West Coast Classics are proud to present a rare 1972 Lotus Europa Twin Cam 2 Door Coupe with the double overhead cam engine which significantly increased power up to 105 bhp initially and then onto 113 bhp (in US federalized form), and finally in its final form over 126 bhp and a top speed of over 125 mph! Owned since 1977 by one southern California owner and retaining its original matching #'s DOHC Inline 4 cylinder engine with dual Zenith Stromberg twin choke carburetors matched to it's original 4 speed manual gearbox with 4 wheel hydraulic disc brakes, 4 wheel independent suspension, & recently acquired from over 50 years of single southern California ownership. Lotus Europas are extremely fragile and the lightweight body is easy to destroy making an all original example like this a very rare find indeed.
California Blue plate car
Black with Tan interior
Twin-cam 1558cc inline 4-cylinder engine
Same owner from 1977 until 2022
Ansen 5-slot wheels with new tires
Receipts for over $9,000 included
Interestingly the Europa concept started out in 1963 as a design for Ford who were in the midst of planning their GT40 campaign against Ferrari. Ultimately it would be the Lola Mk6 that would win the bid and Lola would develop the Ford GT40 in England as a result. Lotus then went on to further develop their Ron Hickman designed GT40 proposal into the car you see here; the Europa.
The Lotus Europa was released in 1966 as one of the worlds first mid-engined, mass-production sports cars. It was produced until 1975 in three major variants, after which it was replaced by the wedge-shaped Lotus Esprit. By the mid-1960s the mid-engined layout was used extensively in Formula 1 and as a successful F1 car developer it made a lot of sense that Colin Chapman and Lotus would bring the same layout to their road cars.
Much like the earlier Lotus Elan, the Europa had a steel backbone chassis, a lightweight fiberglass body, independent front and rear suspension, and handling that was so good it set the standard for the era. The car you see here is a later US Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special from 1972. Its fitted with the desirable 1.6 liter twin-cam inline-four cylinder Ford/Lotus engine and a 4 speed manual gearbox, producing 113 bhp.
The Lotus Europa remains one of of the most significant sports cars of the 1960s. It lightweight fiberglass body has a curb weight of just 610 kgs (1,350 lbs), and it had class-leading handling. The original concept drawings that had been done for Ford for the GT40 project by Ron Hickman were used for the Europa, although they were scaled down slightly as the car no longer needed to accommodate a large American V8 in the rear.
The reason the car was named the 'Europa' is that it was intended to be only sold in Europe, it was initially exclusively offered to buyers on the Continent only for the first three years from 1966, and it was then offered to buyers in the UK from 1969 onwards.
The relative lack of engines and transmissions designed for mid-engine use in production cars was a cause for concern during the development process for the Europa but Chapman found a solution in what was perhaps the least likely of places. Chapman and his team took the inline-four cylinder engine from the Renault 16, a front-wheel drive car from France, and flipped it 180. This gave them the perfect engine and transaxle for a mid-engined configuration the only issue was the car would have one forward gear and four speeds in reverse. This problem was quickly resolved by repositioning the differential crown wheel within the final drive assembly, giving one reverse and four forward speeds.
The engine was significantly upgraded over its stock configuration with the addition of larger inlet valves, a higher compression ratio, an uprated camshaft, dual valve springs, and a twin carburetor arrangement. This increased power from 63 bhp to 82 bhp, it may not sound like much but the car was so light it made all the difference.
Electric windows were added in later models, as well as smaller rear side panels for better rearward visibility. The one area that saw the most upgrades was the engine bay, the Renault 16 engine had its power increased further however there was an upper limit, so Lotus eventually swapped in the Lotus Twin Cam engine that had been developed on the Ford 116E engine platform earlier in the 1960s.
This double overhead cam engine significantly increased power, up to 105 bhp initially and then onto 113 bhp (in US federalized form), and finally 126 bhp. The twin-cam engine first appeared in the Europa engine bay in mid-1971 (in Europe) and early 1972 (in North America). When Renault introduced their most powerful 16 TX model in 1973, it included a strengthened 5-speed transmission. Lotus quickly offered this gearbox as an option in the Europa, along with their Big Valve twin-cam engine. Initially it was available with the same gearbox as the earlier cars, once the supply had been exhausted in 1972 a new stronger Renault four-speed gearbox (Type 352) was introduced.
This particular 1972 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Coupe had been owned since new in California for over 50 years and is a fitting example of an all original and rare Europa Twin Cam which remains true to its rich Lotus heritage.
This is a rare opportunity to own an internationally desirable 1972 Lotus Europa Twin Cam 2 Door Coupe and a great addition for any American or indeed British classic sports car collector or enthusiast to add to their collection or obviously any 'Lotus' enthusiast!