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Lot 082: Lotus Europa Twin Cam

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (16 May 2012)

Launched in 1966, the Lotus Europa was the first mass production, mid-engine road car and was based on a prototype built to compete for a Ford contract to build a LeMans race car in the early 1960s. Exemplifying Colin Chapman's design philosophy of "simplify, then add lightness," it used a minimalist steel backbone chassis while also relying on a low drag fibreglass body for structural strength. Developed in a wind tunnel, this gave the Europa a drag factor of just 0.29 with its long, low roofline and an abrupt rear end inspired by the Ferrari 'Bread Van' racer. The 4-wheel independent suspension was typical of Chapman's thinking, the rear suspension consisting of two relatively large trailing arms, one lower locating link per side, the axles being used as upper locating links, very similar to Formula racing car designs of that era. The resultant astonishing roadholding prompted road testers to describe the Europa as the nearest thing to a race car for the road. The first Series 1 cars were fitted with a modified Renault 16 1,470cc 82bhp engine and a 4-speed gearbox. By 1971 this had given way to a 126bhp Lotus/Ford Twin Cam 1,558cc unit that was good for 060 in 7.0 seconds with a top speed of 125mph. In all, around 9,300 Europas were built between 1966 and 1975. The story behind this wonderful lime green example starts as early as 1967, when the vendor was on a school trip to Sweden. A Europa drove past and from then on he swore he would own one. It was to be 33 years however before this ambition was achieved when he purchased this example in 2000 as a running MOTd example from Banks Europa in Southport. After a short period he decided to undertake a restoration, which grew in scale to the point whereby the body was removed from the chassis. The chassis itself was found to be in excellent condition, so it was duly painted and treated against future corrosion. The brakes, steering and suspension units, including shock absorbers and springs were all replaced along with all new bolts and mounting plates. The drive shafts were also overhauled. A new radiator and heater matrix were also fitted during the build up. The engine work was entrusted to Banks, who rebuilt the bottom end and fitted new pistons etc. Photographs and invoices show the work carried out in detail, outlining a thorough and comprehensive restoration. A professional re-spray in the original green plus a new windscreen and much interior trim has bought the car back into superb condition. Since completion the vendor is finding that he is only using it for some 500 miles each year and would like it to go to someone who will have more time to enjoy it.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number082
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£12800
Year1972
Condition rating
Registration numberAAJ 700K
Mileage-
Chassis number1569P
Engine numberV26591
Engine capacity (cc)1558
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors