The first mid-engined Lotus failed to make an impact when it was new, but makes an interesting classic buy
Colin Chapman’s first mid-engined road car was aimed squarely at the glamorous European market, where Italians were making inroads with the layout. Based around Renault 16 running gear, all S1 Lotus Europas went for export. They also had their glassfibre body bonded to the steel chassis, making repairs a nightmare. Europa S2s were sold in the UK, from 1969, and only differed from the S1 in being bolted to the chassis and having elecric windows. All but US exports came with 1470cc engines, though many larger 1565cc units have since been transplanted in from dead Renaults.