Classic Motorsports Car Catcher: Who Wants a Bread Van?

Date Apr 4, 2017

Written by Ed Higginbotham

Lotus Europas have developed a bit of a reputation for always being in the rebuilding stage. But today we have our eyes set on an example in great condition. Northshore Sportscars is selling this 1969 Lotus Europa. That’s not to say this one isn’t untouched. It has seen a few upgrades, including a Weber carburetor conversion, a modern alternator, and a few other tasteful modifications. They are asking just under $16,000 for the car.

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Reader comments:

petegossett UltimaDork
April 4, 2017 1:41 p.m.

I still want to own a running one of these someday...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
April 4, 2017 1:55 p.m.

Based on the Lotus club I used to hang out with in the pre-Elise days, many Europa owners have the same wish

JoeTR6 HalfDork
April 4, 2017 5:45 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: Based on the Lotus club I used to hang out with in the pre-Elise days, many Europa owners have the same wish

I wish I hadn't been drinking orange juice while reading this.

One of these days I'll find a running Europa to test drive.

RoddyMac17 New Reader
April 4, 2017 6:21 p.m.
petegossett said: I still want to own a running one of these someday...

One day in the very near future I hope to have a running one, but it will be some time before it's a driving one.

ProDarwin PowerDork
April 4, 2017 7:16 p.m.

Deja Vu

novaderrik wrote:
ProDarwin wrote: Every time I scroll past this thread I think of Metallica singing "Breadfan", but van instead.

the lyrics still work..

Breadvan, open up your mind, open up your purse, Open up your bones, never, never gonna lose it.

Breadvan, take it all away, never give an inch, Gotta make a mint, gotta make me a million.

Breadvan, you got it wrong, some long time friend's Gonna lose it in the end, who's a fool.

Seagull, give it all away, stay a bird, stay a man, Stay a ghost, stay what you wanna be.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
April 4, 2017 7:47 p.m.

I was a high senior in 1974 and one of the teachers at my school bought a new Europa in British Racing Green (he was a young single guy, I always wondered how he was able to buy one on a teacher's salary). In a small midwestern farm town it may as well have been a spaceship from Mars. I've had a thing for them ever since.

maseratiguy Reader
April 4, 2017 9:00 p.m.

God, I love these. In these days of big fat SUV's, Minivans, Large Fat cars, and Pick Up trucks you will have to be pretty brave and defensive out in the wild though. The sedated motoring zombie public have a hard time seeing me in my Alfa Spider, these are so low and small that they are practically invisible to the brain dead texting masses.

TR8owner HalfDork
April 6, 2017 8:50 p.m.

My brother has a 73 with the Euro head and twin webers. Great car. And reliable believe it or not. Nice compliment to his 65 Elan.

wspohn HalfDork
April 9, 2017 12:26 p.m.

I want one with a modern 4 valve DOHC high output engine (LNF Ecotec with 400-500 bhp would do nicely) and a suitable transaxle. Sort of a modernized Lotus 47 (or 62, where they tried the new 907 Lotus engine out).

1600 lbs. and 500 bhp should prove to be ......adequate!

JoeTR6 HalfDork
April 9, 2017 7:18 p.m.

There's a Lotus guy in the shop where I have my TR6 that is working on swapping a 2.3l Duratec into a Europa. He has the chassis basically complete and got it running. The body needs some work and that's next. I can't wait to see this thing drive. Unfortunately, he also has a Series 1 Esprit that is quite the distraction.

Rupert Dork
April 14, 2017 12:44 p.m.

Back in the day I ordered and put down a substantial deposit on a "Very Limited Edition" Europa Twin Cam JPS Special. It came in black and celebrated the recent Lotus JPS F-1 title. There were also little goodies thrown such as an "Authentic JPS Race Team Jacket!" Whoopie!!!!

My closest Lotus dealer was over 100 miles away and he called me on a Monday or Tuesday and said my car was in. So I said I'd be in on Saturday to pick it up.

When I arrived on Saturday the dealer rolled out a shiny red Twin Cam and said that was my car. I fiercely protested, yelled cussed, threatened, etc. till he admitted a guy came in during the week and offered him an extra $1,000 for "my JPS." So he'd knock $500 off the list price of the red one if I'd take it.

Long story slightly shorter after a few threatening letters from my attorney, he gave me my full deposit back plus that $500 for my trouble. So I bought a 240Z instead. I kept, beat on, modified, raced, showed, autocrossed, etc. that 240Z for over twenty years before I finally sold it, still running great.

Financially possibly one of the most fortunate things that happened to me in the 70's was that dealer selling that JPS Europa out from under me!!!

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