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Former Racer: 1967 Lotus Europa Barn Find

When it comes to forgotten race cars, the desirability depends on where you fall on the attraction to a stripped-down version of a classic model. There’s always history attached to race cars, but most of the time, it’s local folklore, not some forgotten factory special that raced at Sebring. If you knew the driver, there could be some added allure, or if the car had a particularly infamous shunt at the track that puts in the category of being a local legend. But without that connection and not even a log book to sift through, what’s the value of a car like this forgotten 1967 Lotus Europa? Whatever its future holds, it seems like a return to the track would be the best course of action. Find it here on eBay with an opening bid of $3,500 and no action yet.

For as long as I’ve been writing about old, forgotten cars, old race cars just don’t seem to grab buyers unless they have that history going for it. At the end of the day, race cars are almost always stripped of their original components, and once they are retired, it’s usually do to a mechanical failure or just becoming plain uncompetitive. Plus, you know these vehicles are bent back to form time and again in order to keep them on the track without having to deal with bodywork repairs. That said, there’s also some beauty in knowing you can drive a potentially collectible car exactly the way the factory intended without any concern of incurring a scrape or occasionally beating on it.

This Europa certainly looks the part with its stripes, number, and old-school SCCA decal still present, although the seller notes the wheels and old race tires were removed. I would love to see what sort of vintage track wheels it had on it, as those are likely worth as much as the car itself. The Europa has been stripped bare of many usable parts, and really is just a shell at this point. It does have its side windows and a plexiglass windshield, and the body doesn’t look to be too banged up. The seller does note that the driver’s side trailing arm is bent, so it likely had an off-course moment at some point in its history.

Sadly, there is no log book included, so you really can’t even begin to get a sense of where this car raced or who owned it unless someone spots it online and recognizes it from back in the day. Then again, are the drivers who went wheel-to-wheel with it even still alive? Without an engine and years of neglect, it will require full restoration whether it returns to the track or is used as the basis for an ambitious restoration project. The opening bid seems reasonable enough, but I personally would set this one up as a no-reserve listing with a $1 opening given the amount of work required to bring this forgotten racer back to form.

Comments

  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Started to build one of these a few years ago. My first task was to build a roll cage that completely surrounded the driver and extended forward to the “T” that holds the front suspension. It’s a “T” because the center tunnel is the only metal going forward thus no protection for the driver but fiberglass. This car has a roll bar you can’t see that is behind the driver on the inside. Given that’s all there is I wouldn’t drive this car around the block, much less on a race track. A few years ago I wound up hitting a concrete jersey barrier with an Austin Healey Sprite at about 60 mph and am here because of the roll cage in the car. If I had been in this car I would probably have been killed or unable to walk as there is nothing up front that will take a 60 mph hit on a concrete barrier. Never really got started as a rolling chassis I wanted more came into my life. Note: that wheel we put on to get the car into the trailer is 7 1/2″ back from normal and three inches from my feet. The tire and wheel were pretty much destroyed. The front portion of the roll cage never moved.

    Like 8
  2. Howie Mueler

    Yes mighty rough, only 20 minutes left. I had a 69.

  3. John Bellmore

    Did it end with no bids? This is what is needed to fix my S1a 1967 #547. Tree fell on it.

    • Howie Mueler

      Yes no bids, you can still contact the seller.

  4. bobhess bobhess Member

    Go for it John. A body shell change is very easy on one these cars. If you get it show us how it all came out.

    • Mike Hawke

      Easier on an S2 or TC. These S1 bodies were glued to the frame.

  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Mike…. forgot about that. Both mine were S2s.

  6. bog

    Just sad. Stripped for racing and no drivetrain or even wheels. And no title. Zero bids, and I can see why. Had an early ’68 while stationed in Germany (along with a ’67 GTA Fairlane and ’57 Fiat 500), BRG and absolutely astonishing on the two lane backroads…

  7. John Pellew

    Anyone buy this Europa do you know ?
    Anyone got the sellers details?
    Thanks
    John

    • Howie Mueler

      For the 2nd time, you can still contact the seller on Ebay.

  8. t-bone BOB

    Ended: Dec 06, 2021 , 10:06AM
    Starting bid:US $3,500.00
    [ 0 bids ]

    Located in:Los Angeles, California

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