The mid-engined and impressively aerodynamic Europa looked like it had arrived from another planet, so stunningly low was it. It echoed some of the racers then current, and indeed there was actually a racing version of it, too - the Type 47. The only problem with this low-slung fibreglass dream machine was getting into it: it was no taller than a box of matches and about as commodious inside, so anyone over 5ft 8in didn't stand a chance.
The first S2 Europas, of which we've picked from our classifieds here, retained the clever and lightweight 78hp 1.6-litre Renault-sourced engine from the S1. This was a source of frustration among many owners and potential owners, who could see the more powerful Ford twin-cam units in the front of the Elan and wanted a bit of that performance action in their own bolide.
Somewhere along the passage of time our car has acquired a Renault Gordini crossflow engine tuned for a claimed 130hp, this a fairly common mod on Europas requiring either a new engine, or more speed, or both. It's been repaired or restored in most other areas too, according to the owner: there's a whole new chassis, for a start, plus rebuilt suspension, a retrimmed interior and some extensive engine work.
It certainly looks to be in fine fettle, always assuming you have no objection to yellow cars, and it's quite moderately priced, too. As a way into a classic Lotus you could do a lot worse, provided that is you can actually get into it.
SPECIFICATION - LOTUS EUROPA S2
Engine: 1,565cc, 4-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 130
Torque (lb ft): Er...
MPG: Probably alright
CO2: Less so
First registered: 1970
Recorded mileage: 82,000
Price new: Not a lot, probably
Yours for: £29,995
See the original advert here.