned a project for a while, had headers and a Weber carb, pretty fast the one time I ran around the subdivision it it. The seats are not adjustable in any direction, where you sit is what you get, cushions mounted on fiberglass floor. Gave $1200 for it and got $2500, not too bad for early 90s, it was a euro 1.5 series I think, had pop out windows and a manual in French. The seller was a Chrysler design engineer, had a lot of concept drawings and sketches he had worked on, even a few photos of the Europa he had customized with body mod ideas. I didn’t take any pics of it dadgummit.

  8. GP Member

    I went with the second word in the write up.

  9. DonC

    “It’s missing most of the engine, transmission, suspension, exhaust. The dash is cracked, the shag is covering something hideous, and the seats are a mess. And you have to be under 6 foot tall to fit in it. Other than that, it’s an awesome car!”

    And….I have some swamp land in Florida for sale too!

  10. Maurader

    I have heard that Lotus sold many of these in kit form. Any truth to that?

    1
    • SMS

      I don’t believe that the Europa came in kit form. There were a few versions. The one version they built for privateer racers might have come as a kit, I’m not sure.

  11. AirBoss

    There were many more privateer stripped-for-racing Europas, Renault and Twin-Cam, than there were Type 47 racers, and even those were delivered mostly complete. No Lotus is ever complete. Always need a bolt or nut turned, or the electrics fixed.

  12. Roarrr

    I’ve had several Lotus, never had any reliability problems all have had the EnFord based engines which are bomb proof! Twin Webers need to be set up right and will soldier on for years, Ford trannys and diffs never die with the available Hp.
    I’d stuff a Focus 2L in it which will screw right in and give 150Hp easily+!

    1
    • Lars

      Did you say that a Ford Focus engine fits into a Lotus Europa? Onto which transmission?

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