Lotus Europa S1: What’s underneath the dust

 

After getting the car home, I wanted to see what’s underneath the layers of dust the car gathered by standing in a dusty barn for 19 years.

 

On my way to my garage I made a small detour to get some tools I’m going to need in the near future. I got a cordless drill with accessories, two pairs of chassis stands, a floor jack and a vice for my workshop. The rest of my tools, spanners, sockets, pliers and screwdrivers are on the way here as we speak.

 

 

Getting the car out of the garage is pretty easy, the car weighs only 630 kg and some of the engine ancillaries are already stripped off the engine and are awaiting reconditioning in my basement workshop, so I can easily push the car by myself. Getting her back in the garage is another story, but it’s do-able with some wooden ramps and a long run up to the garage so I can generate some speed going up the ramps.

 

The first picture of my two cars together. My daily driver is a 2007 Ford Fiesta 1.4 tdci with Eibach Pro Kit springs and Keskin KT1 wheels.

 

 

I didn’t try to get it as clean as I could, I just wanted to get all of the sand and dust off, so I could get a better look at the body.

 

 

The paint is completely gone, it is chipping in some places and the red has gone dull. The original colour was yellow, it is showing in some places where the previous owner has sanded the red paint down to be able to take a look at the state of the fibreglass.

 

I didn’t have the time to clean the inside, but it’s dirty, the side windows are missing because one of the previous owners tried to convert the car from the fixed side windows to the wind-down windows of the S2. Fortunately he wasn’t really successful as he only managed to ruin one of the two window frames. I can use the correct one to correct the one that’s ruined. The door he started to convert has also split down the centre so I will need to bond it back together. He also cut some holes in the doors to get easier access to the door hinges, so they need to be filled as well.

 

 

The seat covers are in reasonable shape, some of the staples are getting loose, but nothing that can’t be fixed. I might replace the seat foam or maybe replace the covers with leather ones, depending on how well these will clean up.

 

The original steering wheel is missing, and the current one is off-centre. I’m going to try to get my hands on an original steering wheel, if that doesn’t play out, I’m going to get a similar Moto-Lita wheel. The instruments look nice, but I don’t know if they actually work.

 

The paintwork is pretty far gone, but as far as I can see, the fibreglass looks to be OK, but there is no way to be sure until I start sanding down the paint.

 

The grey patches are the places where the previous owner started sanding down the paint.

 

There are a number of holes in the body, some are for rear view mirrors, some are for indicators, but most are for quick release fasteners. Most of the holes will be filled, the others will be re-used and made to look good. I hope Banks will be able to get the triangular quick release fasteners, because I haven’t found them anywhere else.

 

The tail lights are good! These are one of the parts that you can’t get any more, they came out of the Lancia Flavia Zagato parts bin. I will probably make moulds of the lenses so I can get them made if necessary. I might even make a complete mould of the rear of the car, because Banks can only make the S2 rear, with the E-type tail lights.

 

You can see some of the original yellow paint in the rear wheel well. In the past one of the previous owners painted the original wheels in gold. The hubcaps are missing.

 

The engine bay: empty, dirty, rusty. As mentioned before, most of the ancillaries are in my workshop, I haven’t looked if I have everything, but most of the parts are still for sale.

 

The front boot/spare wheel area,  very dirty, but looks OK. I’m not sure what all the holes in the boot area are for, but I have to take a look in my workshop manual.

Next weekend I’m planning to get my workshop sorted, need to clean it out a bit more and build a workbench. Hope to be able to install some lights in the garage so I can finally start to take apart the car.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

 

Serge

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