-70 Lotus Europa S2
The Lotus Europa name is used on two distinct mid-engined GT coupè cars built by Lotus Cars. The original Europa and its variants comprise the Lotus Types 46, 47, 54, 65 and 74, and were produced between 1966 and 1975.
The name was later revived in the Type 121 Europa S, a Lotus Elise-derived design produced from 2006 to 2010.
The Europa concept is believed to have originated during 1963 with drawings done by Ron Hickman, then director of Lotus Engineering, for Lotus' bid for the Ford GT40 racing car project. When that contract was lost to Lola Cars, Chapman chose to use Hickman's highly efficient aerodynamic design, which had a drag coeffecient of only Cd 0.29, as the basis for a new mid-engined production model originally intended to succeed the Lotus 7
By the mid-1960s, the mid-engine vehicle configuration was well-established as the optimal design for Grand Prix cars, however almost no road vehicles yet used this arrangement. Lotus planned the Europa to be a volume-produced, two-seater mid-engined sports coupe built to reasonable cost, quite an ambitious goal for the time. Like all Lotus vehicles of the era, the Europa was designed and built following Chapman's oft-stated philosophy of automotive design: "Simplify, then add lightness". To this end, a number of ingenious design approaches were made by Lotus to allow it to economically overcome the many challenges presented by the novel mid-engined arrangement.
Production of the original Lotus Europa ceased in 1975, with a total of 9,230 cars of all models having been built.
The Europa used a lightweight, folded & welded "minimalist" boxed-steel backbone chassis with a fiberglass moulded body, a combination that was first used by Lotus founder Colin Chapman in the Lotus Elan launched in 1962. Earliest versions of the Europa had the body fully bonded to the chassis for maximum structural stiffness, however this was soon changed to a bolted-on body to allow normal chassis and body repairs to be made. Unlike the Elan, the Europa had no front-mounted engine or gearbox to accommodate, and so the Europa's main chassis member ran straight forward to intersect a large box section cross-beam running across the car between the front suspension points. At the rear, the chassis split into a "Y" shape behind the cabin to accommodate the combined engine, transmission and final-drive components, and to support the rear suspension.
The Series 1 or S1 Europa (also known as Lotus Type 46) was announced for sale to European markets on 20 December 1966. 644 Europa S1s were manufactured
The Europa Series 2 (also known as Lotus Type 54, and later Type 65) was introduced in April 1968. The S2 used the same 1470cc Renault engine and mechanical components as the earlier Series 1, but added a number of key refinements including opening electric windows, adjustable seats, a new fully carpeted interior and a polished wooden fascia panel for the dashboard. The most significant change was the switch from fully bonded construction to the use of bolt fasteners to attach the fiberglass body to the backbone steel frame. In total Lotus produced 3,615 Europa S2s.
“The thing that makes this car so interesting is the aesthetic. It is one of the shapes that encapsulates the look and feel of 1960s England – and the fact that it was George Best’s ride of choice for a while hammers its identity home.”
The car was purchased in USA, and shipped it to Norway in 2014. Except from a few fatigue related cracks in the fiberglass body, there was no damage or rust. The car got a norwegian licence plate and approval the same year, and then the car was disassembled in order to customize the engine, transmission and suspension. Fenders were widened to accommodate the new wheels.
The car is approved as it sits right now; with bigger brakes and wider wheels/fenders.
The list of modifications and upgrades is extensive:
- New molded fenders.
- Repaired cracks in the fiberglass, primed and painted the body.
- New door hinges
- New door gaskets
- New windshield trim
- New headlights
- New rear lights
- New licence plate lights
- New interior light
- New Lotus badges on trunk lid and sides.
- New aluminium radiator
- Restored cooling pipes to radiator.
- New rubber hoses on cooling system
- New radiator fan
- Factory new Ford Zetec 2.0 engine.
- New Omex ITB throttle body kit with ECU adjusted to new 2.0 Zetec, 170 Hp.
- New Retroford BDA cylinder head cover, modified
- Modified oil pan
- New electrical water pump, with ECU.
- New exhaust system
- 5 speed transmission from Renault Espace, mounted to a Europa Twincam clutch housing.
- Rear wheel suspension with new twinlink frame.
- New Porsche dimensioned hub shafts.
- New drive shafts
- New inner hub shafts.
- New CV joints.
- New wheel bearings front and rear.
- New AVO adjustable dampers
- New bushings, rubber and joints in front and rear suspension
- New 19mm stabilizer in the front
- Renovated Wilwood 4-piston front calipers with new 260mm ventilated discs
- New rear calipers with handbrake and new 240mm discs
- New steel braided brake hoses.
- New brake pads
- New Group4wheels rims with Avon tires. 195/45-15 on 8” front, and 245/40-15 on 10” rims rear
- New speedometer
- New tachometer
- New voltmeter gauge
- Restored dashboard
- New fiberglass seats with new covers
- New carpets
- New door covers
- New headliner
- New MOMO steering wheel
- New gear system with wires
- New oil pressure gauge
- New heater valve
- New brake fluid reservoir
- Adjustable pedalbox with new brake cylinders
- New steering rack 1 ¾ turn
- The rear section of the frame is primed with epoxy and painted
- Front and rear trailing arms are sandblasted and painted
- New alternator and bracket
- New starter with modified bracket
- New Vitaloni Californian side mirrors
- New Walbro fuel pump and filter
- New oil catch tank
- New cooling water expansion tank
- New Fidanza aluminium flywheel
- New 240 mm clutch
- Modified engine- and transmission brackets with new rubber
- New battery main switch mounted in the engine compartment, with cable release from center console
- New Spal defroster fan in the coupe.
- Repaired and modified wire harness
- Installed inspection hatch between seats, for easy access to engine service points