1973 Lotus Europa S2: Reader Ride

Presented by

Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2
Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2
Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2
Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2 Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2

Mal Wutherspoon has been waiting since 1967 to own a Lotus Europa S2, after seeing one while racing a motorcycle sidecar at the Isle of Man

1973 Lotus Europa S2: Reader Ride
Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2

 

Mal Wutherspoon's 1973 Lotus Europa S2

I’ve been waiting since 1967 to get one of these. That’s when I first saw one, while I was racing a motorcycle sidecar at the Isle of Man.

They’re a very small car and very firm on the road. It’s not difficult to drive but you have to drive it. The steering is extremely direct. It’s good and quite manageable around 100km/h, but get up around 130-140 and it gets very twitchy which can be quite difficult to handle.

The engine is what’s known as a Lotus twin cam, which starts with a Ford block and crank and maintains the camshaft to drive the distributor and oil pump. From there up, it’s all Lotus - the twin cam head is quite famous. It’s a 1600 and redlines at about 7500rpm. They’ve seen a lot of competition. With respect for this one’s age, I don’t take it over 5000.

This is the American version of the engine, and it had to meet their emission laws. So it originally came out with Stromberg carburettors on it. They weren’t much use – very poor – so it’s been changed over to twin SUs, which are the only other carburettor you can put on them without a lot of machining.

It’s running a Renault five-speed transaxle and it’s said that all the five speeds that went into these cars were built by Gordini, which should make it a little bit more robust.

It’s a very light little car – it weighs just 720 kilos wet, so it’s a small engine driving a very light car. The body is all fibreglass, done in one mould.

I’ve now owned it for about five months. It was bought from a guy in Kings Cross, of all places, and I don’t think it had ever left there while it was in Australia. It first went from Canada to the USA then found its way to California and then Kings Cross.

Buying it was a good decision. It was worth the wait since 1967!

 

Sign up to our free weekly newsletter for more unique car reviews and features plus see the latest unique and classic cars for sale.

Subscribe to Unique Cars magazine
- Print edition
- Digital edition