Lotza? Rotary Powered 1969 Europa

europa

One of the big knocks on the early Lotus Europas was the lack of “oomph” from the small Renault engine originally fitted. The chassis was certainly capable of handling more power, as Lotus themselves proved when they fitted the famous “twin-cam” Ford-based engine to later Europas. I have heard of various engines being mated to Europas, including a Mazda rotary, but had never seen pictures of one until now. This hybrid Lotza (Maztus?) is located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and is listed for sale here on eBay with an opening bid of $3,900 and no reserve. The former show winner (with original engine, which is included in the auction) was re-engined and has been stationary since 2008, although the owner states that it ran “like a scalded dog” prior to being stored. It is characterized as a non-runner, with some other issues around tired weatherstripping, faded paint and clutch hydraulics.

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I was curious as to what the rotary engine would look like in that compartment; honestly, I think it looks like it belongs there. The seller was going to return the car to original condition with the Renault engine; I don’t think I would! I like rotaries and the additional horsepower sounds good to me. While some of the wiring and hoses could stand a re-do, as a whole the installation looks pretty good. Would you leave the rotary engine in, or go back with the Renault?

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Comments

  1. Peter

    I agree–I would leave the rotary, for now, and enjoy being “on the podium,” REGULARLY, at “The Stoplight Grandprix!”

  2. Lee Hartman

    Years ago, I put a rotary in a Triumph Spitfire. I can attest to the fact that it ran “like a scalded cat”!

  3. Bobsmyuncle

    I might take a look at this on Sunday. I’ll report back if I do.

  4. Grr

    Since a rotary has the output shaft in the middle of the engine, and a piston engine has it at the bottom, I have to wonder how much ground clearance this thing has left, given that it would have to be placed lower in the chassis to mate up to the transmission.

    Nice example, tho. Wheels look great, as do the seats. I don’t even mind the mismatching body panels.

  5. jim s

    a lot of questions being asked on ebay. i wonder what the weight savings is and if the transaxle ratios were changed to match the power curve of the motor? seller is willing to send more photos by email. interesting find.

  6. Matt

    Oh god look at the ECU placement!? Don’t they know that RX-7 ECU plugs are not weatherproof?? And the heat and vibration…
    That is a wiry mess under there. No wonder it doesn’t run.
    I’ve been involved in rotary rebuilding, tuning and 3rd Gen RX-7s my whole life. And that looks terrible. Someone needs to buy it and clean all that up.

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