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Bisected 1974 Lotus Europa Project(s)


The Eclat project from earlier today makes this one look tame. This 1974 Lotus Europa project actually includes two cars, well sort of… A previous owner had plans to build a few vintage racers, but they never finished. He bought two cars, stripped them, and then cut one in half! Find the eBay auction here with bidding at $3,650 and only two days left.


The semi-complete car doesn’t look too bad. It needs paint, but supposedly the engine, brakes, and suspension have already been gone through.


The engine does look clean and is claimed to run.


Here is a shot of the body that was cut.


And here is the other half. We think they must have cut two damaged bodies in half and grafted the good ends to each other.


Here is proof of our theory. See the burgundy paint in the door seal? We just hope they lined everything up because it would be hard to get things straight again if they didn’t do their measurements right. This is one of those times when the saying “measure twice, cut once” really applies!


Here is the second chassis. We wonder if it would be possible to repair the damaged ends and meshed them together to build a second car? Again, that would all depend on how they were bisected.


Luckily, the deal includes plenty of parts to finish the project. We would probably just worry about completing one for now and keep all the extra parts as spares. A magnet wont be of any use during an inspection, but you might want to bring a tape measure…


  1. Dolphin Member

    Well, by the looks of things a couple of weekends of work should turn this lot into a couple of good runners.

    Just kidding….that’s not going to happen.

    With all the lightness that Colin Chapman added to the Europa, it makes up for what the engine lacks in torque, and these can cover ground real well. But the ultra-low height and the spaghetti-like suspension pieces inside that ‘glass body are enough to strike terror in anyone that thinks of running one on a No American interstate alongside 18-wheelers much. No, these are best used on the narrow lanes near the Lotus works, where they will make time like few other cars, in relative safety.

    But if you want to do that anytime soon, resist the temptation to buy cars that have been cut in half.

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  2. paul

    As a former owner of an auto body business I am not afraid of cars being cut in half , this can be done & in fact is done on every stretch limo out there. The question I have, is why go to all the trouble on a car that few people know of, or understand & when finished, the car isn’t worth much & as Dolphin writes, do you really want to be driving a go cart next to 18 wheelers, Hummers & those folks that are more interested in fiddling with their cell phones than watching the road.

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    • Barry

      When finished it will be worth a lot more than you realise, particularly in Europe. As for two body shell halves, it really doesn’t matter. The structural integrity is all in the chassis. When this model and other lotus cars were in production it was quite common to purchase the half or even a quarter of a body shell direct from the factory. Most modern cars do not have a separate chassis and the only real way to join such metal bodied car halves together is to weld along manufacturers original construction seams but sadly most bad body shops take the easy way out and just butt weld to halves together.

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  3. scot c

    ~ this is quite a pile of parts, depending on where the final bid ends up. i haven’t any doubt that at least one car could be built. who knows about the second without a complete assessment. i do know it won’t be me driving either of them. never forget the phrase, ‘you bet you life’. calculate the odds very carefully.

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    • sonia

      I would take one of these’ half of this’ half of that’ automobile It depends on the style of each half. You know what they say. Opposites attract.

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  4. TIN MAN

    I Happen to own one of these i found her in a barn sitting for 20 years i got her running and its a freaking blast 0-60 in 6 secs and i have gotten here up to 105 on the high way passing 18 wheelers so this car can take the wind its a great little car only down side if your a big guy its a tight fit.

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    • paul

      Yep I remember driving them, in their day they were road legal F1 cars no doubt about that

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  5. Rancho Bella

    At 43 inches in height,these are quite something to behold. The car weighs about 1500 lbs.
    Honestly I can’t believe the U.S let these come in. There is one on Ebay in white and another at Wire Wheel in Florida.

    The later Europa had a larger cockpit. More and more aftermarket parts are being made so watch for the prices start to move. Also, Ford makes new blocks for these and new heads can be sourced from the U.K. The only real downside is the transmission by Renault. A hearty little thing but parts may be an issue. I like the idea of a Hewland and be done with it.

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    • Barry

      If you are 6ft tall or more forget it, you won’t get into a Lotus Europa and the seat is none adjustable.

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  6. Chris

    Really like the Europa, even the first ones with the pushrod Renault engine. A driver’s car for sure. I was comfortable in traffic back in the day as the one I drove was a very bright yellow. Now with SUV’s driven by soccer moms with cell phones glued to their ears everywhere, not as much fun anymore. I still want one, but not as a model car 1:1 scale. At least I have a chance in a Volvo v. SUVs.

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  7. John

    I had a 73, and I loved it dearly. That said, one must have lots of friends when one owns a Lotus because you will need them to come and get you quite regularly. “Robust” was not in Colin Chapman’s vocabulary.

    But parts, other than the bodywork, are readily available from a variety of sources. The transmissions in the S models was very good, except for the weird little u-joint in the middle of the shift linkage.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to buy these cars at all. They’ll never be worth much for an investor, but there is nothing better for a driver. And they are comfortable. I drove mine from LA to Washington DC. It was a blast.

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    • Rancho Bella

      John, there is a guy in Washington State making more and more body parts. That is a good thing for us in the U.S.

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  8. Richard V

    And there are those miserable Stromberg carbs!

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