From: jgrunewald@n...
Date: Tue May 14, 2002 8:52pm
Subject: Sex and the Lotus Europa
Since the subject of sex in a Europa came up recently, I thought I'd
share this article with you. It is from the Jan. 1980 issue of the Lotus
ReMarque (we are all members of Lotus Ltd. aren't we?). Anyway, while
trying to keep the typos to a minimum, here is the article:


During a recent conversation with the Renault-Europa tech rep, Glenn
Davis, he seemed kind of surprised to find out that I had put over a
quarter of a million miles on my Series One Europa since I purchased it
new in 1968. he suggested I chronicle some of the major milestones in my
ownership of the car for possible interest of the Lotus Limited members.

Basically, the car is boring. It doesn't run hot, the electrical system
is super and the fan motors all work, as does the wiper motor. The oil
pressure is high, and, except for a few wear items, the car is original.
However, here are some incidents in the car's life (which are all very

Minus 20 miles: May 1968. Ask mother to drive me to dealer to pick up
new Lotus Europa 46-0491. Since totaled Healey is already there, she
tells me to thumb.

Zero miles: Am one of eight people to receive delivery out of 20 or so
wanting car. Refuse offers on the spot for $5500 ($1000 more than I
paid), and have often regretted stupidity.

+50 miles: Show up at work during lunch hour in new Lotus. Besieged by
office staff, including several beautiful young things. Sink into total
embarrassment when I can't find reverse. Push the car backwards into
space to tune of giggles.

+150 miles: Call salesman and tell him that *it* can be done in a
Europa! He laughs so hard I hang up. Stop by showroom on the way home to
show him bruised elbows. He still laughs.

+1000 miles: Drive car to Ohio to attend wedding. Get drunk and am
stopped by police. Cop agrees to follow me to motel only if he drives
Lotus; I follow in cruiser. No ticket.

+9000 miles: Car is three months old. Drive to Lime Rock to see races.
Spend rest of time pulling people off car. Burn our [out? -ed] rear
wheel bearing on way home, but think this must be just a fluke.

+20,000 miles: Bruised elbows chronic and severe; must find new
position. Burn out rear wheel bearing again; must be the cheap replacement.

+50,000 miles: Find girlfriend with apartment; elbows improving. Burn
out wheel bearing and u-joints. Definitely, problem is being caused by
u-joint failure leading to bearing failure.

+100,000 miles: Decide to start using heavier grade motor oil, because
the engines probably just broken in. At this same time, I feel that I
could rev the engine a little higher.

+125,000 miles: Truck backs into left headlight. Damage minor, but big
trucker calls me little bastard and calls car piece of s--- because he
didn't see me. Fight averted when he finds out I'm good friends with his

+130,000 miles: Next door neighbor backs into side of car with his
tailgate down. Damage minor, but he says he finally has to tell me that
anyone who owns one of those things has to be queer. I show him bruised
elbows, but he doesn't understand.

+150,000 miles: The year of the accident. Stopped at red light in down
town Lowell, Mass., and watching girl with beautiful "Hermes". Teenager
plows into rear end. I scream, "What the hell are you doing?" He says,
"Did you see the t--s on that?" I laugh, damage is minor, girl in nice
Hermes comes over to see commotion and I driver her home. She wants to
know what elbow pads are for.

+170,000 miles: Disaster! Clutch release bearing burns out. Replacement
cost is $22. Beginning to think car's not a good investment. Decide,
since motor removed, to rebuild entire engine myself. Get married. Wind
up in hospital after honeymoon. Rebuild takes two months. Only have two
extra pieces left over. Engine runs super.

+200,000 miles: Thinking about trading for a Camaro SS. Dealer offers me
$500 for toy car. I tell him to sit on it. He does, right on roof, and
laughs like hell. I tell him what SS stands for; he tells me to leave.

+210,000 miles: Louse carb linkage on Mass. Pike. Didn't need second
barrel anyway.

+225,000 miles: See stock market report on growth of ball bearing
company. Feel proud to have contributed to strong America in such a big
way. Move to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and commute only one mile to
work. Car should last forever!

+250,000 miles: Salt air in coastal N.H. likes frame in Lotus. Frame
falls in love and goes to pieces. Series One #46-0491 currently
undergoing top-to-bottom overhaul. Am shooting for another 250,000
miles. If only I could find out how to cure the wheel bearing problem.

EPILOGUE: When over hall complete, car will be for sale. Got divorced
when wife noticed new bruises on elbows. make offer or will swap for
stock in bearing company. Call Dave (603) 431-4346 evenings.

- David Cordeau