LOTUS Europe  Type 46 / Série 1

1968


*  First road-legal mid-engine Lotus, inspired by World-Champion F1 Lotus cars

*  Fiberglass aerodynamic monocoque, 610 Kg, 1.07 m high

*  Around 500 ‘’Series 1’’ built, only a handful still exist

*  Our exceptional example is unmodified, complete & matching numbers

 

Like a racing prototype, free on the road


Fifty years after its presentation, the ultralight Lotus Europe still fascinates

 
 

Engine just behind the driver - who is seating nearly on the ground - , an ideal weight distribution, a very low center of gravity : this slender GT has the DNA of multiple world champion LOTUS F1. Its mid-engine configuration is identical to period racing prototypes.

 


In the sixties, competition and sports cars were actually designed by the same handful of top-level engineers, who have become legends : Colombo, Lampredi, Chapman, Frank Costin, Malcolm Sayer… hence the close technical vicinity between racing cars, and road-legal GTs, that you could drive without speed limits ; the Europe Series 1 is a perfect  example of this paradigm.

 

Now, it’s your turn, and this is not a simulator !

Europe offers thrilling sensations very similar to a single-seater, and a lightness which is impossible in today sports cars. Driving position, balance and steering precision allow perfect control, every mile is a delight. The search for lightness is extreme, side windows are non-opening, like in an aircraft, and a single wiper is enough...

 



 


 

 

"A Sport-Prototype for the road !", wrote Sport-Auto in 1967. Impossible to be lighter (600 kg), or more modern - central engine, triangulated suspensions, fiberglass body barely exceeding 1 meter height and bonded to the chassis, aircraft aerodynamics... The Type 47 - racing version of the Type 46 Europe – took the victory at Brands Hatch for its first outing, in confirmation of the excellence of its design.

 

 

 
 
 

About 500 Europe of the first Series were built, most of them have been destroyed, or altered. It’s now become almost impossible to find an example completely authentic and matching numbers… But our car is a wonderful exception : perfectly maintained and preserved, it has survived without being modified or damaged, very close to the original condition. Delivered new in Switzerland, it is now registered in France.


 

A Europe first series is extremely rare and sought-after, comparable to the "flat floor" E-Type Jaguar. Unlike the rather common Series 2, the ultra-rare S1 is historically important as the “édition originale”… direct legacy of Chapman’s genius - Our beautiful, restored  example is matching numbers ; engine has been completely refurbished as well as the gearbox, and many other parts mechanical. The cockpit is perfectly authentic, boasting the rare original steering wheel with its delicious thin leather rim, and the car comes with all original elements, incredibly complete.

 




 

 

 

The 1st Series Europe is the rarest, but also the lightest and fastest of early versions.


 

On top of its spectacular shape and unique driving pleasure, this model is sought-after by serious Collectors : the same year saw the birth of the Dino 206 and the Lamborghini Miura, also pioneering the avant-garde mid-engine concept, directly taken from race-tracks.

For the final definition of the Europe, an essential input was given by Jim Clark, “the Flying Scott”, Lotus Racing Team star. Jim’s very smooth driving style, both fluid and precise, was a breakthrough technique in the sixties. This precision and finesse are the hallmark of the Europe driving experience. These exhilarating sensations, difficult to describe, are kind of the secret of connoisseurs of Classic Lotus. Jim Clark, on the track, was in a class of his own, driving like a virtuoso artist and outperformed all his competitors, winning 2 F1 World titles with modesty and elegance.

   

The Legend of Lotus (seven times F1 World Champion, Indianapolis winner in 1965), the genius of Colin Chapman and the talent of Jim Clark are embedded into the magic of the Lotus Europe S1.


 

LOTUS Europe Type 46 / Série 1

1968 

Price On asking

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