89 210 KM
- 55432 Miles showing
- Power plant upgraded to the modern user-friendly Toyota silver top 1600cc twin cam.
- Recent full respray and mechanical refurbishment.
- A lightweight Colin Chapman masterpiece.
- Multiple Knysna Hillclimb Classic Friday participant.
The Lotus Europa name is used on two distinct mid-engined GT coupé 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 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 coefficient 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.
The Europa Series 2, or Lotus Type 54, was introduced in April 1968 (approximately chassis number 0645 onwards). The S2 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 fibreglass body to the backbone steel frame. While reducing the torsional and flexural stiffness somewhat, the use of a separable body was welcomed by the automotive insurance industry as it greatly reduced the complexity and cost of making repairs to the vehicle.
Early examples of the S2 were externally almost identical to the S1 with the exception of the new windows. From early 1969, secondary front indicator lamp nacelles were added between the headlights, and larger door handles were used in place of the S1’s push-button items. During 1968 a number of Europas (and Elans) were produced bearing black-and-silver Lotus badges on the nose and steering wheel in place of the customary yellow-and-green ones.
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