Hofmann’s are delighted to offer this amazing Lotus Europa Twin Cam for sale.
The Lotus Europa Twin Cam is a special car, it was designed and built to be an embodiment of Chapman’s philosophy of automotive design: “Simplify, then add lightness” and for sale here, in my opinion is a very special example of one of these true racing cars for the road. If you have been searching for a properly sorted, genuine example that has excellent provenance dating back to when it left the factory in 1971, then look no further because I believe NEF 283K is possibly one of the nicest examples of the Lotus Europa Twin Cam available for sale in the UK today.
Apart from the amazing condition NEF 283K is in today, it is perhaps its known history from new that makes it unique and so special. The Certificate of Provenance and accompanying letter supplied by Lotus Cars that comes in the history file of NEF 283K shows that it was sold to Lotus main dealers, Northern Sports Cars UK of Richmond, Yorkshire, on the 2nd November 1971, under invoice number 4065. Its chassis number 1089P confirms that it was a factory built, UK market example and only the 90th Twin Cam made. It left the factory in the same striking, 1970’s colour scheme that it is finished in today, Colorado Orange (Lotus paint code L14) with a lovely contrasting black interior. Its engine number V25355, is correct and matching
It would appear that NEF 283K has had a relatively charmed life as the current mileage of only 47000 seems to be genuine. The MOT history, which dates back to 1978 shows that at this time it had covered the bulk of this mileage at 39,359 miles. Amazingly therefore it has only travelled a little over 5,000 miles in last 32 years! The personal ownership history can be traced back and identified all the way to 1979 when a Mr John David Rowlands of Holywell purchased the car on 28th February. A copy of an old V5 indicates that at this point he was the 3rd owner (there have been 5 in total). Mr Rowlands has been the long term owner of NEF 283K passing her on to a Mr Victor Vincent of Bognor Regis on the 22nd August 1997 some 18 years later.
Move on another 8 years and on 28th March 2005 a Mr John Alan Parsons of Tiverton, near Exeter, realised his teenage dream, of owning a Colorado Orange Lotus Twin Cam. The low recent mileage, I believe can be put down in the main to a long term restoration programme which started with Mr Rowlands at some point in his 18 year ownership when NEF 283k was taken off the road and rebuilt using a new chassis and new parts. Looking at the MOT ‘trail’ I would imagine this started in the late 80’s when perhaps NEF 283k was starting to show her age and classic’ car values at that time were at a high and restoration seemed like a good investment.
Having spoken to Vic Vincent it appears that he purchased the car almost finished but requiring completing and painting. As his business was and to this day is car body work, what better person to put the finishing touches to it. Over a two year period Vic had the mechanics rebuilt and the bodywork completely restored and repainted. So in 1999 a NEF 283K rolled out and passed her MOT, she remained in Vic’s hands for a total of 8 years but amazingly during his ownership he only travelled 373 miles in her. Perhaps he felt it was just too good to be used!
The best testimony to the quality of Mr Rowlands and Mr Vincent’s work is the fantastic condition NEF 283K is still in today, some ten years after completion. As mentioned earlier John Parsons had always dreamed of owning a Lotus Twin Cam having grown up near the factory where they built the bodies. After an exhaustive search he decided that NEF 283K was the best he could find and purchased it in 2005. During his ownership John again completed only a limited number of dry miles infact 1,082 miles to be precise.
But perhaps more interesting was his fastidious attention to detail and his need to have the Europa just right. Incredibly he managed to invest the best part of £4,000 during his ownership having it sorted throughout, providing us with an example thatnot only looks fabulous but also drives as well as it looks.
Vic Vincent obviously knows his ‘stuff when it comes to car bodywork, as more than 10 years on since he finished the project, the bodywork still looks stunning from every angle. It has had time to mellow, but it still has that fresh look about it. As you would expect with fibreglass there is the odd blemish here and there but nothing that detracts from the overall appearance.
The doors shut with a nice clunk and do not touch the door frames and generally the lines are excellent. The inside of the engine cover and the engine bay have been nicely detailed and painted in contrasting black as has the front under bonnet area. The bright work and badges are all very good with only some very light pitting on the front bumper. This Europa’s looks are withoutquestion head turning to so say the least!
MECHANICALS AND CHASSIS
It is fair to say in my mind, that NEF 283K went through a ‘nut and bolt’ restoration albeit some ten years ago. However, the consecutive MOT’s from 1999 to 2010 show that she has only travelled approximately 1,700 miles since the rebuild and as such is still ‘fresh’ in many respects, but nicely mellowed and run in’ in others. Throughout the mechanics have either been renewed or refurbished where necessary. The chassis has been renewed with what looks like a genuine factory replacement and it is in perfect condition. The wheels, including the spare are the correct ‘Brand Lotus Spider’ alloys fitted with correct broader sectional rear tyres.
The wheels are in excellent condition but in one or two places the lacquer has failed slightly. The two rear tyres are new and the fronts are almost new. From the pictures you can see that the engine bay detail is very good as is typical of the car throughout, including the underside.
The engine, which was rebuilt, starts first time and is exceptionally smooth for a twin cam. It will tick over all day, does not smoke and has excellent oil pressure at 50-60 psi. The four speed Renault gearbox selects every gear easily and has no known faults. The brakes (which have just had new front pads fitted) work well and pull up in a nice straight line. The cooling system works perfectly. It has recently been completely drained, flushed through and re-filled with fresh antifreeze and bled properly. The engine will tick over all day if needs be as the cooling fan kicks in and out as necessary. All in all this is a properly sorted and reliable example.
The interior, putting it simply, is beautiful! One of the nicest aspects of NEF 283K is its lovely interior, which in the main is very original and unmolested. The original thin rimmed steering wheel, its correct wooden Lotus gear knob and chrome instruments all look and feel just right.
The seats are original and unmarked. All the gauges workperfectly as do all the electrical functions, lights, indicators, wiper and the fans. The only issue is the passenger side electric window which is not working at present. There is also a small crack on the top of the dashboard covering and a tiny one on the front facia which is almost out of sight. I am being super critical here because overall you will not see many better interiors on a 40 year old Lotus!
From the first moment you climb into the seat and connect the four point harnes seatbelts you know you are in for a treat! The low, laid back, arms out straight driving position just yells ‘racing car!’ and you are not disappointed. Weighing in at only 740kg, having a very slippery drag coefficient of just 0.29, 115 BHP of Lotus-Ford Twin Cam and coupled to Lotus’s race bred chassis all helps to create a potent mix.
A quick turn of the ignition key and the twin cam barks into life and settles down to smooth burble, the gear change is precise and as you push the throttle the smooth power of the twin cam keeps coming in. The steering is light and direct and when needed the brakes pull you up into a nice straight line. With 0-60 MPH in around 7 seconds and a top speed of 120 MPH there are, on paper, some more mundane modern cars that can go faster, but none of them match this Europa for fun, excitement and that sheer sense of exhilaration.
With only 1,580 original Twin Cams built out of a total production run of 9,300 this is a rare example of a rare breed, but perhaps rarer still to find one in such good order and with such excellent known provenance. NEF 283K is a truly beautiful example of the Lotus Europa that is ready to be used and enjoyed, something to cherish and be proud to own. Whether you are turning heads whilst driving along or simply admiring her yourself after a clean you will not be disappointed in owning this lovely piece of Lotus history.
Go on, be a little different!
NEF 283K will come supplied with a new 12 month MOT, a current V5, current road tax (it is exempt of charge), a semi fitted car cover from cover systems and the history file containing the past MOT’s, Certificate of Provenance with accompanying letter from Lotus, a CD ROM with the workshop Manuel, drivers handbook and parts list on it and many past invoices.