Author Topic: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?  (Read 1446 times)

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Offline Lespaul166

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Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« on: Wednesday,March 16, 2016, 07:16:57 AM »
Posted on here a few months ago regarding a 5k OG mile '73 Europa I purchased from my neighbor. There was a lot of debating on whether or not to keep the car as is and just make it run for historical purposes, but after a while we determined that the car is just too hashed to be worth it (Paint burnt off in spots, "Chrome" all faded, brake system all kaput, metal in the #4 cylinder, locked up trans, etc.). Decided its better as a base car.

Now that we are completely disassembling the vehicle, we can sent the body off to get painted. What I'm planning to do is to go Lotus Yellow or Brit Racing Green with a green or yellow stripe respectively, and add some retro racing decals (number, sponsorships, etc.).

Now being an eccentric little bastard, I have this idea of making a race Europa, but keeping it as period correct as possible. Can anyone advise me on some relatively period correct performance parts, repro or original) that would be out there? I'm just trying to not go TOO off the rails (Ill be putting in custom pistons from Diamond Pistons, new brake system; considering how undesirable the original system is.) but I don't want to go nuts with electronic ignition and huge new turbo and fuel injection and the like. If any of this makes sense. Thanks.

--
That aforementioned eccentric little 20 year old bastard

Offline jbcollier

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday,March 16, 2016, 08:43:37 AM »
Well, if you are going racing, the first thing to consult is the rule book.  Some allow fairly extensive mods, some don't.  Especially pause before ordering any "brake system" as it may not be legal.  As for the engine, racing prep for Lotus twin cams is a well trod path with nothing but $$$ barring progress.

Offline BDA

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday,March 16, 2016, 09:12:03 AM »
I guess it depends on whose racing Europa you want to copy. Jensen Motors published a book on their SCCA C production racing Europa (find it on this page: http://lotus-europa.com/manuals/).

I don't think the factory ever raced a Europa but rather the type 47 and then type 62. I believe they were painted in the red/white Gold Leaf colors.

There was the GKN Europa, though I'm not sure it was ever raced, which had a V-8.

As John says, you need to get a rule book (and bring money) if you plan on racing rather than tracking your car.

Good luck and let us know what you do!

Offline Lespaul166

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday,March 16, 2016, 01:47:12 PM »
Not so much racing as having a peppy street/track car with a little something to show under the hood (is it the hood? the trunk? the boot?), while not looking too extreme. Was seeing some pretty nice Garrett turbos that were made to be pretty discreet and look relatively period correct.

Its definitely a strange request. More of an old dream (I had a 72 GTO I was going to do up to be a retro drag car with an old 455 drag motor with original dual quad edelbrocks and headers. got mashed by a drunk driver.).

I would be content with leaving the stock motor. What I guess im looking for are mods that would have been done during the 70s (Obviously a 70s racer wouldn't have modern modifications) like pistons, turbo (?), brakes, etc.

Offline BDA

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday,March 16, 2016, 02:56:11 PM »
Racing or high performance motors of the '70s certainly had performance pistons such as forged high compression pistons. I remember seeing a turbo kit that was available for the Twin Cam during that time.

Keep in mind that the Ford Kent (or "A motor") variants (of which the Twin Cam is just one) were one of the more hopped up motors in England - not unlike a small block Chevy here in the US. You might even consider the Twin Cam and BDA (belt driven twin cam, 4 valve motor) as a factory hot-rod of the previous Kent motors found in lots of Fords and several Loti. According to Wikipedia, it was in use from 1959 to 2002 in all its variants and you can bet that the Brits did a lot of development on those engines the whole time (and after).

If you're keeping with the vintage racing theme, I think you probably wouldn't go with a turbo. Taking the SCCA as the only sanctioning body where Euopas would be run in the US during that time (I don't think that is much of a stretch), turbos were not allowed. I would again refer you to Jensen Motor's manual. English car clubs may have had different rules with regard to turbos.

If you just want to build a hot stock-looking Europa, the world is your oyster and where you go in that world depends on, among other things, how much fabrication you want to do and how much money you want to spend. In the past ten to fifteen years, there's been a lot of interest in engine swaps - mostly, but not limited to, the Toyota 4AGE and Ford Zetec.

Offline Lespaul166

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday,March 17, 2016, 06:09:59 AM »
That Jensen's manual is perfect, thanks. Now to actually start on the damn car. Rebuilding the carbs soon and dropping the engine/trans within the month.

Hard when you're pulling 50+ hours a week >.<

Offline BDA

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday,March 17, 2016, 10:10:18 AM »
If you don't have a 365 transaxle 5 speed, I would recommend getting an NG3. Richard (http://www.banks-europa.co.uk/index.php) has them ready to go. They can also be found in salvage yards (http://www.car-part.com/). I would look for the ones from the Turbo Fuegos. Sorry, I don't remember the years they were imported, but it should be easy enough to find that. This site has good information on what's needed for using it in a Europa (http://www.greytower.com/jon/lotus/europa/gearbox/gearbox.html).

Offline Lespaul166

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday,March 17, 2016, 11:53:55 AM »
Guess I forgot about the 5 speed for a second there (Definitely not an option when I was going to keep the car as is). Definitely would consider that, and definitely would get it from Banks.

Offline LotusJoe

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #8 on: Thursday,March 17, 2016, 12:03:01 PM »
Joe Irwin
3927R TC Special
(The Classic Barn Find)


Offline Mecky

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Re: Tips on making a period correct(ish) racing Europa?
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday,May 25, 2016, 02:50:48 AM »
You can get around 190-200 HP from the TC engine without turbo, injection or electric ignition. In the racing series I take part, there are at least three of them. And they are very reliable and fast. But also very expensive.

I don't know of any period racing Europa with a Turbo, but there were not many Europa racers at all. I think, you should do what you like. If you don't have to make your car fit in a rule book, feel free to upgrade your car. You will earn a lot of strange looking faces on the road and even some surprised guys at the track.