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graphic with lotus europa and lotus elan

David A's Europa

1972 Lotus Europa History

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At some time in the past it had air conditioning installed. And then removed, leaving holes in the front trunk and *large* steel brackets, one a frame for the battery near the alternator, the other on the engine left front (thus forcing the battery move). These were very strong and very heavy brackets! I removed the awful brackets and restored the battery (a 22NF) to the standard location early on. (Later I changed the battery).

Someone had removed the original front sway par and run a new bar design up next to the steering, with links down to the rear end of the lower front shock absorber mount. That bar is still in place as of 2009.

Someone had bolted small blocks to the rear of the frame and run a thin sway bar thru the blocks and bent forward thru a (non-stock) hole in the body to a link to the rear of the lower shock/spring mount. That was removed in the restoration and the holes fiberglassed over around the year 2000.

I had the head rebuilt a couple of times between 1982 and 1989 --- things seemed weak. The second time (I realize in retrospect) the head guy had had the head bead-blasted. A dyno session at Charlie Rockwell's showed 86 HP at the rear wheels. A bead or two stuck in the head and in the 1991 teardown I saw #4 cylinder had a 2 inch long round gash. Sure looked like a bead worked loose. Yikes.

From 1991 (some disassembly) and 1996 all that got done was an engine rebuild. Everything movable was replaced except rods and crankshaft, and those were crack tested. The cams were ground by Elgin Cams to sprint spec.

From 1996 to 2004 the real rebuild happened.

In 2005, 2006 the europa was used regularly. In March 2007 with a low 6700 rpm redline a bearing went on the TwinCam -- sparklies appeared in the oil after a track day. It was a cam bearing (near the alternator drive) that was shedding silvery metal.

As of March 2009 the car was barely back on the road running a modified Zetec 2.0L engine and still running the original 336 gearbox. By September 2009 it was running well.

In September 2011 I had Barry Spencer (Spencer's Motorsports) install an oil cooler and an NG3 gearbox and a cable shift system Dave Lindemann created. This was a major project. Barry had the car back to me in February 2012 in time for an GGLC track day at Laguna Seca.

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