The Islero was the first Lamborghini with hidden pop-up headlights and the first designed by Mario Marazzi. Its appearance seemed somewhat dull even next to the Espada, not to mention the Miura. The 400 GT version was quickly followed by the improved 400 GTS that soldiered on until 1970 when the Islero was replaced by the Jarama.
Lamborghini was truly prolific in its first few years as an automaker. Ferruccio Lamborghini’s men put the 350 GT into production in 1964 and then, only two years later, the bigger, more powerful 400 GT arrived. At the same time, the stunning Gandini-penned Miura dropped and, for 1968, Lamborghini readied up two new cars: the Islero which replaced the 400 GT and an even bigger grand tourer, the Espada. Lamborghini’s wave didn’t last much longer, though, and, by the mid-’70s, the company was in financial hot water.
The Islero name comes from a Miura-breed bull that killed the famous matador Manuel Rodriquez in August of 1947.
1976 - 1979 Lamborghini Silhouette
Lamborghini launched the Silhouette in 1976 as an attempt to appease customers that didn’t buy the Urraco, the company’s first V-8 model, with a car that featured the same underpinnings but a more modern styling in tune with the Countach. Sadly for Lamborghini, it didn’t work out, but Lamborghini still had the Jalpa up its sleeve.
The Silhouette was a more angular-looking sports car, in tone with the Countach. It had square, flared wheel arches, an aggressive nose, and a sleek rear section with two black air vents covering the area aft of the B-pillar. The wheels were also new and they would go on to become a sort of a staple on Lamborghini models. The Silhouette was also one of the few to not be named after a fighting bull or a breed of bulls and the first from Sant’Agata Bolognese to feature a removable targa top.
The Silhouette, in keeping with the budget sportscar ethos pushed forward by Ferruccio when conceiving the Urraco, was never meant to be an out-and-out performer. As such, with a 3.0-liter V-8 behind the seats, the power output was advertised at a docile 266 horsepower - 40 less than a modern-day Seat Leon Cupra R hot hatch- with a resulting top speed of 162 mph or 12 mph less than a de-restricted Audi RS3 hot hatch that you can buy in 2018.
1970 - 1976 Lamborghini Jarama
The Lamborghini Jarama made its way into production in 1970 as a replacement for the Islero and proved to be the Italian supercar manufacturer’s last front-engined V-12 grand tourer. While shorter than the Espada, the Jarama still offered seating for four and had the same engine.
By the late ’60s, Lamborghini was a bivalent company: it was both offering an out-and-out supercar, the tremendous Miura, and a couple laid-back grand tourers built with comfort, luxury, and practicality in mind. When it came time to replace the smaller of the two tourers, namely the Islero, Lamborghini decided to turn from Carrozzeria Marazzi, who’d been behind the Islero, to Bertone.
The car that resulted was a strange thing: it sat low and wide but was also quite short. It came with Miura-style magnesium wheels but it was way heavier than the mid-engined supercar due to its all-steel construction. The first batch of cars was dodgy at best, in typical Italian fashion, but the Jarama S turned out to be an enjoyable highway runner.
1973 - 1979 Lamborghini Urraco
The Urraco heralded Lamborghini’s entry in the budget supercar niche. It was available in a number of guises, the P200, P250, and P300. Less than 800 units of this sleek V-8 mid-engined Italian beauty were sold before production ceased back in 1979. In spite of its rarity, the Urraco still fails to command the kind of prices you’ll see early Dinos being sold for.
Presented at the 1970 Turin Auto Show, the Urraco hit the market two years later as an affordable 2+2 supercar that wasn’t really a supercar and stood in either the Miura’s or the Countach’s shadow throughout its lifespan. Its design, penned by Marcello Gandini during his stint at Bertone, leaves something to be desired as far as dramatism goes with the more dedicated 2-seater Merak from Maserati being clearly the best-looking budget supercar at the time.
For all its shortcomings, many of which were mocked during a Top Gear episode which centered around the Merak, the Dino 308 GT4 and the Urraco, the Urraco was considered a brilliant car by Lamborghini engineers as it incorporated a number of industry firsts and other novel ideas for the early ’70s, many of which have been forgotten as time wore on and the scissor doors of the Countach turned the heads of just about any automotive aficionado.
Lamborghini restores Espada and Islero for their 50th anniversary celebrations
In a time when modern supercars are defined by how outlandish they can look, the Lamborghini Espada and Lamborghini Islero provide reminders that there once was a time when “sexy” didn’t always equate to having the most menacing-looking car in the business. The two Italian icons are still considered two of the finest Lamborghinis ever created, and as the two celebrate their golden jubilee, Lamborghini announced that it has successfully restored the Islero and the Espada that belong to the Lamborghini Museum.
Lamborghini’s Hollywood Cars Are Now On Display in Its Headquarters
Lamborghini may not have the same Hollywood roots as Ford or Aston Martin, but the Italian automaker has made its presence felt on the silver screen. Now, we get to see all of it in the same place at the same time. Head over to the company’s headquarters in Sant’Agata Bolognese, and take a trip to the Lamborghini Museum. That’s where you’ll find the exhibit, “Film Emotions — Lamborghini and the World of Cinema,” where you’ll see some of the most famous Lamborghinis that have been featured in Hollywood movies.
The Lamborghini Miura SV, also known as the P400SV, was introduced in 1971. Essentially an updated Miura S, the SV was the last and most famous Miura. Produced in significantly smaller numbers than the previous versions, the SV is also the rarest Miura as well. Although visual updates were mostly subtle, the Miura SV featured extensive drivetrain and chassis upgrades that enhanced both the output and the handling of the car.
The oil crisis and the lack of demand prompted Lamborghini to halt Miura production in 1973, the same year it launched the Urraco, its first of only two sports cars powered by V-8 engines. The Miura was replaced by the Countach in 1974, a vehicle the company had been working on since 1970.
Shortly before the Miura was discontinued, Ferruccio sold off his controlling shares of the Lamborghini company. Word has it he retired because he achieved everything he had set out to do with the Miura.
Updated 08/24/2016: A very cool Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone was brought by RM Sotheby’s at the 2016 Monterey Car Week, where unfortunately it failed to sell. The car was estimated to go down for $1,900,000 - $2,200,000. Check the "Pictures" tab for some images taken at the event.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Miura SV.
1966 - 1969 Lamborghini Miura
The Lamborghini Miura was introduced in 1966, only three years after Ferruccio established his company in Sant’Agata Bolognese. It was Lamborghini’s third vehicle — after the 350GT and the 400GT — as well as its first mid-engined car. In fact, the Miura was the first production, road-legal, mid-engined sports car, being widely credited for starting the trend of high-performance, two-seat, mid-ship vehicles. The Miura was built until 1973, receiving two updates — the S and the SV — in the process.
When Lamborghini unveiled the 350GT back in 1964, everyone was impressed and the car turned out to be a huge success. But, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided he could do even better. He wanted the car with perfect design and technology, a car to impress and create sensation. And, he had all this with the Miura launched in 1966. Maybe the Miura name says it all, being named after a Spanish ranch whose bulls have a proverbial attack instinct.
Prior to the creation of the Miura, mid-engined layouts had been used by Ford, Porsche, Abarth and Ferrari specifically to dominate the race tracks. But Ferruccio had no interest in that. He wanted a car for the road. So, he asked a team of three men to create his car: Giampaolo Dallara, Paolo Stanzani, and Bob Wallace. After more than a year of work they came up with a first prototype at the 1965 Turin Auto Show. And, even if people were excited about it, many of them had doubts that the car would ever see production.
But, the production model was launched only a year later at the Geneva Motor Show. The first production model was delivered in December 1966, and although Ferruccio wanted his car to be limited to only 30 units, he had to reconsider his decision due to the huge demand.
Updated 07/14/2016: We added pictures of a mint-condition Miura P400 that will be auctioned by Mecum Auctions in August 2016 in Monterey.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Miura.
Lamborghini Celebrates Miura’s 50th Anniversary With Scenic Drive Along Italian Highway
The Lamborghini Miura is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and to commemorate the car’s golden anniversary, Lamborghini took out two of its very own museum-quality Miuras for a nice scenic drive on the St. Bernard Pass, the section of the Italian highway that was used in the opening sequence of the original The Italian Job starring British actor Michael Caine.
To be clear, Lamborghini didn’t recreate the scene itself, and why would it considering what happened to the Miura in the movie. The joyride was done as part of the Italian automaker’s year-long celebration of the Miura’s 50th nameday. Adding a special twist to the celebratory drive were Lamborghini engineers Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani, as well as Carrozzeria Bertone designer Marcello Gandini. Dallara, Stanzani and test driver Bob Wallace, in particular, are regarded as the “fathers” of the Miura so it was only fitting that when it was time for the two Miuras to do their versions of a celebratory drive, Dallara, Stanzani, and Gandini took turns taking the wheels of the of the two legendary museum-grade supercars.
Accomplishing the drive was no small feat for Lamborghini either. It essentially had to get the green light from Anas, the Italian government’s road maintenance and building division, and the Polizia Stradale before getting the nod to use the highway road for the anniversary drive. In the end, all parties consented to the drive, paving the way for the two Miuras to essentially retrace the route from the opening scene of the movie, minus, of course, the part where the Miura crashed inside a tunnel.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
The late ’60s produced some really incredible cars. It was an era when the Ferrari 275 GTB/4 and the Lamborghini Miura were breaking production car speed records and ushering in the era of the supercar. But, these cars weren’t how the makers of exotic Italian machines were making their money — it’s something we sometimes forget today, but it was bigger 2+2 touring cars that were the bread and butter of high-end Italian sports car market at the time. Lamborghini was a bit late with its offering in this niche, but most would agree that it was worth the wait.
Lamborghini’s first 2+2 was the Espada, named for the Spanish word for “sword.” It was one of the more indirect references the company would use to bullfighting, but it still counts. Like the Miura, it offered outrageous styling, although the design was different enough to not look derivative. It also offered a ton of power and class-leading interior space. It should hardly come as a surprise that it became Lamborghini’s best-selling model for years to come. The car was tweaked several times over the years, and there are three different series of Espadas, but the biggest change from one to the next was always the interior design.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Espada.
Imagine for a moment that you’ve gone to an international car show, and on arriving discovered that John Deere has built a car. And not only that, but it is a super fast and exotic grand tourer, designed to take on the biggest names is GT carbuilding. You’d probably have to go home and lay down, but you would have also gotten an important insight into what it must have felt like to be at the 1963 Turin Auto Show. Because that is where Lamborghini, up until that point a company known for building tractors, unveiled the 350GTV. This was the prototype that would lead to the production 350GT, Lamborghini’s first production car.
The seed for the 350GTV was planted in 1958, when Ferruccio Lamborghini bought a Ferrari 250GT, the first of three 250s he would own. He liked the car, enough to own three of them, but he found the racing-derived machines to be lacking in interior amenities, and that the clutch would wear out far too quickly. The clutch was an especially big problem, since it required trips back to Maranello to have them replaced. Lamborghini tried to have this addressed, but Enzo Ferrari was famously too proud to listen to criticism, so Lamborghini decided to make his own GT car.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini 350 GTV.
The 1980s are often seen as a time of permissible excess of every shape and size, which paired quite nicely with the spaceship designs and high-powered performance coming from Lamborghini. Most associate the time period with Lambo’s flagship Countach, but below this bedroom-poster superstar was the lesser-known Jalpa. Framed as the smaller, less expensive Italian option, only 410 were ever produced. Now, you can pick up quite possibly the finest example to survive the era of cocaine and Reaganomics for $115,000.
The rare Lambo is on offer from Hyman Ltd. Classic Cars, a vintage vehicle dealer based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Produced in 1988, this particular Jalpa is one of the very last to be created. The wedge-like exterior, a look that simply oozes 80s, is finished in black, as are the leather seats, while the door panels and carpets are tan. Cabin amenities include air conditioning, an early CD player and an open-gate shifter. A mere 25,378 miles are registered on the odometer.
To keep it running, this Jalpa has had a bit of work done to it, including recent repairs to the ignition wires and exhaust manifold, and a fresh set of tires. Overall, though, the car looks beautifully maintained, which is no surprise given the fact the previous owner was a “professional foreign car mechanic who kept a small collection that he pampered with both enthusiasm and intimate knowledge of what the cars needed,” according to Hyman Ltd.
Also included are the original warranty booklets and a parts manual, just in case you want to browse all the parts you’ll now probably be able to find.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Lamborghini Miura was the car to have if you were a famous person in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Frank Sinatra had an orange one with a custom wild boar-skin interior. Fellow Rat Pack member Dean Martin had a green one. Jazz Legend Miles Davis nearly died in his lime green Miura when he wrecked it in New York City. And now this lovely Miura SV originally owned by Rod Stewart can be yours for around $1.9 million.
Rod the Mod originally purchased the car in 1971 as a Miura P400S, but the current owner converted it to its current P400SV specification. That means the 4.0-liter Bizzarrini-designed V-12 now puts down 385 horsepower, while a limited-slip differential and wider rear tires help keep everything pointed in the right direction. Outside, the flip-up headlamps have lost their eyelashes, and dramatically flared rear fenders accommodate the additional rubber.
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Restoring a classic car can be a very long and expensive process, more so if the said vehicle is a 1960s supercar like... say a Lamborghini Miura. Built in a little over 750 units, Miuras can fetch millions of dollars in tip-top shape nowadays, while bringing a badly damaged example back to its original configuration is not just expensive, but extremely difficult as well, with so few spare parts on the market. The same goes for other Lambo classics, including the 1960s 350GT, Espada, and Countach.
If you happen to have one of these Lambos sitting in the garage and waiting for a complete restoration, then you’ll probably be excited to the Italian company is relaunching its restoration center.
Revived under the "Lamborghini Polo Storico" name, the new department includes everything owners need to restore their classic supercars. Specifically, owners will have access to the brand’s historical archives and the vehicle restoration center, as well as vehicle certification and an array of genuine spare parts for all historical Lamborghini models.
Additionally, Lamborghini specifically trained its authorized workshop personnel to service classic cars, and created a website that enables owners access to catalogs and to order spare parts from anywhere in the world. Lambo will also manufacture special parts based on the original blueprints if they’re unavailable.
The shop should be fully established by the end of the year.
Continue reading to learn more about the Lamborghini Polo Storico restoration center.
The Miura and the Countach might be the first supercars that come to mind when talking about classic Lamborghinis, but the Italians have built many other enticing automobiles throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Sure, none are as iconic as the Miura and the Countach, but there’s at least one nameplate that has become increasingly popular with collectors nowadays: the Urraco. Manufactured between 1973 and 1979, the Urraco was Lamborghini’s answer to the Ferrari Dino, Maserati Merak and the Porsche 911, and an entry-level proposition to the more powerful Countach. In short, it had a similar status to the Gallardo and its newly launched replacement, the Huracan.
Unlike the Countach, which carried a V-12 engine under its rear bonnet, the Urraco was motivated by a V-8 unit. At first displacing 2.0 liters, the mill was later enlarged to 2.5 and 3.0 liters for the faster P300 version. In its most powerful version, the Urraco had 247 horsepower and 162 pound-feet of torque traveling to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual. Of the 791 Urracos ever built, only 21 were produced for the American market. The U.S. spec featured larger bumpers, different taillights and emission control devices that decreased the 2.5-liter V-8’s power from 217 to 177 ponies.
While not as impressive as the Miura, the Urraco became Bob Wallace’s vehicle of choice to develop a successor to the radical, one-off Jota. Dubbed Rallye, the beefed-up Urraco featured a 3.0-liter V-8 uprated to 310 horsepower, a race-spec front bumper, a massive rear wing and a full roll cage. The project was eventually abandoned.
Production of the Urraco ceased in 1979, but the its platform lived on with the Silhouette and the Jalpa models throughout 1988. Because its production was affected by the oil crisis and the numerous worker strikes in Italy at the time, the Urraco is fairly rare nowadays, with well-maintained model able to fetch up to $100,000 at auctions. Not exactly impressive when compared to the amounts Miuras and Countachs change hands in the 21st century, but that doesn’t stop Gene Ondrusek from being a proud Urraco owner. Watch him drive and talk about his prized classic exotic in the video above.
RM Auctions is one of the biggest auto auction houses in the world. It’s been home to some of the biggest auction buys in recent memory, including a 1957 Ferrari 625 TRC Scaglietti Spider that sold for $6.4 million back in 2012. For 2014, RM Auctions is set to open shop in London where a number of classic exotics will be up for bid to the highest bidder.
EVO managed to get a guided tour of RM Auctions’ storage facility where Harry Metcalfe joined the team to talk shop about some of the cars that are expected to get a lot of attention at the sale.
As expected, the facility contains some of the rarest and most beautiful metal, carbon fiber and aluminum in the world. EVO and Metcalfe zeroed in on a few of them, including a rare 1986 Ferrari Testarossa and a 1990 Lamborghini Countach. These two cars are widely considered as the "poster exotics" of the 1980s, and seeing them in the same auction is a real blast back to the decade of teased hair and leather pants for myself.
The guided tour also included short discussions about the 1993 Jaguar XJ220, the 1959 Facel Vega HK500 Coupe, and the 1973 Alpine-Renault A110 1300 V85.
There are many more cars that EVO and Metcalfe discuss in this 32-minute episode. I won’t run the risk of spoiling all the models, as having an authority like Metcalfe give you a little history lesson about them trumps my ramblings about them here.
Most of us watched the Goodwood Festival of Speed to see hundreds of awesome road and race cars storm up the Hill. Others, including many past and present racing drivers, travel to Goodwood to hoon the vehicles we drool upon. But there’s a third category of motoring enthusiasts that take trips to England to pay million for the classic cars sold each year by Bonhams, one of the world’s oldest and largest auction house.
This year’s event brought together nearly 100 vehicles and more than 400 automotive-related collectors items, raising a staggering £22.6 million (nearly $39 million as of 06/27/2014). One car alone sold for nearly half that amount, with two more fetching more than $1 million each, rounding up yet another successful event.
Not surprising, the most expensive vehicle sold at Goodwood was a Ferrari. Maranello classics are already a common occurrence at such events, and very few change hands for less than $5 million. On the other hand, how often do you see a 102-year-old vehicle sell for more than $1 million? Head over below to find out more about the most expensive classic cars auctioned at Goodwood.
Click past the jump to read more about Bonhams’ sale at Goodwood
The latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage features one of the most amazing Lamborghinis ever, a 350 GT, which was the first production car the company made in 1965. The model was limited to only 135 units, so the chance to actually find one in good driving conditions at this point is quite rare.
The car was brought to the garage by Andrew Romanowski of Lamborghini Club of America, whom we spoke to a few months ago, and he offers a few more details on Lamborghini’s first supercar.
The model was previewed by the 350 GTV concept and then unveiled at the 1964 Geneva motor show. It was powered by a four-cam V-12 engine that delivered a total of 350 horsepower and was combined with a four-wheel independent suspension and an aluminum body. The model was capable to hit a top speed of 158 mph. Every one of those numbers are astounding for that period.
Check the video to see what Jay Leno has to say about the 350 GT.
About a year ago, Swiss artist Dante brought a 24-karat Ferrari 250 GTO sculpture to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Ever the provocateur for all things awesome and artistic, Dante has created yet another masterpiece of a sculpture. This time, the artist’s inspiration is another classic Italian supercar: the Lamborghini Miura.
Instead of Pebble Beach, Dante will be presenting his 24-karat Miura sculpture at the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix this coming November. In addition to being finished in 24-karat gold, the 1:24 scale Miura sculpture was built using silver and comes with a black marble base and a piano black lacquered presentation case.
Dante will only build 50 of these models with each piece being priced at 50,000 Swiss Francs, which is around $52,000 based on current exchange rates. For that one person who believes he can always do better than that, Dante is also offering a one-off model that will cost double - 100,000 Swiss Francs ($104,000) - than the 24-karat versions.
What’s the catch for this one-off, you ask?
It’s a solid gold sculpture of the Miura.