British Racing Greens: 1971 Lotus Europa

Just how bad could it be to own a Lotus Europa? Because I don’t get it. Every other exciting car from the 60s/70s has appreciated in price like a bat soaring into the evening sky. But the Europa has stayed strangely affordable while the competition (Porsche 911, Porsche 912, Porsche 914, Euro Ford Escort, Mercedes SL, BMW 2002, Alfa Romeo GTV, Datsun 510, Datsun 240Z, 65-70 Fastback Mustang) have become something for affluent collectors. Which is a good thing, I think. Or they are terrible. Can anybody comment below? Find this 1971 Lotus Europa S2 bidding for $7,400 reserve-not-met with one day to go located in Newcastle, CA via ebay auctions.

From the seller:


This Lotus Europa is one of a total of 1,315 Europa S2’s produced in 1971. Fitted with the 1565 cc Renault sourced engine, the Lotus Europa produced 87 horsepower, but the cars light weight (1,350 lbs.) resulted in excellent performance for the era with just over nine second 0-60 mph times. This compared with the same year Porsche 912 with a 0-60 time of 11.3 seconds. But it was handling that set the Europa apart from many other sports cars of the day. Due to the cars mid-engine configuration, the Europa has wonderful balance, crisp steering, the great close-ratio 4-speed Lotus gearbox, and a throaty, meaningful exhaust note. Quirky, yes, but you won’t see yourself coming and going in a Lotus Europa like so many other cars at the local car show!


This “survivor” has an interesting history. The car was originally delivered new in the San Francisco Bay area by British Motors and has been in Northern California since new. According to the family of the long-time second owner, the car was sold to her father, an eccentric collector of all things automotive, in the late 70’s. At the time, he used the car as his occasional weekend car until family and other priorities resulted in the cars minimal use. Eventually, the car was stored and was not used for several years, but always stored inside and covered. At the time of his death, the Lotus had been stored for several years and the daughter inherited the car. It was brought back to life and the last license plate registration shows 2019, the last time the car was registered and drivable. Since then, the daughter stored the car inside the garage with plans to restore it in her father’s memory, but those plans never materialized. It is important to note that the car was washed and vacuumed for the photos but remains in virtually the same overall condition as when it was stored.


The Lotus is in excellent condition and, except for minor improvements typical of the 70’s, remains in unmodified condition. Specifically, the following changes have been made to the car and original components are not available:

  • The addition of a side draft Weber carburetor & air cleaner, custom header & exhaust
  • 3” quick release lap bets
  • Unmounted 8 spoke gold Panasport style wheels (4) (mounted in the 70’s) removed and include in the sale.
  • Koni (?) shocks/springs (originals included)

Other than the above, no changes have been made to the car’s interior, exterior, or front or rear compartments). Having been in dry storage its entire life, the minimal brightwork is free from event the slightest pitting and the front and rear inner compartments show no signs of damage. There is no indication of any accidents, and the body is free from any notable damage, fiberglass crazing, or issues. The doors show characteristic minor Europa sagging but, as the photos show, not sufficient to even “rub marks” on the inner door jambs and fit very well when closed. The paint is in excellent condition as the photos suggest and is even, with no partial repainting. All the glass is original with proper markings on the side glass and windshield.

The interior is in remarkable good condition and 100% original and complete except for the 3-point 3” “racing” belts. The 70’s vintage Sony cassette radio remains in place as do the typically door mounted speakers. All instruments are clear, and no additional gauges have been added. The seats are free from tears/rips and the headliner is in excellent condiiton as are the and orignal sunvisors. The carpet shows the expected aging but presents well, and would be even better with thorough cleaning. Finally, there are no signs that the car was used for “housing” by any unwanted critters!

Some additional details include:

All original keys and locks are functional.
Includes the original spare mounted on a very old tire (not restored)
Original wheels have been recently restored with new tires mounted including excellent trim rings and original hubcaps
Original jack and lug wrench included
Sebring side mirrors
Workshop manual (s)
Original springs
Clear title
Gas receipts dating back to the early 1980’s
Back fees paid ($600+) registration current til 10/10/24 (non on Non-Op) & 2024 registration sticker not applied
Blue license plates with sticker Dec 2019

While the Lotus is not currently in running condition, it will require the typical mechanical work to make it fully operational including restoring the brakes and fuel system. However, the body and interior, front and rear areas, will require virtually no attention for the car to be used and enjoyed as an original example of a Lotus Europa.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I can provide many specific photos upon request of many parts of the car. Please let me know how I can help in this regard. Finally, the car is located about 20 miles from Sacramento from heavily travelled Interstate 80, and it steers and rolls. The wheels and other parts can be placed inside the vehicle for transport.

Paypal deposit of $500.00 within 48 hours of the auction with final payment (secure wire transfer) due within 7 days. Will hold the Lotus for a reasonable time should the buyer need to arrange for pick-up / transport.

See a better way to drive a really small car that looks almost like an El Camino with a camper top, but it is British?