Colin Chapman: “Simplify, then add lightness”

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Colin Chapman apparently said “Simplify, then add lightness”.

I’m not sure how this relates to my Lotus Europa but my car has been shedding the odd piece once in a while and keeps on running. Does this mean it’s too heavy? Perhaps over engineered?

My tailpipe was the latest piece to fall off, courtesy of the lovely potholed roads that exist out in the country where I live. My Lotus went from being a noisy car to being a noisier, very raspy car. This isn’t necessarily bad if you don’t have neighbours and bored policeman but for normal driving can get a little old… and possibly expensive.

I knew it would only be a matter of time before something fell off the exhaust system. It was a patched up rusty tube with an interesting welded plate on the resonator.

Rusty Lotus Europa exhaust
Rusty Lotus Europa exhaust

One good pothole and the tailpipe separated itself from the rest of the car. Fortunately nobody was following me at the time because it would have been an ugly piece of metal bouncing down the road. I tried to locate the piece and retrieve my nice chrome exhaust tip but I think it ended up in somebodies vegetable garden or pool.

Light weight exhaust modification
Light weight exhaust modification

The weld quality was up there with a first weld in high school shop sort of quality. Hell, I could have done better than that! Amazingly, the resonator was completely hollow. Perhaps they removed the innards where the square patch was to gain an extra horsepower.

Check out the quality weld
Check out the quality weld

A fancy new resonator and chrome tip have my Lotus Europa humming again. Yeah, it’s still loud but definitely a little more mellow. My impression is that the engine is running smoother as well, maybe a little back pressure is good? I dig the colour as well, matches my new air horns!

Fancy new Lotus Europa resonator
Fancy new Lotus Europa resonator

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