The Automobile That Was *Virtually* The Ford GT40

Estimated read time 6 min read

This can be a 1974 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Particular. Apparently, the European idea he began in 1963 as a design for Ford planning his GT40 marketing campaign in opposition to Ferrari.

The ultimate bid was gained by the Lola Mk6, which resulted in Lola growing the Ford GT40 in England. Lotus then took Ron’s Hickman-designed proposal for the GT40 additional into the automotive you see right here: Europe.

Quick Information – Lotus Europa Twin Cam Particular

  • The Lotus Europa was launched in 1966 because the world’s first mid-engined manufacturing sports activities automotive. Till 1975 he was produced in three fundamental variants, after which it was changed by the wedge-shaped Lotus Esprit.
  • By the mid-Nineteen Sixties, the mid-engined format was extensively utilized in F1 and as profitable F1 automotive builders, it made loads of sense that Colin Chapman and Lotus would introduce the identical format to their highway vehicles.
  • Just like the early Lotus Elan, the Europa had a metal spine chassis, a light-weight fiberglass physique, impartial entrance and rear suspension and wonderful dealing with that was the usual of the day.
  • The automotive proven here’s a late 1974 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Particular. It is geared up with a fascinating 1.6-liter twin-cam in-line 4-cylinder Ford/Lotus engine and a 5-speed guide gearbox producing 113 bhp.

Lotus Europe

Lotus Europa is among the most vital sports activities vehicles of the Nineteen Sixties. It was the world’s first mass-produced mid-engined sports activities automotive, with a light-weight fiberglass physique weighing simply 610kg (1,350 lbs) and delivering best-in-class dealing with.

image descriptionThis can be a 1963 design sketch of the proposed Lotus design of the automotive that may turn out to be the Ford GT40. The similarities with the Lotus Europa are apparent. Picture courtesy of Lotus Automobiles Restricted.

The unique idea drawings made for Ford by Ron Hickman for the aforementioned GT40 undertaking had been used for Europe, however had been scaled down barely because the automotive now not wanted a big American V8 within the rear. I used to be.

A metal spine chassis much like that used within the early Lotus Elan was developed for this automotive, and a fiberglass physique was developed with an emphasis on good aerodynamics, low weight and low middle of gravity. 1.08 meters or 42.5 inches he’s virtually as tall as a 5 yr outdated little one.

virtually elfin

It was initially going to be referred to as “Elfin”, a favourite of Colin Chapman, the founding father of Lotus, however was renamed “Europe” after being identified that “Elfin” means “finish” in Spanish. A possible trademark problem then led to a minor title change to the title we all know at present as “Europa”.

The rationale the automotive received this title is as a result of it was meant to be offered in Europe, being supplied completely to continental patrons for the primary three years from 1966, then from 1969 onwards within the UK. offered to the customer.

Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special

image descriptionAs a later model of the Europa, the automotive has a smaller sail panel and bigger rear window, the fascinating Lotus Twin Cam engine and a 5-speed gearbox.

discover the correct engine

The relative lack of engines and transmissions designed for mid-engined manufacturing vehicles prompted concern in the course of the European growth course of, however Chapman might be the least possible place, the Renault 16. Discovered an answer underneath the hood. .

Chapman and his staff took an in-line four-cylinder engine from the Renault 16, a French front-wheel drive automotive, and flipped it 180 levels.

This resulted in an optimum engine and transaxle for a mid-engine configuration. The one drawback was that this automotive has 1 ahead and 4 reverse speeds. This problem was shortly resolved by altering the place of the differential he crown wheels within the ultimate drive meeting to have 1 reverse and 4 ahead.

The engine has been considerably upgraded over the inventory configuration with the addition of bigger inlet valves, the next compression ratio, stiffened camshafts, twin valve springs and a twin carb association. This elevated energy output from 63 bhp to 82 bhp. It might not sound like a giant deal, however the automotive was so gentle that it made all of the distinction.

Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special 10

image descriptionThere is a compact Lotus Twin-Cam engine right here, with a detachable trunk mounted behind it, permitting the proprietor to pack a modest quantity of baggage and groceries if wanted.

Numerous refinements had been made in the course of the manufacturing course of, with early vehicles having the physique glued to the chassis for optimum rigidity, which made crash repairs virtually unattainable, so the later Europass I bolted the physique to the chassis.

Later fashions added electrical home windows and decreased the rear facet panels for higher rearward visibility. The engine bay noticed probably the most upgrades. The ability output of the Renault 16 engine was additional elevated, however was capped, so Lotus ultimately changed it with the Lotus Twin His Cam engine, beforehand developed on the Ford 116E engine platform. within the Nineteen Sixties.

This double overhead cam engine enormously elevated energy, initially reaching 105 bhp, then 113 bhp (US federalized type) and eventually 126 bhp. In later vehicles he additionally launched 5-speed transaxles, which unsurprisingly are usually the preferred amongst collectors.

By the point manufacturing led to 1975, Lotus had constructed virtually 10,000 Europa. This was an enormous success for the corporate and contributed considerably to model recognition in Europe and the US.

Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special 7

image descriptionThe inside options a pretty big transmission tunnel, which really corresponds to the automotive’s metal spine chassis.

Europe was taken over by the Lotus Esprit. The Lotus Esprit is a forward-looking wedge-shaped automotive designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro that appeared within the James Bond movies that launched Lotus into the massive leagues. Consequently, Europa has tended to be largely forgotten for years and stays comparatively reasonably priced in lots of world markets even at present.

Click on right here for Lotus Europa Twin Cam Particular

The automotive proven here’s a 1974 Lotus Europa Twin Cam Particular. So one in every of his highly regarded late fashions with a extra highly effective twin-cam engine and his 5-speed transmission.

Apparently, the Europa is claimed to have been put into storage in 1979 after getting used as an engine growth automobile for the F2 racing staff. A refreshed inside, suspension overhaul, rebuild of each the 1.6-liter twin-cam engine and his 5-speed gearbox.

This automotive is at present on the market from Placentia, California with a trailer. If you need to learn extra or register to bid, you possibly can go to the itemizing right here.
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Picture credit score: Carry a Trailer

Lotus Europa Twin Cam Special 1

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