Featured: Street Find: Lotus Europa

Street Find: Lotus Europa

By Ted Gushue
December 13, 2016

Photography by Ted Gushue

To call this one a “Street Find” is slightly a misnomer. I was cruising up PCH for a shoot with a pal’s 2002 and I saw a familiar face. No, not the driver (I couldn’t see him yet) but that unmistakable grin of a Lotus Europa’s front end. It’s, as you can imagine, a pretty tight knit community out here in LA when it comes to English and European classics so my brain quickly flipped through its automotive rolodex and pulled up a card from none other than Petrolicious film star and Ritte Cycles founder Spencer Canon.

Now, Spencer isn’t exactly a glutton for punishment, but he is someone who’s quite long English automobiles. He was happy to open the car up for me to have a peek, but in order for us to do a proper feature there are still a few kinks he’d like to work out. In the meantime we get to enjoy a little automotive porn from a grey Saturday morning on PCH.

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sam toolsGlen PossBen BeamesDavid Toddgerald brennan Recent comment authors
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sam tools

I just bought a 1970 S2 Type65 largely because of your amazing videos (Spencer/Petrolicious and Ben/Westhavenbrook). Low miles (30K) but hasn’t been used since 1977, so some refurbishment has been necessary, including tires and Spax shocks and springs (new springs are largely to ‘fix’ the bow-up look of the Type 65). Spencer’s car (S2 Type 54 if I remember correctly from the video) would have been flat from day-1 . Was that imported from Canada Spencer? I’m in Victoria BC. – John Taylor

Glen Poss

My 1966″stock” one with the Renault based but highly modded motor would eat a 911. The car I owned was a very early version, pop in plastic windows, the seats were just cushions where you adjusted the steering wheel and pedals to you so it was even lighter than the S1 shown.

Ben Beames

I used to autox one. It was impressive how well it could keep up or beat cars 40 years newer than it, all while on cheap tires. But you did kind of have to have a sense of humor about it. Some friends of mine and I made a movie about it. It got good air time in the autox community: https://youtu.be/DoSnoayLuIM

David Todd

There were quite a few Europas in Melbourne Australia back in the 70’s.
One guy who I worked with had 2.
His daily driver was a standard yellow one and his best one was a John Player Special. Black with gold coloured decals and gold wheels.

gerald brennan
gerald brennan

My best friend’s brother owned one. Rich hippie who worked at the Ford steel mill and had nothing better to do with his cash hoard. We called it “the breadwagon.” It almost never ran. Constant state of repair.


It’s nice to see somebody recognize how cool the Europa is. I’ve had mine since new. I completely rebuilt it with among other mods , a BDA engine replacing the Lotus Twin Cam. When I park, it is rare that somebody doesn’t come up and drool, take pictures, and/or ask me questions about it. A really fun car!

rear roof line.JPG
roof line.JPG
Douglas Anderson
Douglas Anderson

My memories of my time with a particular Europa are sweet to say the least. A couple weeks ago one shows up at the tire store where I work part time as the courtesy van driver. ( great job , for a retired old fart) . Anyway, the kids that work there are scared to death of the Lotus , have no idea how to even drive the little bugger in to the shop. Old man to the rescue !! I hobble my self in to the seat , and immediately feel at home. Got it in the shop ,… Read more »

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

Rolfie Roberto
Rolfie Roberto

Most bestest favourite car EVER !
I was 16 when I saw one in the flesh and was astounded at how low it was. Even at that age I was too tall to get in.
Thanks for finding this beauty !

Spencer Canon
Spencer Canon

Excellent photos and an honor to be featured. This Europa is being setup for some vintage racing, but with a little bit of road worthiness as well. Ted found me on my first shakedown of the car since the rebuild. I had stopped in a lovely location next to the ocean to address a misfire. Still much more to do. I’m looking forward to finishing it up and sharing more of the wonderful qualities of this quirky little car with you all soon.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

As contradictory as it may seem …. me loves them Europa’s . I was first introduced to them by my HS Psychology / Anthropology teacher [ y’all still around Jim ? ] who had one as his daily other than winter driver .. and then by a neighbors son inlaw who had the twin cam full JPS regalia Europa . Which I later bought from him in between my ‘ F ‘ word fixations . Loved that little beast … despite cramming my 6’+ frame into it ! And …. not that I’m a fan .. of the show or… Read more »

Ted Gushue
Ted Gushue

Foose’s Europa is SO sick. Thank you for reminding me of it!!

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

Agreed, it is always a treat to see the progress photos.