and More
Mods and Photos

To me, "spirited driving" means speed and control. Today that's achieved with computer chips, traction control and anti-lock braking systems.
In the old days, it was achieved by understanding the Laws of Physics and by paying attention to things like center of gravity, polar moment, drag and suspension geometry.
There's not much one can do to improve on the exquisite implementation of the "old ways" that Lotus built into the Europa.

That, of course, doesn't stop me from tweaking some of the elements that make this car what it is...a joy to drive.

Aero Mod
With a very low coefficient of drag, there isn't much room for improvement  aerodynamically. But, reducing the amount of air that flows under the car will reduce any high speed lift at the front end.
For years I've played around with all types of air dams and front spoilers. I either grew tired of how they looked or they were eaten away by "sleeping policemen" (speed bumps).
Below is my latest front aero endeavor. Made from a sheet of ABS plastic, it's rugged, flexible and cheap ($8). At high speeds it should bend and becomes more effective.

   thaero2.jpg   thaero3.jpg thaero4.jpg

thaero5.jpg  Pop rivets were used to secure it to the car.
Update:  It turns out that I've had to shorten the air deflector considerably. Even at low speeds the ABS bends enough to rub the road. And a feedback loop develops. The less air getting under the car, the lower the nose goes. Causing the air deflector to rub the road even more. At least I'm on the right track.

Battery Box
When I purchased this car, used, in 1972 the battery was inadequately mounted by a DPO*. It was in the right location but I chose to relocate it lower down and more securely.
I taped a suitably sized cardboard box to the side of an adjacent body cavity. Next I mixed up a two part expanding foam solution and poured that into the cavity. In a few minutes I had a new battery box.

Lowering a 40 lb lump of lead about ten inches probably helps lower the center of gravity a bit. Knowing the battery ain't going nowhere when I'm pulling .7 or .8gs in a corner is comforting.
After about 40 years I finally got around to making a cosmetic panel using leftover ABS from the aero project above.

thbat1.jpg thbat2.jpg                     *dreaded previous owner

Bicycle Speedo Mod
I'm fairly sure that the dealer that sold me this car tried to roll back the odometer. The speedometer has never been accurate. Turns out the main spring is bent. It's mainly just an odometer with a needle that produces as much fiction as Stephen King.
With advances in bicycle speedometer technology, I thought I'd try adapting a bicycle speedo to work on my Lotus.
I purchased a Sigma BC 509 from Amazon for $15. I lengthened the wire to the sensor from 36" to 51" using leftover RC cabling. The plug connector makes installation easier.
The unit comes with a wimpy magnet, suitable for bicycles. But I chose to use a rare earth magnet for this application. This allows me to mount the sensor a bit farther away than the recommended 5mm from the magnet.
The sensor bracket is made from heavy gauge solid copper wire.

thspdo1.jpg  thspdo8.jpg  thspdo12.jpg  thspdo13.jpg    Click here for more photos of this modification.

New Floor Jack
I purchased a low profile floor jack from China Freight. Sorry, Harbor Freight. If I ever need to remove my gas tank (God forbid), this jack should have the range to lift the back end high enough. The tank has to come out from beneath the car. The jack goes from 3" to 24" max.
It'll also come in handy on my 1967 VW 21 Window Deluxe Bus.
  You can see it's a bit bigger than my old floor jack. And it weighs 102 lbs!
thjack1.jpg thjack2.jpg thfja1.jpg

You can tell I have too much time on my hands when I start making
floor jack saddle accessories. The wood pieces were cutouts from my
Dash 3.0 project
. Specifically, the glove box and fresh air eye ball vents.
The rubber pieces were leftover material from the floor mat project.
Waste not want not.

Battery Cut-off Knife Switch
thks1.jpg  thks2.jpg  thks3.jpg
I'm ashamed to say that months will go by when the Europa sits undriven. I could make excuses. Traffic conditions, blind SUV drivers and potholes come to mind. Fact of the matter is, I'm lazy.
I also have an unscientific belief that all those pesky electrons in the battery are conspiring to escape and interact with the atmosphere and corrode parts of the electrical system. So, when the Europa is being neglected, I always disconnect the battery.
To make it easier to connect and disconnect the battery (did I mention I'm lazy?) I installed a knife switch.
Made in the (wait for it) US of A by the WirthCo Company and sold by Amazon for $25, it's very well made and very rugged.

Yeah, it looks like something from a 1930's black and white mad scientist movie. But sometimes old technology is the best.
ps...check out the cool GOLD plated connector on the positive cable. Don't ask why the negative cable is red and the positive cable is black. I haven't got a clue.

Painted Hub Cap Logo
For no particular reason, I thought I'd try my hand at painting the Lotus logo on my stock hub caps. I found an article that described a method that required no special supplies, tools or skills. That last point sold me. See the results below.
thhc1.jpg  thhc2.jpg The instructions called for any old spray paint, lacquer thinner, a sanding block and some lint free cloth. I substituted acetone that I had on hand, for the thinner, a block of wood for the sanding block and paper towels for the lint free cloth. I used an old denture brush (not mine) to scrub out the tiny crusty bits in the nooks and crannies.

After a practice run on an old Volkswagen hub cap, I went to work on the Lotus hub caps. I like the results.
Click here to read the article.