Update 17th August 2018 – This car has now sold to Michael for £26,500 including buyer’s premium.
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-1960’s, the mid-engine vehicle configuration was well-established as the optimal design for Grand Prix cars, however almost no road vehicles 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.
This gorgeous Europa Special (JPS colours) is owned by Mark for just over three years and has built a beautiful car collection of over fifteen cars with the help of his brother-in-law; Rob Carrigan. Mark loves the thrill of buying the best examples he can, once added to his collection he then enjoys driving them when he’s in the country. Mark really does only buy the best-of-the-best examples, and we are very fortunate to be handling the sale of his collection.
So why is Mark now selling his collection? Well, Mark is based overseas and these days he doesn’t get the opportunity to drive his collection as much as he’d like, as more recently his business opportunities are keeping him abroad, so the time has come to pass the cars to new custodians.
Rob looks after the collection for Mark and no expense has been spared in the maintenance of the vehicles. Rob makes sure that whatever the cars need is actioned straight away using specialist garages and original parts. Even the finest indoor covers have been purposely made for each individual car at a cost of over £300 each, and are included in the sale. Every car is securely stored in a new and dry professional unit, as can be seen in our media footage.
This Europa is in stunning condition from the mirror like paint to the visually correct panel gaps. All as a result of a fastidious four year restoration from 2010 to 2014 – please take a look at the history file to see the extent of the time and money spent.
Wheels & Tyres
Beautiful and original 13in wheels are fitted, they are in excellent condition and wrapped in 2015 Falken tyres.
The restoration on this car is exceptional that was actioned over a four year period from 2010 to 2014. The care and attention to detail really shows on this car with excellent panel gaps and door and engine lid shuttings. The only small issue noticed on the bodywork is a very small crease on the OSF wing as you can see in the video.
Again the paint finish on this car is excellent and shows a lovely deep gloss shine that is consistent across all the panels. In terms of any issues there are just a couple of very small ones to note: a small stone chip on the OSF wing as shown in the video that can be easily remedied, and also some micro blemishes that can be noticed on the roof when you look down the light reflection.
Glass and Trim
Glass and trim across the car is exceptional. With the car being fully restored, the brightwork was also covered in this no expense spared project.
The interior is beautiful and looks to be all original – there really isn’t anything that needs sorting.
Seats and Carpets
Finished in a period beige colour it’s a perfect contrast to the exterior base black. The leather seats are in excellent condition with very little signs of wear and the same too is true of the carpets.
The wood on the dash looks very smart, and the dials are in excellent condition and all working correctly, as can be seen in the ‘on the road’ video.
Steering Wheel / Gear Stick
The original steering wheel is fitted and in excellent condition. The gear knob was replaced as part of the restoration and in excellent condition too.
We took the car out on our regular ‘on the road’ run and it performed without a problem. Please review the video footage to see the cold start and how the car performed on a run with Kulraj interviewing Rob during the drive.
Engine and Gearbox
There are no issues with the engine or gearbox. The engine, gearbox and clutch all perform perfectly during our short on the road test. Please take a look at the media pack to see invoices for all servicing work actioned on the engine.
Suspension and Brakes
The car has no knocks or rattles coming from the suspension as all the components were restored during 2010-14. As mentioned, the car has always had the best care in the last two years of Mark’s ownership, and you’ll see receipts for all work carried out.
The drive was without fault and all gears being selected without issue.
Electrics and Other
We checked all the main electrics and they performed without fault. A battery conditioner is fitted when the vehicle is not in use.
The car comes with comprehensive history file as can be seen in the media pack. There are some MOT’s that come with the car, and includes more recent invoices and works completed during Mark’s ownership.
The car is showing just over 89,789 as of 25.06.2018.
With the help of a possible buyer we’ve been checking the authenticity of this car. We have found out the paint code of L21 that’s stamped on the VIN plate means purple – so this means this car is not a factory JPS build, it’s a recreation. The car has been fitted with a new chassis by Southern Classics (Europa correct specification – new from old stock). We are in the process of checking the engine number.
HPi Check Results
– The car had its colour changed in October 1978, and has had a total loss payout from an insurance company in July 1987.
– 02.12.1994 – 71,112 miles
– 30.06.1998 – 73,271 miles
– 09.07.1999 – 81,870 miles
– 06.11.2012 – 87,976 miles
– 01.07.2014 – 87,993 miles
– 27.04.2015 – 88,016 miles
– 18.05.2016 – 88,910 miles
– 28.04.2017 – 89,201 miles
– 17.03.2018 – 89,784 miles
Of course this is a very unusual car in terms of its design. And to be totally honest it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, is it. But it’s really grown on me as I’ve spent more time with it. It’s actually grown so much so that I would love to add it to my own collection; if only I had the room!
I really like this car for a number or reasons. The main reasons are for Colin Chapman’s visionary engineering thinking, i.e. bringing mid-engine configuration to production cars and also designing the body for aerodynamic efficiencies. Even that little lip on the back is all about creating that all-important downforce. I love the sound of that engine, just listen to it accelerate in the ‘on the road’ video – it’s intoxicating. The interior is a really nice place to be and it feels well more fitted out compared to other cars of that time. Finally, JPS colours, oh my word, JPS colours – black and gold is just so stunning and reminds me of the JPS scalextric car I had when I was a small boy. If I were Prime Minister then all new cars would have to be produced in JPS colours!
This car will suit two purposes, i.e. both as a show and drivers’ car. However, as many people know, for me it’s all about the drive and when I’d approach the entrance to any showground I’d just think nahhhh, keep driving, and go right on by as I’d accelerate to maximum revs.
Again Mark has set a very realistic and low reserve, as he is keen to find a new enthusiast that will drive and enjoy the car, just as much as he has.
This auction listing was written by Adam from information gained from Rob (custodian of the vehicle) and having visited and photographed the vehicle.
If you have any specific questions about the vehicle then please use the comments section below. Rob will receive a notification and will reply as soon as he can.