Lotus Europa 1.6 Twin-Cam 1971 sold for £13,780 at the April 25th Classic Car Auction
Very rare to find one like this with the original chassis, engine and body; the matching numbers are confirmed by a certificate of vehicle provenance from the Lotus Factory. This also states that the original colour is the current Cardinal red and that the car left the factory with the optional alloy wheels and Maserati air horns. The car has recently undergone an expensive refurbishment with the body repainted and new original alloy wheels and tyres fitted along with a replacement interior to original specifications together with fresh seat belts, anchorages and windscreen. Mechanically the car is excellent with recently reconditioned front brake callipers, new Goodridge hoses and copper pipes and a replacement rear radius arm. Comes with the original handbook and receipts for the recent work. Can only be described as outstanding throughout.
Estimated sale price: £14,000 – £16,000
Sold for £13,780.
Additional information on the Lotus Europa
“In 1971, the Type 74 Europa Twin Cam was made available to the public, with a 105 bhp 1557cc Lotus-Ford Twin Cam engine (105 bhp US “Federal” emission standard emissions control version with Stromberg carbs, until the end of production) and a re-designed bodyshell to improve rearward visibility. Initially with the same gearbox as the earlier cars, once the supply had been exhausted in 1972 a new stronger Renault 4-speed gearbox (Type 352) was introduced. Mike Kimberley, who rose to become chief executive of Group Lotus, then a new engineer at Lotus, was appointed Chief Engineer of the Europa TC project. 1,580 cars were shipped as Europa “Twin Cam” before Lotus switched to a 126 bhp “Big Valve” version of the engine The “Europa Special” version aspirated by Dell’Orto carburettors version of the same engine; in addition to offering a new Renault 5-speed (Type 365) gearbox option. It weighed 740 kg (1631 lb), Motor magaxine famously tested a UK Special to a top speed of 123 mph (198 km/h), did 0–60 mph in 6.6 seconds, and ran the 1/4 mile in 14.9 sec. This at a time when all road tests were carried out with both a driver and passenger, with only the driver on board the 0–60 mph time would have been well under 6 seconds, a phenomenal performance for the period. Introduced in September 1972 the first 100 big valve cars were badged and painted to honour the just won Team Lotus’s 1972 F1 World Championship title with John Player Special as sponsors, all with 5 speed gearbox, these were all black with gold pin stripe matching the livery of the GP cars – plus a numbered JPS dash board badge, becoming the first ever John Player Special commemorative motor vehicles. The “Special” name and colour scheme was planned to be dropped after the first 200 cars, reverting to the Twin Cam name, but such was the reaction to the new car that the name and pin stripe scheme remained until the end of Europa Production although colours other than black were made available. In the end only the numbered plaque distinguishing the first 100 JPS cars from other black Europa Specials. In total 4710 Type 74’s were produced of which 3130 were “Specials”.”
“Unlike the fairly conventional-looking Elan, though, the Europa was like nothing seen before. About seven inches lower than a Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray yet sporting broad vertical sail panels behind the passenger compartment, the Europa resembled a panel truck that had been stepped on after it rear-ended a platypus. The strange body was very aerodynamic — with a drag coefficient of 0.29 — and directed air to the mid-mounted engine through the rear wheel wells. The powertrain, a 1470-cc four-cylinder and its transaxle, came from the petite Renault R16 but was tweaked for more power and rotated 180 degrees to drive the rear wheels.”