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Trevsked

Europa special?

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Can anyone tell me what constitutes a Twin Cam Special? When was it made and were there any 4 speed variants or are they all 5 speed?

Trevor.

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I think they were made from 1974 with the Elan or +2 big valve (128BHP) Lotus twin cam engine. Off the top of me head....could be wrong.

Buddsy

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I got several different time scales and gearbox variants when I googled it. Some said it was 72 others 73 and with a 5 speed option. What I really want to know is if there is a 1972/73 big valve special with a 4 speed gearbox,

Trevor.

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I always thought it was Big Valve engine, 5 speed box with the full pinstripe paint job, not just JPS black cars too. Years ago I saw a stunning Regency Red special with the gold pins.... amazing, wish I'd bought it!

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The Europa Special, (pics of mine) were fitted with the twin cam big valve engine from the Elan Sprint & the Renault 365, five speed transmission.

Originally, there were 200 black & gold to celebrate Lotus' 1972 world championship with JPS sponsorship but later cars were in all colours. :thumbsup:

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Aah, so no four speed specials then. But were there 4 speed big valve cars and were they just called twin cam big valve cars? The special would have had a 5 speed definately?

Trevor.

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It's been decades since the purchase, and it's now in other hands (after 34 years of ownership), but I seem to recall that I had a choice between the 4 or 5 speed transmission. The 5 speed was a "no brainer" for me at the time, but it may very well be the case that the choice of the 5 speed made it "Special," and that the 4 speed might not have carried that title. Am a bit fuzzy on that. The 200 JPS's that John W. refers to is, however, etched in my brain for all time. That is what I clearly recall as the stated number for the black and gold livery when I made my first inquiries. I almost bit off on the bait, too. The upcharge was about $200 dollars I think...seems like a pittance these days, but at the time it was "real money." I went with "Tawny Brown," a metallic gold finish, and was quite happy with it. It was a 1974 titled model year, built in 1973, and mos def had "Big Valve" embossed on the valve cover, and included the full pinstriping...can't abide the Europa without it! Really sets it off.

My understanding is that mine was among the last group available in the U.S., but that they were sold for two more years in the U.K. (and perhaps elsewhere?).

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Case closed, Andy! :D

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So could a 72 be a big valve 4 speed special?

Trevor

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Mine was built in '72 (proven by Lotus records so I got it classified as "Historic") registered in '73 so carries a "L" year pate and is a Special with 4 forward gears. From memory a 352 'box.

Having just check Wikipedia (which cannot always be taken as true) it certainly looks on first read to be correct about Twin cam being 105 HP, Special being the "Big Valve". There was a bit of debate in various mags about whether the big valves actually gave it the full extra 21HP, because other changes made got pretty close to the 126HP with standard valve sizes.

Trev, is this anything to do with the question?

http://www.ebay.co.u...=item2c68480a8e

This may help clarify.

http://www.lotuseuropa.org/

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Yep that's the one. It's a friends car and while he bought it as a big valve special, when it came to advertising the car an amount of doubt crept in and he didn't want to misrepresent the car. We both think it's a genuine car and is a nice original car that needs restoring. A particularly original engine bay.

Trevor.

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Not sure about the Europa but if its the same gearbox as the +2 I think I read the 4 speed box is more desirable. Better to drive I think?

Buddsy

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Not sure about the Europa but if its the same gearbox as the +2 I think I read the 4 speed box is more desirable. Better to drive I think?

Buddsy

Quite clearly you've never driven a 4 speed (Europa) on the high way... ;):lol:

Edited by Exploded

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Just read in my book "Lotus Elan & Europa (a collectors guide)" by John Bolster is says this "In 1971 came the twin-cam Europa,with Lotus engine and four speed Renault gearbox (Lotus 74). It was succeeded by the Europa Special at the end of 1972, which had the big valve twin-cam eninge, usually with the five speed Renault gearbox. The type was phased out in 1975, after a total of 9,230 cars."

Buddsy

Quite clearly you've never driven a 4 speed (Europa) on the high way... ;):lol:

You're not meant to drive em on the highway...b roads only! :fun:

Buddsy

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FWIW, the U.S. version was rated at 113hp, less than the European cars, and likely due to the rudimentary federal emission controls. Nonetheless, my 5 speed got 36 mpg on the highway, which was astonishing for that era in the U.S. When the 1974 oil embargo occcurred, I found that result rather pleasing. :)

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You're not meant to drive em on the highway...b roads only! :fun:

Buddsy

Haha, you're absolutely right about that! But to go to events and back, I often take the highways to speed up things a bit...

120km/h at our Belgian high ways brings you over 4500rpm, it's torture to hear the engine squeal so long...

A friend of mine owns a fantastic meticulous restored Europe Special, he's got the 5 speed box, still he does around 3500rpm as well at 120 km/h.

Edited by Exploded

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Shame practicalities of life get in the way....if they didn't I would;d have an Eige by now!

Buddsy

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Yep that's the one. It's a friends car and while he bought it as a big valve special, when it came to advertising the car an amount of doubt crept in and he didn't want to misrepresent the car. We both think it's a genuine car and is a nice original car that needs restoring. A particularly original engine bay.

A genuine "Lotus Big Valve" head has a Z stamped onto a raised portion in the spark plug well.

Five speed cars had a cast iron exhaust manifold because of the tubular gear change mechanism which would fowl it.

The Elan Plus 2 130/5 had a Lotus gearbox made from Austin Maxi internals not a Renault transaxle like the Europa.

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I have consulted the books in my Lotus library on the Europa and the Special variant (there really is not a lot of Europa content and even less discussion of the Special) there is even some conflicting information. From this information and having seen and spoken to many Europa Special and non Special owner I offer the following:

Engine - All Specials came with Big Valve engines, though the big valves were available before the introduction of the Special.

Transmission - Graham Arnold's Lotus Buyers guide says the 5 sp was optional, Newton and Psulkowski's Elan Cortina and Europa book indicates it was standard. My interpretation (since authors were on different sides of the pond) is that in the US where highways and open road are common the Special came with 5sp standard, other markets it was probably optional. It may also have been that 4 sp specials were being produced before the 5 sp special became available (I really can't imagine - since I own a 4 sp non-special) that anyone would not opt for the 5sp.

Brakes - Newton and Psulkowki indicates the Specials had bigger front and rear brakes

Wheels - Brand Lotus Alloy wheels were standard

Cosmetic - Pinstriping and silver colored rockerpanels that clean up the bottom edge of the Europa were standard.

Feel free to contradict. As Lotus history has proven over and over again there is always an exception to the standard specification of any given model and there are continual running changes as well.

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Thanks all for your replies and I can say without a shadow of four that I'm still not sure :-). The car sold for £7595.00 which is a little less (£8k) than he paid but such is the price of changing your mind. Perhaps it will turn up on here at some point and would be nice to see it restored.

Trevor.

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Looks like someone got a bargain.

I think what constituted a Special in the States was different from that in the UK. I'm sure I have seen many Specials advertised with 4-speed gearboxes but, I suppose, it's all a moot point now the car has been sold.

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Hi all yes 4 speed special I have a 1972 Europa big valve special 4 speed in yellow one owner from new

now its mine I think colours came before and after the jps specials I also think all the jps ones are

5 speeds as part of the factory spec. phil...

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Workshop manual:

 

Section F - Transmission : Page 29

 

The Type 365 gearbox was introduced into current production as an optional extra on Europa Special at Chassis No.

 

72081783P - U.K.

 

72081101Q - Export

 

72082684R - North America

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