1973 Lotus Europa

Twin Cam
Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde 2021
Wednesday, 3 March - Wednesday, 10 March 2021
€25,300 (30,107)
Sale Price
€20,000 - €30,000
Est. Range
10 March 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 12460. Black and gold over cream leather. LHD, 1558/126hp Big Valve engine, 5-speed, leather-wrapped steering wheel, wood shift knob, power windows, Blaupunkt stereo.

Evaluation: Not much history represented, but as a Europa Special in John Player Special colors and with the Big Valve engine, it’s an ultimate spec car. Significant wear on the seats. Otherwise the interior looks good, including a clean wood dash, which is so often cracked on other Lotuses. Paint flaking off the valve cover but mostly tidy engine bay. Light road wear underneath but no cause for alarm. Orange peel in the paint. A driver.

Bottom Line: One of the first ever mid-engine sports cars but certainly not the prettiest, the Lotus Europa is an absolute joy to drive. Owning one is another matter, and buying any Chapman-era Lotus sight unseen on the internet is an exercise in bravery. This one at least looks solid and ticks all the right collectability boxes, so the bidders exercised little caution and bid it to a fair, slightly generous market price that took off in the final moments of bidding to this Euros 22,000 hammer result from only Euros 15,000 in the waning hours of the day prior to closing.

by Andrew Newton
17 March 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.