Lot 202 - 1972 Lotus Europa Twin Cam ‘John Player Special’
|Odometer reading||83,423 miles|
|Result||Sold - £32,500|
- One of the first ‘John Player Special’ cars
- In excellent condition throughout.
Launched in 1966, the Lotus Europa was the first mass production, mid-engine road car and was based on a prototype built to compete for a Ford contract to build a Le Mans race car in the early 1960s. Exemplifying Colin Chapman's design philosophy of ‘simplify, then add lightness,’ it used a minimalist steel backbone chassis while also relying on a low drag fibreglass body for structural strength. Developed in a wind tunnel, this gave the Europa a drag factor of just 0.29 with its long, low roofline and an abrupt rear end inspired by the Ferrari 'Bread Van' racer. The four-wheel independent suspension was typical of Chapman's thinking, the rear suspension consisting of two relatively large trailing arms, one lower locating link per side, the axles being used as upper locating links, very similar to Formula racing car designs of that era. The resultant astonishing roadholding prompted road testers to describe the Europa as the nearest thing to a race car for the road.
The first Series I cars were fitted with a modified Renault 16 1,470cc 82bhp engine and a four-speed gearbox. By 1971 this had given way to a 126bhp Lotus/Ford Twin Cam 1,558cc unit that was good for 0–60 in 7.0 seconds with a top speed of 125mph. In 1972 a ‘big valve’ Special came out that could hit 60mph in just 6.6 seconds yet still return 25-30mpg economy, the most desirable of these cars being painted in black and gold John Player Special livery in a nod to the sponsors of the Lotus F1 cars.
This lovely Lotus Europa Twin Cam was built in October 1972 and is number 47 out of 250 built as the ‘John Player Special’ edition. Painted in the correct black with gold pinstripes to honour that 1972 F1 World Championship title. This model was the first ever of the John Player Special commemorative motor cars. With oatmeal interior, this Europa JPS has only covered about 2,500 miles since 2006 having been in private collection. This year the car underwent an extensive service and inspection by marque specialists, PJS Sports Cars in Burton-on-Trent and while in their workshop the engine and gearbox were overhauled. We are informed that it is running and driving superbly. This car is supplied with a V5 registration document, the MoT test certificate history confirming the mileage since 2006, a photographic record of the rebuild, a certificate of vehicle provenance, a letter from the Lotus Archives and large history file going back over forty years. In the end the rare, numbered plaque distinguished the first, original, 100 JPS cars from other black Europa Specials.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each Lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. All registration numbers, engine and chassis details are sourced from registration documents provided to Historics by the client or representative or HPI checks and buyers are to satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of these details. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.