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Hi everyone! A year and a half ago I caught word of a Lotus Europa "sitting in a field." I investigated and every few months or so I ask the guy if he wants to get rid of it. He said the starter went over 25 years ago and it sat, uncovered for 25 years outside under a big tree. He said it's a 1972 John Player Special. I don't know how to tell if it's a real JPS or not. The guy seems very knowledgeable in the car, he has had a few. He just got busy with life and never worked on it. So the car has the JPS wheels and the "Big Valve" twin cam engine, it used to be black, but now it is mold and earth colored.

Last night I showed up and he said I could take it right then and there! So I grabbed my buddy and went to Uhaul, got a trailer and took it it home. It took over 2 hours with a come-along and 3 of us to get it on the trailer. It was on rocks so there has been air flow under the car but since sank in the dirt. Mice are everywhere, the windshield is broken, it's basically a total loss. 1 wheel turns, the other 3 are seized. But it was free so I took it and got it home LATE (2am) last night.

Tonight I'll take some pictures and try to find a VIN and maybe someone can help me identify if it really is a JPS? Here are a couple pictures of when I found it.





 

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Congratulations on getting a free Europa! :clap:

JPS Europas are numbered and the only way to tell if it is a real JPS is if it has a dash plaque/badge that is black and gold and has a number on it. I'll try to hunt up a picture of what it should look like for you.

The VIN is another way to make sure its a JPS by the color code, the color code should be L15 which is black gloss, if it says a different one, its not a JPS; however their are other regular Europa TCS that are black gloss too, so thats not really a way to show its a JPS, its just a way to make sure the color is right.

All Twin Cam Europas in the US had the Big Valve Engine in them; however some had 4 speed gearbox and some had 5 speed. The 5 speed was an option on the TC, but I think all Specials had 5 speeds, but I could be wrong, I think it was still an option. All JPS europas had 5 speeds though, I know that!

Good Luck on Restoring the Car!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If there isn't a range of VIN's that could identify it, then I'm not sure I will be able to tell. There is almost no dashboard left so that plaque may be gone and I can't get to it very well because the doors are locked and the key is lost :) I'll poke my head in there later today and see what I can come up with.

If nothing else it's a Twin Cam Special with the 5 speed option in black, so that's good. I am really excited to dig into it a little this weekend. I'm researching right now and finding that there are parts available and if you throw enough money at it and expect no money back, then you can literally rebuild the whole car. I have a solid body with almost nothing else worth saving, so it will be interesting to see what I find this weekend.

If it ever sees the road again, it will be nothing short of a miracle.
 

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The VIN you need to look for is in the front compartment of the car. Just lift up the hood, if you can, and it should be there!

The parts suppliers that I have used are:

Lotus R.D- The one I've used the most for parts, and Ray is a great guy to talk to, he knows a lot! The best place to Go!

Banks Europa- Richard has everything for a Europa! He is located in the UK though. Richard is a very nice guy and very knowledgeable!

Dave Bean- I bought a catalog from him about a year ago, and finally ordered some parts from him. Get the catalog from him and look through it, he has some parts that Ray doesn't have.

Their are other places to go to, but those are your top 3. Try and use R.D as much as you can, he seems to have all of the parts and they are cheaper than the other suppliers too.
 

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Just an fyi while those are Lotus wheels they were not unique to the JPS.
 

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Man I hope that is saveable.

Great Find!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, it's in better hands now than it was :)

Tonight I'm borrowing a friends Triumph Spitfire wheels/tires so I can at least get it off the ground and pop the breaks free so it'll roll around.

I'll post pictures as I go through it to show any progress.
 

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It really is sad to see things like this. There is one by me that is in the same type of situation. Some guy that lives out in country here in KY that seems to be a hoarder of some type, has one sitting out in front of a building rotting away. It looks like it has had the windows down for years and never moves. :thwack:
Every time I drive by, I tell myself I want to rescue it...... :shrug:
 

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and not much rust on the body either ! :D
 

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Were you provided with a title certificate or some other form of ownership transfer (bill of sale etc.) legally valid in your state? If not, resolve that issue before you spend a dime on the car. If you restore someone else's property with your money, that's a problem. If you can't tag it because you don't own, that's another.
 

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+1
 

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Congrats!!! I know this is exciting for you. I guess I don't have to welcome you to the Lotus Loonies, but I suspect that the types of people who own Europas are quite a bit different from those who own an Elise.

There is no real way to tell if it is a genuine JPS. The only real difference between a black 5-speed Europa with gold pinstripes and a JPS is the dash plaque. You should join the lotuseuropa yahoo group. There is a lot of VERY knowledgeable people there and there was a fairly lengthy thread about the JPS series.

The Kid already listed the "usual suspects" for parts. You should have no trouble finding what you need to put it together. People like Ray at r.d., Dave at Dave Bean, and Richard at Europa Engineering have been making replacement parts that have been unavailable. A lot of people on the lotuseuropa group have come up with some clever replacements and re-engineered parts. It's a great platform for creativity!

Here are some websites you might find handy:
Lotus Europa Central -- Home Page
GOLDEN GATE LOTUS CLUB - Parts Interchange
Lotus Europa Online Knowledgebase
Lotus Europa Master Documentation Menu
MG, Triumph, Austin-Healey, Jaguar, Classic British Car Restoration Parts & Accessories - Moss Motors, Ltd.
MG, Triumph, Austin Healey, Sunbeam Tiger - Victoria British, Ltd.

The Moss Motors and Victoria British sites do not have Lotus specific products, but there are some that the Europa shares with mainly the Spitfire, but a couple of other Brit sports cars.

It sounds like one of the first things you'll need to do is peel off the windshield surround and take the windshield out so you can get inside. All the locks are available so if you need to drill any out, don't fret.

Between my ramblings and the advice and comments of everybody else, you should have enough to get started. Keep us informed about how things are going and don't be shy about asking questions - either here or on the lotuseuropa yahoo group.

Good luck!! :shift:
 

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Wow!! Very cool find. Throw some more pics our way when you can. I would love to see the engine compartment and interior. If you find that you can't title it or it is just too far gone to salvage and you end up parting it out, let us know.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This past weekend I was able to spend a few hours cleaning the car out so I can work on it. It smelled too bad and was probably hazardous so it wasn't going in a garage until I cleaned it. Here are some pictures of how it looked when I got it home.







 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here's the engine compartment.





There is structural rust as you would imagine, but we were able to jack it up at the various jacking points without any creaking, bending, or shifting.

Here it is after the first wash/scrub.





We jacked it up and put a borrowed Triumph Spitfire wheel/tire on one side, and the spare tire on the other side. The rear tires didn't rotate because the parking brake was set. We cut the cables and immediately they freed up. The fronts didn't roll just because they were flat. The car now rolls fine and the shifter is starting to free up a bit just from us wiggling it. I can find 2 gears now!

It doesn't smell toxic anymore and there is only one more living thing to remove. The resident chipmunk :) He doesn't bother anyone right now though.
 
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