1973 Lotus Europa Is Today’s Bring a Trailer Pick

1973 lotus europa twin cam special

  • With a willing twin-cam engine mounted amidships, the first generation Europa is the ancestor of the beloved Elise.
  • It’s also incredibly small and light, as are all the best Lotuses.
  • A well-preserved California car recently mechanically refreshed, this Lotus is ready for its next driver.

Nearly every exotic sports car these days is mid-engine, and for good reason. Locating the heaviest part of the car near its center allows for better handling and off-the-line traction—it’s why the C8 Corvette adopted the layout to hunt down Porsches—and the results are even more evident in racing machines. In the 1960s, Lotus built several winning mid-engine F1 cars and the first mid-engine Indy 500 winner. The obvious thing to do was bring that race-proved technology to the street.

1973 lotus europa twin cam special side

Today’s auction pick at Bring A Trailer (which, like Car and Driver, is part of Hearst Autos) is a classic combination of Lotus simplicity and ingenuity, a 1973 Lotus Europa. Finished in blue with gold pinstripes with a black vinyl interior, it’s smaller than one of Shaquille O’Neal’s shoes, yet is hummingbird-quick on its feet and powered by a fizzy twin-cam engine. Although its looks may be more of an acquired taste than those of the lithe Elan, the Europa is pure elemental Lotus at its best.

1973 lotus europa twin cam special rear

Originally, the Europa was intended only for the European market, as evidenced by its name. It was first powered by a 1.5-liter Renault engine with just 82 horsepower, but its combination of boxed steel backbone chassis and fiberglass construction kept the curb weight to under 1500 pounds. Simplify, and add lightness.

Better yet, add a twin-cam 1.6-liter Ford four-cylinder engine. That’s what powered later models, like this 1973 example. This engine is freshly rebuilt with twin Zenith-Stromberg carbs, an aftermarket header and exhaust, and slightly (0.030-inch) over-bored pistons. When new, in U.S. federalized form, this engine would have made just over 110 horsepower, and it might be making slightly more in this application.

1973 lotus europa twin cam special engine

In a car this light, that’s plenty. Despite skinny 185-series Kumho Solus tires out back, this little Lotus will really scoot.

You a buy a Lotus for its handling, and there’s more good news on that front, with a comprehensive overhaul of the front and rear suspension and fresh bushings for the steering rack. This car reportedly was stored from 1985 until 2021 in California, which kept the delicate chassis intact. It was then mechanically recommissioned to bring it back to former glory. There are a few cosmetic issues here and there, such as tears in the seats, but overall, someone has helpfully done all the work needed. This Europa just needs a driver.

1973 lotus europa twin cam special interior

While the driving experience will be nothing like a modern mid-engine car, it’d be hard to touch this 43-inch high Lotus for pure delight. Hear the twin-carbs honking away behind your head, feed that manual steering into a corner, and murmur a silent prayer of thanks to Colin Chapman for his signature ethos.

Related Posts

The Volkswagen BUG: A Stunning Fusion of Diverse Design Elements

Discover the extraordinary and futuristic Volkswagen BUG | RWB Brasil – Senna concept designed by Robert Design, a creation that pushes the boundaries of automotive innovation. This remarkable concept is constructed from a blend of different model lines, …

McLaren Supercar Transformed into Rolling Art with Psychedelic Paint Job

If you’re often losing your car in the superмarket car park, how about this? A McLaren MP4-12C has Ƅecoмe the world’s fastest piece of artwork after a tuning firм gaʋe it a £90,000 мulti-coloured мakeoʋer. The British-Ƅuilt supercar, which retails at …

The Gunther Werks Turbo: The $1 Million Car That’s Truly Worth It

A million dollars is so much money for a car. For most regular people, for regular wealthy people, it’s an unfathomable amount for a car. So when people ask me whether anything I’ve driven is “worth” a million dollars or more, how can I even answer that? …

Unveiling the Beast Called Name “The 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Monster Truck”

Unveiling the Powerhouse: 1971 Plymouth Hemi CudaThe Evil One: A 426 or 425 horsepower V-8 engineAs far as muscle vehicles go, the 1971 Plymouth Hemi Cuda is unrivaled. By fusing daring design with legendary horsepower, this masterwork captures the essence …

The 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad: An Iconic Classic Muscle Car

There is no doubt that the 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Nomad exemplifies the essence of American automotive heritage. Built at General Motors’ famed Cleveland, Ohio facility, this two-door station wagon is a throwback to the heyday of the automobile industry …

Get in the Groove for The ICE with the Autobianchi A112 Giovani

Designed as a dune buggy for hedonistic youngsters, the Autobianchi A112 Giovani was Pininfarina’s answer to the Citroën Méhari and Meyers Manx. This weekend, the funky concept car is providing 1970s coolness at The ICE St. Moritz. You might argue that …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *