1974 LOTUS EUROPA SPECIAL
ENGINE 1558cc/4-cyl/DOHC POWER 126bhp@6500rpm TORQUE 113lb ft@5500rpm MAXIMUM SPEED 127mph 0-60MPH 6.6sec FUEL CONSUMPTION 20-24mpg TRANSMISSION RWD, four-speed man MoT 12 months from sale ODOMETER 19,249 miles WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? BODYWORK CHECK HOW’S THE INTERIOR?
wheel and matching door cards and fitted carpet overmats.
UNDER THE BONNET
Opening up the engine bay reveals very few blemishes, though the exhaust is slightly rusty. Mid-engined cars handle well but can suffer from poor access, but getting to this car’s motor is surprisingly easy. The engine appears to be in fine health, though it smells a little rich on start-up. There are no signs of rust in the chassis (the body may be glass fibre but the chassis is steel) and no leaks from the engine or rearmounted gearbox.
THE CCW VIEW
There are one or two potential drawbacks to this car – a lack of service history and being lefthand drive chief among them – but this Lotus Europa is in generally exellent condition and could make a potentially good investment for overseas buyers in particular, given the current state of the pound against the euro. If you can live with the steering wheel being on the ‘wrong’ side, though, this would be a great car to own here in the UK. This Europa, first registered in New York, has spent most of its life in the US and drives just like a sub-20k mile Lotus should – though that mileage can’t be verified. It fires promptly and idles smoothly with no hunting at just over 1000rpm once it’s warmed through. It handles beautifully and soaks up road imperfections with surprising delicacy for such a focused, low-slung sports car. There are no misfires from the 1558cc ‘big valve’ Lotus engine and it pulls sweetly through the taut gearbox. The gearbox itself feels strong and all gears – including reverse – select easily and cleanly, but the short throw takes a little getting used to. You have to change gear with your right hand though, because it’s a left-hooker. This might put some buyers off, but is reflected in the asking price. some minor swirls but the black is deep and the gold pinstriping excellent. The wheels are in good condition and shod with matching Dunlop tyres. The interior looks to be completely standard. The lowslung seats are supportive and have minimal wear, although they are tricky to get in and out of. The instruments and Sanyo eight-track cassette player work as they should, but there’s a slight creak from the ashtray area – forgivable on a car of this age. The wooden gear knob fits perfectly in the palm of the hand and shows surprisingly little wear and tear. The wooden dashboard is also in fine condition, as are the steering This car doesn’t have a great deal of history but the bodywork looks mostly original. It’s had a repaint at some point – though the history file doesn’t say when – but the paint quality is very good overall. There are