Introduced in September 1972, the first 100 Big Valve cars were special. To honour Team Lotus’s victory in the 1972 and 1973 F1 World Championships, John Player Special (JPS) was released to commemorate the success. The cars were number-badged (numbered JPS dashboard badge) and painted black with gold pinstripes to honour that 1972 F1 World Championship title.
All cars had five-speed gearbox , becoming the first ever John Player Special commemorative motor vehicles. The “Special” name and colour scheme was planned to be dropped after the first 200 cars, reverting to the Twin Cam name, but such was the positive reaction to the new car that the name and pin stripe scheme remained until the end of Europa production although colours other than black were made available.
In the end the numbered plaque distinguished the first, original, 100 JPS cars from other black Europa Specials. The JPS was one of the very last Europa models released before production ceased altogether.