Distinguished Pedigree: 1971 Lotus Europa S2 Type 65

I don’t like posting cars that are on the expensive end of the typical DT price range ($1-$20,000) but occasionally a car comes through that could be offed for $50k…if not today, then in a few years.  If this next car was a similar condition Porsche 911, Austin-Healey 3000, or Fastback Mustang it would certainly demand more money…but this car has all the class and is half the price.  Find this 1971 Lotus Europa S2 Type 65 offered for $19,500 near Santa Cruz, CA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!

 From the seller:

1971 Lotus Europa

condition: excellent

cylinders: 4 cylinders

drive: rwd

fuel: gas

odometer: 85000

paint color: yellow

size: compact

title status: clean

transmission: manual

type: coupe

1971 Lotus Europa S2 Type 65. One of only 865 made of which maybe a third survived at all. (Lotus registry has just under 100 last count.) Same owner since 1981. Always in California, always garaged, always kept stock as much as possible (with the ability to return to stock), always running every year. No abortions or accident riddled car here. A very, very rare true survivor which is unusual for Europas as these are often heavily modified.

As a Mechanical Engineer that appreciates classic cars, the only modifications were updated custom made springs per EU Lotus specs which lowered it a bit. (US regulations had required the front end stick up some so headlights were at the minimum required level.) I also replaced the horrible Solex carburetor with a larger Weber and K&N air cleaner and custom headers and muffler; both good for roughly another 20+ HP. Car stats state it weighs less than 1400 lbs. It sounds and reacts like a true Lotus race car yet can be driven comfortably around town. Only other change is the radio and speakers and a custom in-dash hidden radar detector. Even the steering wheel and shift-knob are original.

Has the 1565cc all aluminum 4 cylinder engine and under 85,000 miles (less than 2000 miles a year). Car was never autocrossed or raced. Was down for the last five months as the original mechanical fuel pump finally failed and I didn’t want to jerry-rig it with a modern in-line electric fuel pump. So after much research, I instead had the original unit sent back East to be professionally rebuilt with all new machined parts. I’ll probably install it this weekend and turn her over.

Everything works; gauges, electric windows (rare), lights, heater, etc… Paint is a six footer since all fiberglass Lotuses of this era have some stress cracks in the paint. I have the original manual, jack, Solex carburetor, air cleaner, and even the original shop manual and stock steel wheels with beautiful chrome dish covers if the price is right.

These cars are well below where they should be in value and are now climbing rapidly. The only reason I am selling is that I will be losing the garage space and I don’t want it sitting outside. I really hate to see it go and want to sell it to someone that will truly appreciate the amazing rare car it is. It’s so simply built it is a pleasure to work on from electrical to mechanical. The ultimate example of less is more.

If you are worried about fitting, I am (was?) 6′ 1″ and I fit fine. Very reclined and comfortable driving position and the ride is surprising more compliant than most modern sports cars, and yet corners totally level with very tight rack and pinion steering. A pure joy to drive.

NO TIRE KICKERS OR JUST CURIOUS CARNUTS! Please don’t waste my time and I won’t waste yours. No test drives. No low ball offers. No dealers looking to flip. No solicitations. Car sold as is. If it is still posted, it is still available. $19,500 or best offer. Cash only. If you are serious and want to discuss details, please provide your name, number, and time to call. Thanks for looking.

See a better way to drive a lotus? tips@dailyturismo.com