I noticed that the number of my posts on LT has reached the production number of our Europa. So why not a tribute post to her?
I fell in love with the Europa as a 16 year old in 1972, when Emerson Fittipaldi won the F1 championship in a Lotus 72. Ahh the JPS, the black and gold!
My father was an automobile dealer. When I was about 17 we were at a Ford dealer and a JPS sat there in the parking lot. My Dad could see my lust, and that I knew he could have bought her for me. “You’ll have to do that for yourself son”
So I cut out and saved Lotus ads and articles in Car and Driver and such for years. Sat in my dorm room and read them over and over. Someday….
Approaching my 55th birthday I logged in to LT and saw 3841R for sale. Without getting out of my chair I reached for my phone, called, and got the deal in motion.
A few days later, on my 55th birthday, I made the 11 hour trip to Tampa Florida with trailer.
Turns out the then owner, Steve, had taken her into his garage on his 50th birthday. We sat in the floor in his office and saw that we had saved those same ads and articles, had made sketches, and dreamed of someday.
His wife had aptly named her “Black Beauty”. We loaded her up and she became my responsibility through the next part of her voyage.
After only a year I saw two Evora on the road the same day. An obvious sign. I put Black Beauty up for sale. She was soon spoken for again. So difficult to part. I sat on a box in the garage and read out loud some of those old reviews I had saved. It really did give me some closure. But I asked the new owner for first refusal.
Less than a year later he called me, his situation had changed, and he offered her back. Within a couple weeks she was in our garage again, and rests there even now.
She left Hethel over 40 years ago. I hope to see her to 50. A Special
life experience for us both.