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Recordspinner
Recordspinner New Reader
2/21/24 1:08 p.m.

Maybe it's just me, but why are there so may people selling old Lotus Europa bodies? Never really heard of this car before, and why don't I ever see a complete car? Not really a forum regular, so sorry if it's an obvious answer.

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
2/21/24 1:31 p.m.

I've noticed this too, at least in the midwest. My running theory is that the chassis rusts but the body doesn't, and they also had a tendency to have engine fires if I remember right. There are reasons to separate the body and frame, and then they stay separated because project car and eventually get sold off and passed around. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/24 1:34 p.m.

  Very few people fit in them.

 

I saw a beautiful twin cam for sale on eBay with a buy it now of $8000... the guy said he was selling it because he bought it sight unseen and found that, at 5'10, he was too tall to drive it.

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/21/24 1:35 p.m.

the ones for sale recently,minus the one I'm selling, did in fact have the chassis, just wasn't listed in the ad. Mine has no chassis because it came with a special chassis from a company called Spyder and I sold it separately.

 

 You can buy new chassis from Banks in England

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/21/24 1:36 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I fit in at 6'2" I just have to size down on my shoes lol. Barefoot or driving shoes only if I want to press one pedal at a time

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/24 1:44 p.m.
gixxeropa said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Barefoot or driving shoes only if I want to press one pedal at a time

This was how it was for me when I tried to fit into a Lotus Elise. The manual even specifies that the driver must wear driving shoes. I normally wear US size 12s and can squeeze into 11.5s.

Edit: That was an early S2 for reference. Headroom was similar to my AE92, which is a bit less than a Toyobaru, and more than a stock NB.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/21/24 5:32 p.m.
gixxeropa said:

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I fit in at 6'2" I just have to size down on my shoes lol. Barefoot or driving shoes only if I want to press one pedal at a time

So you're saying I should have bought it, then

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/21/24 6:42 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

No one should buy them, the price needs to stay low so I can continue to hoard them

I think a lot of old-timers remember when they were new cars, and always dreamed of hot-rodding one.  They buy into project cars then find out how much work it is to finish.  Then they age out, or have to move.

I'm still one of those dreamers.

In my plan to make the fit better I planned to just pour a foam seat like I do in all the formula cars.   Lots of room if you remove the stock seat.  wink

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/21/24 7:34 p.m.

Yeah I'm probably just gonna pour a seat in mine, get an extra inch or two of head room. Everything's roomy in comparison to my F600 though

With my tube chassis idea, it being a single seat in the middle, no tunnel, and no need to keep original front bulkhead... it gets downright roomy.   LOL

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
2/21/24 9:23 p.m.

The metal frames degrade from rust but the all fiberglass body lives on indefinately. 

Everyone thinks to themselves, "I'll just build another frame."

 

Have you ever seen how minimalist the "frame" is?  Yes, frame in quotes because all the impact zones are just fiberglass.  They are more of a boat-like construction than they are a car-like construction.  

 

Original frame sample:

Self built frame example:

The concept back then was you were simply not supposed to hit anything.   LOL

We were driving VW bugs and worse; VW kombis with one piece of sheetmetal between your feet and whatever you hit.

Skobie
Skobie Reader
2/21/24 10:19 p.m.

Why does the sketchiness of this frame make we want one more than before I saw how sketchy it was?​​​​

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
2/21/24 10:27 p.m.
Purple Frog (Forum Supporter) said:

I think a lot of old-timers remember when they were new cars, and always dreamed of hot-rodding one.  They buy into project cars then find out how much work it is to finish.  Then they age out, or have to move.

I'm still one of those dreamers.

In my plan to make the fit better I planned to just pour a foam seat like I do in all the formula cars.   Lots of room if you remove the stock seat.  wink

Not really...

The Europa seat doesn't have a frame holding it up off the floor.  It's basically already the equivalent of a foam seat on the floor.

You'll gain a little bit, but you won't have "lots of room".

Kreb (Forum Supporter)
Kreb (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/21/24 10:54 p.m.

I'm 5'-10" and the Europa that I climbed into made me feel like the belly gunner on a B-17. I've heard that the S-2 is better than the S-1, but don"t know if that's true. 

gixxeropa
gixxeropa GRM+ Memberand Reader
2/21/24 11:46 p.m.

Twin cam is also different than the s2, more upright. I haven't sat in a S1 but at 6'2" and 220 I fit in both, with maybe a bit more head room in the twin cam. Taking the seat out does actually make a good bit more room. you can use that to increase the layback angle by keeping your butt a bit further forward and putting your back against the firewall, which helps the head room. Along with the inch or  two you gain from getting rid of the seat and cushion under you

dannyp84
dannyp84 HalfDork
2/22/24 10:33 a.m.

If I'm not mistaken, don't the trailing arms bolt to the engine block? So if it doesn't come with an engine, your suspension is also disconnected.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE UltraDork
2/22/24 10:59 a.m.

I've seen some custom cars- Casey Putsch's Omega coming to mind- where they don't actually have seats, but rather build the seat into the frame itself and use seat parts to alter things like lumbar support or move the pedals for different heights.

I know someone here made their Europa with a Toyota 2GR V6. 1800lbs with a ~275 HP engine sounds ludicrous.

RoddyMac17
RoddyMac17 Reader
2/22/24 11:12 a.m.

Clifton built one of the V6 Europa's, the other is machinenbau.  I built (and still have) the Zetec one pictured above, and it has more than enough power.

But back to the original question, why just bodies, mostly because the chassis and rear trailing arms turn to rust.  I still have the original chassis for my car, but it's bent and perforated in all the wrong spots.  Buying a new chassis can be expensive as there's no one on this side of the pond making them, but if you search hard enough (there's a few chassis files on the web) and know CAD, you could probably get someone like Send Cut Send cut and bend all the bits to make one.  You would have to weld it up yourself.  Or, do what I did and build a chassis similar to what Spyder and Banks offer.

mainlandboy
mainlandboy HalfDork
2/22/24 3:15 p.m.
dannyp84 said:

If I'm not mistaken, don't the trailing arms bolt to the engine block? So if it doesn't come with an engine, your suspension is also disconnected.

I'm not sure about the lateral control arms, but based on the photo earlier in the thread, the trailing arms don't appear to:

RoddyMac17
RoddyMac17 Reader
2/22/24 4:28 p.m.

The trailing arms bolt to rubber bushings bolted to the chassis. The half shafts are used as the upper link in the rear suspension with lower links bolting to the underside of the gearbox with a bracket.  Suspension loads are put through the engine/gearbox combo. 

wspohn
wspohn UltraDork
2/22/24 6:47 p.m.

Love the cars!

I had made a deal for a Europa Twin Cam but when I went to try the car, while I could carefully fold my 5' 10" hefty frame into ot, and could have driven it, there was no way on Earth that I could exit the car short of crawling carefully out on my hands and knees, which I felt would be a bit infra dig especially with other people around as well as uncomfortable on a rainy day!

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/22/24 6:52 p.m.

Legend has it that the head engineer for the Esprit was 6'6 and designed it with enough interior room that he could drive it because he was tired of his company making cars that he couldn't drive.

j_tso
j_tso Dork
2/22/24 7:06 p.m.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

Perhaps Peter Stevens did it for the redesign, but Edd China barely fits even with the seat removed.

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