Parked For 10 Years: 1971 Lotus Europa

Small and unique looking is how I would describe this 1971 Lotus Europa (the listing advertises this car as a ’72 model but the trim tag states 1971). The flying buttress, or extended sail panels, or the combined B/C pillar, however you chose to describe a Europa, it looks like no other car. Let’s check this screaming yellow example out. It is located in Commerce City, Michigan and is available, here on craigslist for $12,000, OBO. Thanks to Chuck F for this tip!

Offered between 1966 and 1975, the fiberglass-bodied Europa is a small car with a 92-inch wheelbase and a 1,400 lb. curb weight. There’s little backstory on this car other than to say it was garage stored for about ten years. From what can be seen, the body and paint look pretty fair. Up close images show an exterior that has had, at the least, some respraying work. The bumpers and minimal trim present themselves well. The pan under the frunk looks a bit shaky though the image is obscured. It would be beneficial to examine his Europa’s underside and thoroughly check its integrity.

The interior is another matter. The upholstery is shredded, there are instrument panel vacancies, the door cards are missing, the carpet is pretty gross, and the instrument gauges are cloudy. Besides the dirt, the entire environment appears to be moldy. Some of the missing parts may be available as there is an image of odds and ends that should go with the sale. The seller mentions that rewiring will be a necessity

Power is provided by a Renault sourced 1.6 liter, in-line four-cylinder engine known as a model 807. Power for this North American version is rated at either 83 or 87 HP – the research is not clear. The engine is not seized as it does turnover but it appears to be a non-runner. I find this a peculiar approach to a sale – if the engine turns over, why not try to start it? Running shape would beneficially help with the sale. Being of a mid-engine architecture, there is a four-speed manual transaxle affixed to the rear of the engine.

All told there were almost 9,900 Europas produced over its ten-year run. Our subject car, being an S2 version, is one of 4,300 assembled. So, the Europa is not exactly rare and we have featured many on Barn Finds. What’s a good deal and what’s not? It’s hard to say because the condition runs the entire gambit from poor to nice. While I have familiarity with MG and Triumph two-seaters I know very little about Lotus’ Europa. That being the case, does anyone have a Europa story that they would like to share?


WANTED 1972 Yamaha G7S (80cc) These are now referred to as “cafe racers”, although we never heard of such a term in 1972. Contact

WANTED 1968-1977 Ford Bronco Have all their parts. Running engine or rust free not necessary. Prefer southern US Contact

WANTED 1988-1989 Chrysler Conquest TSI Wanted. Prefer Red. Will travel nationwide for vehicle. Contact

WANTED 1950 Oldsmobile 2 dr coupe Super 88 rust free and running Contact

WANTED 1970 Dodge Super Bee 4 speed, coupe preferred but nego., 383 or 440. Willing to pick up in lower 48. Contact

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  1. Ralph

    These were cool cars. But the ask on this obviously neglected example is comparable to the 32K Mustangs and Camaros we see for sale all the time.
    Thanks but no thanks.

    Like 9
  2. Booster McHoot

    Overpriced, methinks, for such ratty condition. Take the best offer!

    Like 9
  3. SOREL

    very interesting car but that asking price is miles beyond the interior condition, I hope the seller’s serious about “OBO”

    Like 6
  4. Mikefromthehammer

    Back in the Seventies, I really loved the look of the Europa. My tastes have definitely changed, as I currently abhor the look.

    Like 3
  5. bobhess bobhess Member

    Great $2,000 project if the frame’s not rusted. We bought 2 running S2s around 2010/11 and paid $1,500 each for them. Good interiors etc. Think maybe seller’s been sitting in the car with the windows rolled up too long.

    Like 8
  6. Derek

    Oooo, looks like an 850 T5 wagon parked out the front….

    Like 2
  7. Vance

    Is there an uglier car in existence, maybe the Pontiac Aztek, never saw a car as hideous as this. Have at it.

    Like 4
  8. JoeNYWF64

    Vance, have you seen what Curt(Dreyfuss) is driving in “American Grafitti”? lol
    Scroll to the bottom …
    I’m trying to think of another car like this Lotus that has the tailites completely BELOW the bumper.
    2 door mirrors are missing, which this car desparately needs – lane changes would not be fun at all w/o them.
    I just don’t understand at all why those “vent” windows here(& on other older European cars) are so big & do not even swing open.

    Like 2
  9. Milt

    BarnFinds and BAT listings frequently include notation to the effect “…parked for 10 years…”, Who cares, how does this add to to value of the car being listed?

    Like 4
    • DavidL Member

      I always take it as a warning though would need to know if it was parked in a garage or in a field of course.

      Like 1
  10. Howie Mueler

    I had a 69 many years ago, fun car. But the seller is dreaming at that price!!

    Like 3
  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    Joe. The other car you are thinking of is the later XKEs, which in fact is the same light on the Europas. When we had ours the taillights were almost impossible to find. Think someone is reproducing them now, which figures since we don’t need them now.

    Like 3
  12. Joe

    I would bid on it maybe 2500

    Like 1
  13. Vance

    Joe, yeah that Citroen is pretty bad, but the French gave us beautiful women, perfume, and the guillotine, which should be used on the people who design their automobiles.

    Like 1
  14. Tort Member

    Should be parked out of sight for another ten years. That will give someone time to remove the back half of the body and come up with a design that would have to be better than what it has now.

    Like 1
  15. Frank

    Wrong engine needs the twin cam engine. Great vintage race car and at least you don’t see yourself on the road all the time. Corvettes their like belly buttons everyone has had one at some point in their life including me.

  16. John Hatch Member

    The condition of the interior and the stated need for “re-wiring” indicate that it was home to at least one generation of rodents. And that’s probably has a lot to do with why they can’t get it running.
    So it’s a non-runner in need of extensive interior work. And they want how much? They’re dreaming. They’ll be lucky if they get half the asking price, depending on how badly they want it gone.

    Like 1
  17. bobhess bobhess Member

    One thing you folks who call the cars ugly need to know is that Colin Chapman designed this car as a prototype to put up against the Ford GT40 design when Ford was looking to build a Le Mans race car to beat the Ferraris. Obviously the GT40 design won out so Chapman turned it into a street car.

  18. Car Nut Tacoma

    Nice looking car. I’ve always found the Europa the best looking car Lotus offered. As attractive as the Esprit is, I find this way better looking. Assuming parts are still available, I can see this being a good restoration project, or possibly a restomod. I’d keep what I can as stock possible, while also upgrading anything mechanical and performance oriented.

    Like 1
  19. Robt

    Love these Europa. So simple and yet effective on the road. I’d like to think I could afford a winning low ‘obo’! But my daily driver is on for tranny and multiple other needs at the moment.
    Will be interesting to see what it actually moves for if it does move. Unfortunately with cl ads that’s a challenge because the ad will just disappear and that’s it.

  20. Jasper

    Generally, people who say these are so ugly have never stood next to one and really gave it a good looking over to appreciate its size. Only comes up to about your belt. The deck seems high because everything else is so low. And it needed that height even for its modest engine. I get them. Not built to show off to your friends, but to show off to your self. But I really don’t get this price! Like others have said, about ten grand too high for the condition.

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