Trademark of Group Lotus UK/Lotus Cars USA

Lotus Europa S2


The unit number decodes as follows:
71Build Year: 1971
10Build Month: October
19Batch Number
1229Sequence Number
RType 65 (Federal)
1229R is also the VIN

1229R 2001 Mar 03
This is what 1229R looked like soon after I purchased it on 23 January 2001.
Pretty sorry looking, huh? One of the reasons it looks so bad is the black is a respray over the original L14 Colorado Orange! Well, I'm intending to restoration this mess.

The actual condition of the car ... well, the car was a whole lot worse that it looks in the picture above!
Lots of rust and rot ... a good part of it in the interior, as the weatherstripping has failed and allowed water to collect inside. The seats frames and rails are unsuable, as well as the brake/clutch pedal assembly.
The chassis was cut up, rotted and bent, including the brake mounting box .
The fuel tank was rotted and perforated
The body has signs of a poorly executed collision repair in the rear. A small chunk of body work is missing from the lower rear edge of the left front fender opening. Body filler had been unevenly spread on the boot cover. The engine cover shows sign of "sausaging" (too thin a layer of resin and the some glass strands are punching through). The press-board bulkhead is very punky and a large chunk came out with the carpet .
There was some kind of wierd interaction between the black paint respray (done as part of the collision repair), the underlying original Colorado Orange and exposure to light. Basically areas that had the more direct exposure to sunlight crackled, while those areas protected from sunlight are still quite intact.
The electrical system has quite a few jury-rigged repairs, some of which were dangerous and mutilated the wiring loom significantly.
The engine and transaxle needed rebuilding ... it wasn't encouraging when I saw the water pump inlet clogged with corrosion.
Some of the left front suspension pieces were slightly bent, but most of these could be straighted out. The steering rack appears servicable.
The braking system is a mixed bag. The Master Cylinder and Calipers seem servicable. But the rear slave cylnders, adjusters, as well as the parking brake cable and tubing are too far gone.

Rebirth of 1229R ... A belated progress report (Cummulative to 10/10/02)

Well, given the expense of replacing the chassis, rebuilding the engine and transaxle and my desire to get more performance out of the car than it had right from the factory, I decided not to do a true "back-to-factory-spec" restoration.

Disassembly of the car was rather difficult, as most of the fasteners had rotted to the point that they wouldn't turn or that they were misshapen by corrosion ... I ended up cutting a signficant number of them with my Dremel Moto-tool.
A Banks 47R chassis, with the A-Arm rear suspension and vented disc front disc/solid rear disc brake setup has been purchased and received. This chassis is set up to accept a Ford Zetec 2.0L from a 1995 Ford Contour and Renault NG3-065 from a 1983 Renault Fuego Turbo . A modified Twin Cam bellhousing (to accomodate the NG3's pilot bushing) will be used. The clutch pieces, based around a modified Zetec flywheel and Twink friction disc and pressure plate, were supplied by Banks.
A pair of alloy fuel tanks from Banks were also part of the chassis shipment.
A pair of used seat in good condition was obtained, I still need the lower half of the seat rails.
A pedal assembly was obtain on a core-part basis from Sports Car World, as well as other miscellaneous parts, such as a second fuel filler neck to accomodate the second tank.
The original front "hard" suspension pieces (i.e. uprights, A-Arms) have been reconditioned, except for the left upright which was replaced. The steering rack was sent out to The Roadster Factory for rebuilding, as they had a special on their Triumph steering rack rebuild.
As the Banks rear brake set up comes from a Ford Sierra (aka Mercury Mercur XR4Ti here in the States) some interesting problems arose. First of all, the 13 inch wheels that came with the car (which I think came from a Triumph TR7) do not clear the calipers. The bolt pattern on the rear hub is 4.25"x4 to boot (with M12x1.25 studs, if I recall correctly). Going for the cheap, I decided to get a set of Mercur XR4Ti 14"x5-1/2" wheels (for $25 each). This required a set of alloy front hubs from Banks with the 4x4.25" bolt pattern and metric studs. The wheels were fitted with 185/60-14 Yokohama AVS's obtained on sale ($43 each) from The Tire Rack. When I purchased the wheels, I did not realize that they used a special lug nut with a captive conical washer ... regular aftermarket lug nut have too little bearing surface, so a trip to the local Lincoln-Mercury dealer was required. Believe it or not, a set of 16 of these lug nuts cost just as much as the used wheels! So much for going for the cheap. Although the offset of these wheels is more like that for a Front Wheel Drive car, it appears to be OK for this application ... any less negative offset in the front could be problematic.
An attempt to reuse the original dual circuit Master Cylinder was foiled when I accidentally broke the mounting flange by my own boneheaded improper handling. However, this is kind of a God send, as this precludes having the Master Cylinder breaking while in service (it just broke too easily out of the car). I was making plans to go to a Nissan B210 master cylinder (tandem .75" bore with 2 bolt vertical flange) as has been done by others, but I was fortunate to find a Master Cylinder from a wrecked Twin Cam. I haven't received it at this time, so I don't know if is for a servo assist car or not, which would require resleeving to non-servo bore diameters.
Body work is slowly progressing. I'm staying away from chemicals and many of the mechanical means I've tried to remove the paint have been ineffective or too aggressive. What I have found good so far in my situtaion is to scrape the color coats of paint off with a hand paint scraper (the sun exposed areas chipped off fairly easily, while those protected from the sun are much harder to scrape), stopping when I start to see the primer through the residue of the original orange color coat. From there, I might use a 3M "Stripping Disc" (similar to Scotch-brite) on a reduced speed 4-1/2" grinder to remove the bulk of the orange residue. I still have to be careful, as this is still a bit on the aggressive side if improperly handled. Finally, I hand sand with 120 grit mesh-style sand paper (as used for sanding wall-board/drywall joints) to get down to solid primer. The combination of the Stripper Disc and the sanding mesh has been relatively effective in tackling the gumminess of the orange paint (which would clog sandpaper very quickly).

Europa S2 related links:

This list is not meant to be an endorsement of the following establishments. Just a list of companies, with a WWW presense, that support the Lotus Europa.
Cars and Parts (Sources personally used by me)
Banks Service Station/Europa Engineering - Upgraded Europa parts and cars (including replica Type 47 and 62's)
Sports Car World - Lotus parts
Wirewheel Classic & Sports Cars - The car
R.D. Enterprises - Lotus parts
The Roadster Factory - Triumph Spitfire component rebuild services
The Little British Car Company - Triumph Spitfire bearing and suspension parts
Cars and Parts (Other sources)
Spyder Engineering - Upgraded Europa chassis and suspension parts
dave bean engineering - Lotus Parts
JAE Parts - Lotus Parts
Kampena Motors - Lotus parts
British Auto Specialists - Lotus parts
Talbot & Co. / Aardvark Intl. - Lotus parts
Palo Alto Speedometer - Lotus gauge repair
French Stuff - Renault parts
Tingle's Lotus Center - Lotus parts
SpitBits - Triumph Spitfire parts
Octagon Spares - Used British, Italian and Subaru parts
Worldwide Lotus Parts and Service Sources - A more comprehensive list
Golden Gate Lotus Club - On-Line Tech info
Lotus, Ltd. Club - Check the Lotus Stuff page for the Lotus Europa Manual
Bulletin Boards
Yahoo Groups - Lotus Europa
Other Owner pages
The Europa Census
A restoration project
A S2 restoration
Fitting a Spyder chassis
1969 Europa S2 w/Gordini engine
Gordini and Turbos
Fitting a NG3 gearbox

Gaetano Liberatore, 11 October 2002