Started on April 17 by Winston

1969 Lotus Europa $2009 Challenger


This is my entry for the $2009 Challenge. A couple of weeks back we rolled this 1969 Lotus Europa shell from my friend/neighbor/fellow GRMer modernbeat’s backyard (after removing a section of the fence), down the street, and up into my garage. I knew that Jason had the car tucked away in his backyard and was considering preparing it for some modified class in autocross, so (being a true Lotus nut) I usually asked about it when I saw him. Well, this time the story was a bit different than the last. He had parted out much of the car and was trying to give the shell away! Another local car guy was semi-interested, but had not actually summoned the energy to come and pick up the car. The Europa is not exactly a pretty car, so most people don’t really care for them (general public and my wife included). Add that to the fact that they are still just as expensive to restore as any other Lotus, and you can see why interest in fair or poor examples is tepid at best. Unfortunately, my reaction to even the most derelict Lotus is far from tepid — and I have a soft spot for Europas to boot. So, I offered to rid him of the car just as soon as I finished resurrecting the MR2 Turbo already in my garage. A week later the MR2 fired up (after a 2 year hibernation) and Jason and I rolled the Europa over. The transmission and rear hubs go back to him, however, so the car is technically not even a roller yet. There is no engine or interior. More updates and pics to come, and you will see how truly horrid this car is (so you won’t be crying foul over a free Lotus in the Challenge). What are my plans, you say? Well, they are fairly solid, but in case the deal falls through I don’t want to disclose them just yet.

Latest updates
June 04
Powertrain update

As mentioned, the Mk1 MR2 donor that I went to see really didn’t work out. …

April 19
Donor Car Update

Well, I went to look at the potential donor car today — a 1985 Toyota …

April 17
More Europa pics 3

Engine bay. Again, the transmission, drive axles, and hubs are all going back to the …

April 17
More Europa pics 2

Interior” — not much left.

April 17
More Europa pics

Side shot.

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April 17, 2009, 12:37 p.m.

Limitless possibilities. Hope to see you at the Challenge!

April 17, 2009, 12:43 p.m.

I wish I could get an Europa...even in that condition. Looking forward to seeing the progress.

April 17, 2009, 12:47 p.m.

I hope to see myself at the Challege too, Tom! Admittedly, it's pretty late to be starting on a $2009 car in this condition. Evan, I've passed on a couple of Europas (this one included) in the past and regretted it both times. Pretty happy to have one now, and equally happy to be working on a Challenge car after wishing and spectating for nine (!) years.

April 17, 2009, 1:17 p.m.

Sweeeeeeet! Good luck with that build.

April 17, 2009, 4:36 p.m.

That interior looks small enough when it's empty. Imagine it with actual seats and stuff, and then imagine how boggled I was when I saw two adult humans and an Old English Sheepdog in one. This actually happened, in front of Trinity College, University of Toronto, in about 1975. I believe the Europa was a JPS, but to be honest I was mostly trying to get my mind around the idea of the dog.

April 17, 2009, 5:24 p.m.

Nice. cant wait fir the updates!

April 17, 2009, 5:41 p.m.

step 1: remove bodies from MR2 turbo and Europa. step 2: swap. step 3: win peoples choice at challenge.

April 17, 2009, 5:52 p.m.

fancy shmancy.. a lotus. well played.

April 17, 2009, 11:12 p.m.

Nice car, a friend had one of these when I was just a kid. Hope to see you in Gainesville.

April 17, 2009, 11:43 p.m.

"The Europa is not exactly a pretty car,," Bite your tongue, sir! Of course, I like redheads and girls with big butts, too...<g>

May 28, 2009, 12:10 a.m.

Well, I've gotten rid of two Europas. One was a gem for $100 and the other was this donor that I had a hard time giving away. As bad as it looked, parts off this one kept three others on the road, and another one on the track. Winston, good luck with the build.

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