Restoration Candidate: 1972 Lotus Europa Twin Cam

From 1966 to 1975, Lotus produced the Europa, which was a unique and lightweight mid-engine sports car. The company created various Europa models, with this 1972 Lotus Europa Twin Cam that’s available here on eBay seeming like a good starting point for a project.

This Lotus is available in Oceanside, New York with a clean title. The seller doesn’t provide a ton of details on the sports car, but mentions that it is a complete specimen that should see a restoration.

From the provided pictures, this Europa has plenty of potential. There is minor surface rust on the frame, and though the exterior paint is still very luminous, it would benefit from some paintwork.

On the inside of the vehicle, you’ll find a white and red color theme. The seller notes that it could use some TLC, but doesn’t specify further.

Under the hood, you’ll find a 1.6-liter dual overhead cam 4-cylinder engine, which pairs to a 4-speed manual transmission to drive the rear wheels. The drivetrain has 51,000 miles on it, and while the engine spins, it does not start on its own.

Bidding for this Europa is at $5,500 with the reserve not met, and the seller claims that this vehicle will be worth approximately $25,000-$30,000 when restored. Do you think this project Lotus is worth taking on?


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  1. Bear

    This looks pretty presentable as is.
    I wish the Seller would have provided more information as to WHY he feels that it “needs restoration”.
    IF I ASSUME that it was a running/driving car that has just been sitting idle for a while, it might just need:
    -fresh fluids
    -rebuild carbs
    -service the brakes
    -new tires
    -address the “surface rust” on the frame
    -touch up the exterior paint
    -clean the interior
    -address any remaining “gremlins” that might crop up.
    The Seller would be well advised to provide more details, as the cost of a full restoration & rebuild of all of the mechanical items would be SIGNIFICANTLY MORE than the cost just addressing “wake up from non-use” items.
    Without knowing the details a Buyer would be well advised to assume the worst & hope for the best, but base their bid aligned with the worst case scenario.
    Given this, it is very likely that the Seller is going to be leaving $$$ on the table. (…or end up with a “Reserve Not Met” at the auction’s conclusion.) :-/

    Like 8
    • Bear

      More pictures would have been nice too.
      (Especially of the underside, including the “minor surface rust” on the frame.)

      Like 4
    • Jeremy

      Well said, Bear. His idea of needing a “restoration “may be totally different from someone else’s, such as a potential bidder. Lack of details costs sellers so many sales, i’m sure…

      Like 3
    • Paul

      You can be sure there is not surface rust on the body, LOL

      Like 3
  2. Mike Hawke

    Oceanside NY = Hurricane Sandy

    Like 1
  3. SquirrelyGig

    Not that it has anything to do w/ the current auction & since now days anything seems possible w/ cars, but being from Washington State, I couldn’t help but notice that the plates & pictures are from here in Washington. Including the plate on the ’53 Chevy (Is it? Feel free to educate me.) in the back ground of one of the photos. It appears the Lotus was last tagged in WA. in ’09?
    Just an observation that intrigued me since the car is advertised in NY.
    By the way, neat car too!

    Like 4
    • grant

      Noticed the same thing, old pictures from a different state. With what someone mentioned about the hurricanes, it makes me wonder if the seller is obfuscating a bit.

      Like 2
  4. Mike

    The only thing that bugs me about these cars is the optical illusion of the top chrome piece of the side windows that make it look like it’s sagging.

    Like 2
  5. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    How could you drive this thing with no mirrors or rear view cameras?

    • Paul

      The car did come with mirrors on both sides when new, This is one of the thing that need to be done

      Like 1
  6. Triumph Fanatic


    Like 1
    • Paul

      I bought new a 73 Europa Spl a JPS (021) never had a serious problem, maybe they were starting to get there act together, in fact I has sold my 69 GT 6+ because that was all I needed was when Lotus put Twin Cam in the Europa

      Like 2
  7. Chris Richter

    Looks like a decent car. As a 34 year owner, the $25-30k the estimate seems pretty optimistic. This one seems to sit very nose high, perhaps a victim of the US bumper and headlight regulation of the time. The twin cam can be relatively pricey to overhaul if it needs anything more than to just be re-awakened. I have always found the cars to be easy to work on, parts are relatively simple and available if you have the cross reference list. A blast to drive. Contrary to others views there is enough room inside for my 6’4″ frame, though getting in and out has become more of a challenge as I age.

    Like 2
  8. tonywa28 Member

    Engine compartment looks pretty original except for air cleaners, so that is a decent sign that the engine may not be molested (even has the original cross over pipes!). Interior is non-stock in many ways (dash and consoles colors, carpet colors etc). As mentioned there are no outside mirrors which I know are required for this vehicle (lots of blind spots by rear pillars and sail panels. wonder which gearbox it has (336 or 356). Brake boosters are likely an issue. Paint looks decent, but has some issues in “mouth” and may not be as good in person. Has correct wheels.

    The restored prices numbers are not unheard of, but it would cost a lot of money, time and effort to get this car to that level. It could probably be a really good weekend runner if there 1) no frame issues, 2) no head issues 3) no water pump issues (a good candidate for why it was parked), 4) you can live with the interior as is. Super fun cars, but fragile and have many niggling problems. I’ve had several of these…. restoring one right now… the wiring harness is on my kitchen table…. yes, still married, but that relatoinship, like Europas, is fragile too…

    Like 2
  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:Nov 06, 2019 , 2:56PM
    Current bid:US $6,500.00[ 38 bids ]

  10. Del

    Another non runner and owner thinks he has the Crown Jewels

    Like 1
  11. Simon reid

    I did bid on this but was outbid at the last second – reserve not met anyway

    No response from the seller which stopped me really going for it

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