Monday, December 1, 2014

15k: Safety Cone Orange: 1972 Lotus Europa S2

The Lotus Europa was an oddly shaped sports car from Lotus, that combined mid-engined driving pleasure with an oddly high rear end that looks almost like a pickup bed or maybe a boat deck made from fiberglass.  The reason for the odd shape is because the driver sits so low that the inline mounted engine/transaxle is above and behind the seated driver's shoulders.  The resulting car, although oddly proportioned in the rear, is a absolute pleasure to drive.  Find this 1972 Lotus Europa S2 here on craigslist, offered for $16,000 in Bronxville, NY.  Tip from FuelTruck.

This Europa is a series 2 (S2) version and as such has a number of notable improvments, the most important being the use of threaded fasteners to attach the fiberglass body to the space frame instead of the epoxy resin of the early cars.  The S2 also added power windows, adjustable seats and a new wood dash set.  This one looks really nice in the photos provided and the seller indicates that it is being offered for sale for the first time...which begs the question as to how the current owner got the car in the first place?

Image from
For North American version of the S2 Europa, Lotus used a Renault 16TL inline-4 that displaces 1.6 liters and pushes 80 hp into the rear mounted transaxle.  Performance isn't much to brag about today (0-60mph in about 9.5 seconds) but it feels fast with your backside only inches from the pavement. 

See orange colored cone crusher?


  1. the only photo not at least 1 year old is the speedo one. . . that coupled with the attitude in the ad would mean pass

  2. "This is an automotive work of art
    And baffles even those who are in the know"

    Arrogance- When you are better than others, it’s best to let them know in no
    uncertain terms so that they won’t embarrass themselves by
    questioning your decisions and actions

  3. The Lotus Europa has a great face for radio....

    - The Average Bear

  4. Like the design, dig on the color, closest thing to a road legal vintage race car you can drive. Feels like a formula car. 1400 pounds of pure rat poison.

    Note the amount of camber in the RR and compare it with the LR. I personally guarantee the RR hub carrier, bearing, yoke and slip joint are completely knackered, and it's likely the LR is on the way.

    Among Chapman's failings was an inability to build things solidly. The bearing carriers are too thin and stretch, allowing side loads to work the bearing in the carrier. Many claim the bearing spacer is at fault due to not being hardened or negligent owners not maintaining hub torque, but the design is simply not robust enough. Figure on $1500 in upgraded parts to permanently fix both sides (doing the work yourself), or about half that to half-ass it with a mix of new and old, which will put you back where you started after 5-10k miles. But those miles will be a blast!

  5. "the only photo not at least 1 year old is the speedo one"
    It has this year's inspection stickers in the photos, and what speedo photo?

    Love the color and original wheels


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