Lotus Europa S1 460363
Finished ripping out the horsehair insulation padding in front of the engine at the firewall area. And virtually used a shovel and a broom to get all the hay out of the same place. This car was most definitely in a BARN for while. There was enough hay to feed a horse for a couple of days at least. Looks like some critter also moved in for while. The sticker on the blue California plate "DB INC" that came with the Europa, reads "1975". Was this thing in the barn for 26 years? Maybe.
Need to get a new rubber moulding for the windshield. The original is cracked and dried out so badly that the front of the roof is flexing due to no support at the top edge of the glass. Now I know what all the black mastic was for.
Took the heater apart. Wow, is it ugly inside. I don't think it's work saving. Going to start looking into NOS and see if I can find a good one. Also the fan motor for the radiator may have to be replaced.
Well, I'm in a stall period right now. Done pretty much all I can do to 46/0363, concerning prepping the car for the eventual extraction of the frame from the body. The actual surgery will have to wait until after we move, which now looks like the end of November. So until then, the car will remain as a rolling chassis.
Heater out, handbrake out. Steering column also out, but will have to re-install to move the car later. Removed half of the horsehair padding behind the bulkhead. Started to disassemble the engine.
Not a good day for the world.
The radiator and fan, plenum chamber fan, & horn, are out. The radiator seems to be re-usuable.
The Europa is getting lighter as every day passes by. There is a vertical crack in the right hand side of the front tee section of the frame (where the unused holes are for RHD steering column and brake pushrod), visible from the passenger's footwell. There are also a few cracks in the fibreglass underneath and behind the passenger's seat area. This makes me believe that I have no choice but to drop out the frame and truly find out what the real extent of the damage is. It is probably the wisest thing to do anyway. No regrets.
In the meantime
Front bonnet lid, rear engine cover lid, rear trunk box, metal screens. All to be used again.
The dash, center triangle section and glove compartment panels to have new pieces made by a furniture restorer. All instruments, switches and radio are to be replaced with new bits. I'll keep the originals, but won't use them. The wiring is slowly being removed as I write down what goes where. It will be replaced with a new harness. The old one is burnt in a few places. All carpeting, underpadding, headliner tossed in the trash. The seat cushions are repairable. Sun visor and dash vinyl are okay. Pedals removed and must be replaced. Door locks and latch mechanisms removed to be rebuilt. Exterior mirrors, headlights and buckets, taillight units, bumpers all off and will be used again. Antennae off and not to be used again. Steering wheel bent and vinyl/foam rotten, to be replaced.
After about two years of casually searching for a Europa S1, I decided it was time to get off my butt and do something about it. Another birthday was fast approaching and I was again going to be Lotus-less.
I went into overdrive trying to feed the hunger. And lo and behold, I found one. A quick email, and a phone call made me the proud but impatient owner of a 1967 Europa S1.
Three weeks later it was delivered to my garage. August 5, 2001.
The pictures below are from Len Drake's British Motors.