Wednesday 17 July 2019

Customer Focus: Francis Phillips and his Lotus Europa S2

We are very excited to share with you what one of our customers has been up to for… about 3 years!

Francis Phillips, a retired Project Manager, took his experience of building Car and Aircraft factories and applied it to something a little bit smaller and a whole lot cooler: a 1971 Lotus Europa S2. And to make it even more worthwhile, Francis is doing a tour of car shows across the county, raising funds for Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust.

We asked Francis to share a little bit about his restoration project.

“My 1971 Lotus Europa S2 has been with me since 26th October 1991, located in a chicken farm barn (whiffy or what!).
I bought it on a whim to restore at some point. It had had an engine fire which had demolished most of the rear end. The engine was not original, possibly incorrectly fitted and the cause of the fire.
I moved house three times, each time taking it in bits with me. Finally, I got around to working on the Europa many years later after I retired and moved to Cornwall in 2013. Work commenced in earnest late in 2016.”

Here you can see the extent of the fire damage!

When you see the list of jobs Francis had to complete, you can see why it took so much time and dedication.

He had to:
  •           Install a new engine (VW Golf GTi 2000cc 16v, giving power in excess of 170bhp)
  •           Replace the transmission
  •           Fit a new galvanised and painted chassis
  •          Update the front and rear brakes and handbrake
  •           Replace the front and rear suspension, including replacement bolts and bushes
  •           Install a full set of new wheels and tyres
  •           Restore the body of the car
  •           Fully update the electrical system, adding a hazard facility, rear fog light, electric windscreen pump and front spotlights
  •           Fit a new dash and centre console
  •           Re-trim seats, re-cover door cards and fit new carpets and roof lining

The restoration of the body of the car is where CFS was able to help. In Francis’ own words; “the main bulkhead had to be replaced with marine ply and fully covered each side with mat and polyester resin, I could not believe how much resin and mat this took, and time! It took the summer of 2016 in the garden to put the layer of tissue over the body, doors, bonnet and engine cover.”

From this...

To this!

We think the results speak for themselves – an absolutely fabulous car, worth every bit of hard work!

If you would like to see Francis and the Lotus in the flesh, you can catch him at the Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust merchandise stand at The Truck Show, Stithians Show Ground (20th-21st July), and Cornwall Motorfest, Crantock (30th Aug-1st Sept).

CFS supplied Francis with the following products:

·       Fibreglass Mat
·       Fibreglass Tissue
·       Polyester Resin (Gallons of it!)
·       Acetone
·       Release Agent
·       Pre-made Fibre Glass sheet - very good for making internal wheel arch protectors.
·       Various tools and preparation materials

Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust flies more than 800 missions every year bringing vital emergency medical treatment in minutes to patients across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. It does not receive any government support for these missions and relies on the generosity of its supporters to keep flying. If you would like to donate, click here.

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