Ready To Run! 1970 Lotus Europa S2

This 1970 Lotus Europa S2 has led a recent life on the track and is advertised as being one of the only race-ready Europas in the USA. It’s listed for sale here on craigslist and is located on the west side of Los Angeles, California. The car isn’t inexpensive with a $25,000 asking price but if you have ever prepared a car for serious racing that probably doesn’t sound too bad.

The car in its current form is set up for the vintage E-Production class. The lightweight racing Panasport wheels look terrific and I appreciate the generally clean appearance of the car. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Roger for submitting this find!

I included this photo just because I loved it–it looks like the cover for a calendar! If you are only familiar with the later Europas powered by the Lotus “Twin Cam” engine, you may not be aware that the first two generations of Europa were powered by modified Renault engines.

Here’s a picture of the S2 in action! The car has received extensive race preparation, including:

  • ATL 5-gallon fuel cell
  • Roll cage
  • Fire suppression system
  • Full belly pan made of resin-coated, aircraft-grade spruce
  • Carbon race seat
  • A second fiberglass passenger seat (not installed at the moment)

The engine has also received some love! The engine was recently built by Claudius Renault and only has 2 hours of track time. It has forged Carillo pistons and rods, steel sleeves in the block and a custom mild race cam. The engine has 10.5:1 compression with the intent of a long racing life. You can see the two Weber DCOE 45s in this shot and the electronic 123 Ignition distributor. What you can’t see is the aluminum flywheel and that the engine was tuned on a dyno by Ed Pink Racing Engines to deliver 143hp at the wheels! If you want to go vintage racing and fit comfortably into a Europa, you aren’t going to find many better cars than this one!

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  1. Air Boss

    I was a press-fit in a Europa in 1977 and the headroom hasn’t gotten any better. Quick cars, though, especially when set up with a little rear toe-out for throttle-lift turn-in.

    Like 1
  2. Bruce

    Most definitely not the original engine as this is a Renault Hemi Engine from a Fuego or R-17/18 of some kind. I can bet it is quick. In racing form the weight should be under 1000 pounds it would be interesting to see what happens as most people will not fit with a helmet as required.

    Like 1
  3. paul

    Now I had a 73 Europa Spl, was 225, & 5’11” and if I auto crossed had a helmet on with no problem.

    Like 1
  4. Spence

    Hi there, I’m the owner of the car. I’ve been meaning to take some proper pictures and update the CG ad but have been battling the flu for the last week. Regarding driver height, I’m 5’11” and am OK. Travis, the 6’1″ (and rounder than me) editor of Road&Track drove it and was pretty well shoehorned in. Regarding engine, the original for these cars was a non-cross flow version that has to be stretched to the limit to produce competitive power. Though not original to the production car, many Europas in period were raced with these cross-flows (similar to the Alpine A110’s engine), and some European dealers actually offered the cross-flow as an option.

    Like 8
    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Palmer Staff

      Spence, thanks for chiming in and providing some more information!

      Like 2
    • bog

      Spence – lovely car..if only. What’s the “deaI” with the title ? I’m sure others will want to know too…I had a new ’68 Euro version purchased in Germany. In British Racing Green (or the equivalent). I was just under 6’4″ and 215 or so, in Army trim, and fit just fine once in. Much more flexible then…though I’m now 3 inches shorter. Funny things aging does to the body. Again, very lovely car and lots more power than my little stock Renault four-pot. I loved embarrassing the guys with Elans, GTVs, and other small sports cars on twisty Bavarian roads. Great car and memories !

      • Air Boss

        With a helmet on?

  5. Air Boss

    6′ 4″ not so much

    Like 1
    • bog

      Air Boss – (see above) I fit.

    • bog

      Air Boss – never tried that…only helmet I had with me was a steel pot & saw no reason to drive with that on. I suppose I could have tried wearing my tank commanders helmet, which was as big or bigger than a racing helmet…My fellow officers would have really gotten a “charge” out of that !

  6. JagManBill

    Interesting this has S1 tail lights.
    Nice prep. I just sold my 70 S2 – -$200 bit of a project (ok, a lot more than a bit;) but this is where I was headed. Air Boss – I’m 6’3 and fit in an S2 without too much difficulty. If you are taller and want to drive a Europa, you need a TC. They are equipped with just a few inches of extra room

    Like 1
  7. Air Boss

    The 1977 ride was an SCCA DP Renault-powered Europa, so the format was as prescribed by the regs and a close press-fit!

  8. 86_Vette_Convertible

    Those are some of the strangest rear view mirrors IMO, having not seen anything quite like that before. Don’t think I’d fit in it, so nothing to think about or consider.

    • Air Boss

      Classic 1970s sports racer mirrors and mounts. The Europa is so low, you have to get the mirrors up to be able to see anything more than the sills and tire contact patches of cars behind you.

      Like 1
      • 86_Vette_Convertible

        Thanks for the info. I figured they were shop made for whatever reason. I’ve not seen anything quite like it before.

  9. Dave at OldSchool Restorations

    Race ready…?? ……… for what Group … what Logbook(s) come with it ???? and who and when did the last Tech Inspection ???

  10. Gordon D.

    I owned a 70 S2 back in the 70s early 80s, it was my daily commuter and weekend fun drive. I’m 6’2′ about 210, never had a problem fitting in the drivers seat back then. Bending and twisting to get in and out now might be an issue though.

    Like 2

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