Congratulations to @Dwaynelum and their awesome
1967 Austin Healey Sprite for getting the most likes in our Small, Mini, Micro Cars car show!
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It's not a micro but it definitely is small and has an origin story that I'll get to shortly. But first, here is my '72 Lotus Europa Twin Cam
And to put the car's size in perspective, here is parked between a Nomad and an El Camino
My link to Lotus Europa goes back to the spring of 1968 when I was 14 years old in junior high. In the slack days at the end of the school year the powers that be decided that we young savages needed a dose of culture so the junior band class was loaded into a bus and taken to a cultural performance at another junior high school about 6 miles away. I have only a dim recollection of the concert but clearly remember the lavender Europa that one of the musicians had left parked outside. I knew what it was but hadn't actually seen one before and immediately decided that it was the coolest thing this side of a Miura. I resolved to have one some day.
What I didn't know at the time was that a girl attending the other school, and at the same concert, had also seen the little Europa and had come to the same conclusion (other than the Miura reference).
Fast forward two years to 1970 and she and I were now in the same high school and started dating. We broke up a few months before grad but got together again about a year later and have been together ever since. We had compared notes and knew we had both seen the same Europa back in '68.
Fast forward again to 1977. Married by now and I had just finished law school when the Europa (this time the one in the pictures) came on the market. It took a bit of creative financing since I'd only finished school two or three months before, but the Europa followed us home in July '77. We've had it ever since and it retains seniority over both of our two now adult kids, as I remind them from time to time.
In the years since then two other small cars, both Lotus, have joined the Europa. Here's the fleet
If I had to cut down to just one small car, the Europa would be my choice even if it is the least powerful and slowest of the three. And despite the fact that when I look at pictures from back in the day when we got it, there is some thin guy with hair wearing my old clothes.
I drove a 69 Fiat 124, back in my early 70’s Napa High School day’s.
So I was talking with a friend about the cars we had growing up, when he told me he had a 80 Fiat spider 2000 he was selling. He told me how well it ran and how he and his son would drive it on weekends. Without any hesitation I bought it.
He dropped it off in my driveway. I paid him, got in it and turned the key all the memories were coming back.
Kind of small . . . same wheelbase as the Austin Mini at 80 inches. Same width at 55 inches but longer at 137 inches instead of the Mini at 120 inches.
1967 Austin Healey Sprite has been in the family since new. However, it sat in a farm field in Newcastle, Calif., for over 35 years with just a tarp covering it. Needless to say, we had to vacate the rat and squirrel nests before refurbishing it in 2019.
Appears small when side by side with a medium SUV.
Actually looks better when "in motion".
My father purchased this car in 1965, drove it to work for several years and sold it to me. I’ve had it ever since through several color changes and custom wheels and miles and miles of fun. 4 years ago I decided to do a complete rebuild. It had never been in an accident and spent its entire life garaged it really had no rust. Since it was apart and getting sand blasted and returned to its original color, I added a Datsun 5 speed, 1275 motor, front discs, electronic tach and speedometer, aluminum radiator, electric fan, fuel pump, new correct color upholstery, dyna-mat and other touches. A little impractical but a lot of fun. It always gets smiles and thumbs up.