A door question

For all you owners out there. I'd like to cut the roof of my Lotus Europa the way the GT40 is. They share much the same design in the doors except the roof cut out. The same head room problem getting in & out of the Lotus is I'm sure what prompted Ford to bring the door tops into the roof. The question is: Is it a problem in tight parking places where you really can't open the door fully? Is the roof section at the top of the door even more of a headache (literally & figuratively speaking)? I'd thought of doing a gull wing, but that seems to me to also have it's clearance problems in tight parking situations. Any help/advise is appreciated.
Yes that is a problem. But I don't think many GT40 owner uses tight parking places. If I can't open the door fully its almost imbossible to get in/out.
Lambo doors?
Lambo doors?

Yes I've thought of that too. I really like the way the Lola t70 3b & Chevron B16 doors open (the T70 3 were gull wings). But just don't seem to be able to quite get the hinges to work right.
I have a tight garage, and I can strongly confirm that these f...g doors are a nightmare !
I have to crawl to be able to sneak into the cockpit or get out (and I'm a skinny guy...).

I'm now in the process of rebuilding the entire cockpit of my car, dash and wiring loom, and it's really a pain in the back to get that awful access when you have to use tools inside (not to mention that I had to fight for some time to finally extract the dashboard from the car, same for the seats, etc...)

Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
There was a fellow here a number of years back that built ramps in his garage and would winch the GT in/out so he and his wife could get into the car outside of the garage.
GT doors only work right when they can open fully - unless you are a very slender person that is vertically challenged....

Ian Anderson

Lifetime Supporter
I have a single garage at the back of a shared driveway.

Drive down the shared drive, get out the car
Remove side window
Reach through and steer car as I push it into the garage
Refit Window. (Stops dust and spiders)

Reverse instructions to get car out for a drive

Yes you need the door fully open to get into the car

Parking out and about - choose a parking space so you can open the door out over the verge, park in center of 2 parkings, use a disabled space(And limp as you walk away:laugh:)

Thanks Guys that's what I thought. I'm guessing it's also a water tight issue as well. Not that we drive these in the rain much. But when you wash it, it could be an issue. I know my Corvette T tops leak sometimes. Besides I couldn't hardly park another bicycle in my garage LOL It's just being 6ft tall the head clearance on entering & exiting can be a pain. I had a Europa back in my college days. But I'm not exactly as limber as I was over 40 years ago LOL

"use a disabled space(And limp as you walk away)"
I have a handy cap placard so that's not a problem LOL
I own both a Lotus Europa S1 and a SPF GT40. Don't cut out the roof on the Europa. It's only fiberglass versus the double layer GT40 steel roof. Without a major restructuring you've lost adequate support for the windshield.
Will also concur that GT40 doors can be a real pain in confined parking situations.
I am currently restoring a Lotus Europa S2. I was very surprised when I took the windscreen out that the roof sagged !! I suppose it is another confirmation of the true Chapman genius of getting components to perform more than one task. The windscreen not only protects the occupants from the elements, it supports the roof !!
Yes the roof is quite thin as is the entire body. This is not the first Europa I've owned. I'm surprised that your roof sagged Stephan. I've had the windshield out of mine for years (actually it had been smashed by a tree branch falling on it before I bought it). But I'd planned on reinforcing it with honey comb anyway & making a nice smooth inside to the roof. As well as the insulation qualities it provides (it can get over 100 here in the Summer). As well as the "A' pillars. But the fragility of the roof was why I'd rejected the idea of a full gull wing doors in the first place. If I leave the electric windows in. The motors are quite heavy by them selves.
Just trying to think outside the box...err car...why not make the door easily removable. Perhaps a pull pin at the door hinge post. Remove the door...into the tight garage exit and set the door in place... I'm sure some of you cleaver guys out there could find away. Just a thought

I Don't cut out the roof on the Europa. It's only fiberglass versus the double layer GT40 steel roof. Without a major restructuring you've lost adequate support for the windshield.

Maybe true for SPF, but all GTD, Tornadoes, and other RCR have fiberglass only roofs. Driving my GTD, I've never get my WS falling on my knees even with the two large cutouts in the roof !
Maybe you've never seen a Europa roof. 1/8" single layer fiberglass with no metal reinforcement. I think virtually every GT40 replica has a metal bulkhead that supports the rear of the roof. The only metal in a Europa is the minimal frame at the bottom of the car.
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What Dave says is true. A Europa is a street car built by a racing car company. The body is very very thin (in most areas). Collin Chapman (Owner of Lotus) believed in lightening everything till it broke. Then back up maybe 10% LOL. To do what I want would indeed require quite a bit of reinforcing (as I've done on the chassis to accommodate the weight/torque/HP of the new engine). I'd planned on putting honey comb & a second layer (several actually) of FG on the inside & probably at least one more layer of mat outside. Whether I cut out the roof or not. In a roll over you might just as well be in a spider for all the protection it would offer.
I think they did something like that to the "overhaulin" Europa didn't they?
added some material to the door-into the roofline, im thinking but cant tell for sure in the online pics and youtube is blocked here at my work so cant view that episode.

Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
I would not advise a roll cage in a street driven vehicle unless the occupants always wore helmets.