The Lamborghini story is fascinating in itself but for the company to have survived all these years and indeed celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2013 is quite amazing. Ferruccio Lamborghini was an entrepreneur, a very successful businessman and a lover of the finer things in life, including sports cars. He was fortunate enough to own some wonderful cars including Ferraris however, he found fault with them all. According to the legend, following a meeting with Enzo Ferrari to discuss some of the shortcomings of his cars, Enzo dismissed Ferruccio and he subsequently decided that he could and would build a better car.
Not long after in May 1963 Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini SPA was established and the small town of Sant’Agata Bolognese, located between Modena and Bolgna, was chosen as the location to build his factory. Born under the Zoadiac sign Taurus Lamborghini chose the raging bull as the emblem for his sports cars.
Lamborghini knew what he wanted and he put together a highly skilled team and his first car the 350 GTV was shown at the Turin Motor Show in October 1963. This car received mixed reviews, however, Lamborghini was not deterred and made a number of improvements and design changes to this original concept and the first Lamborghini production car the 350 GT left the factory in 1964.
The 350 GT evolved into the 400 GT 2+2 and later the Islero. In parallel to building these classic front engine V12 GT cars, Lamborghini wanted to build a super car, enter the Miura first shown as a rolling chassis in 1965, and also a GT car that could comfortably seat four people, enter the Espada in 1968. The mid to late sixties were good times for Lamborghini and his cars were revered the world over.
Lamborghini continued the tradition of naming his cars with association to the legendary bull and Espada is Spanish for sword.
The Lamborghini Espada was first shown to the public at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show where a spectacular metallic gold car took the world by storm. Bertone used many styling cues from the Lamborghini Marzal (including the very funky hexagonal dash layout) and Jaguar Pirana show cars, The Espada wasn’t beautiful, but it was very unique and many thought striking. It was a brilliant design – a sporting GT car on the outside, yet a sedan on the inside!
The Espada was a great success story for Lamborghini with circa 1200 cars built from 1968 to 1978.
The factory records note that this particular car was delivered new on the 15th July 1970 to Lamborghini in Great Britain. The original colour was ‘oro metallic’ (gold) with a senape interior. This is a rare and desirable early Series 2 model Espada with Miura style knock off wheels.
UK records confirm the first owner as Mr B. Cornelius, 10 Beechtree Lane, Swansea, UK.
It is understood that this Lamborghini Espada came to Australia in the mid 1970’s. Lamborghini technicians of that period recall the car in Sydney during 1975/76 and at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast during 1977/78/79 and possibly later. The car was sold by Sydney Lamborghini specialist Henry Nehrybecki to the previous owner back in 1989. During his circa 30 years of ownership the car was sparingly used, often parked up for extended periods of time.
This is an incredibly original and unmolested car. From say a metre the paintwork presents well. It carries an older repaint that has the odd blemish and stone chip consistent with its age, however, the depth of colour remains vibrant and strong. Whilst colour is obviously a personal choice, we think gold is a perfect choice for an Espada . . . it looks even better in the flesh than it does in the photos . . . it is STUNNING! The exterior chrome and trim are in good condition, however, the black body trim along the sides of the car would benefit from a repaint. Mechanically the car is very good with the engine, gearbox and brakes having been rebuilt in 2006/2007. The car has travelled less than 1,500km since then. The starter motor, clutch & master cylinder and rear brake booster have recently been overhauled, new fuel lines fitted and the wheels were painted.
The current owner has just gone through the car and had the following work completed:
– Reconditioning and detailing of Koni shocks, bump stops, bushes, plating & powder coating of springs.
– Major service, oil change, replacement of coolant hoses, re-tension of cylinder heads, re-commission air conditioning, sorted various electrical issues, fixed the speedo and a thorough check over of the car.
– Fitted new centre mufflers.
– Engine detail & replace various gaskets as required.
– Fitted a set of new tyres.
The car has subsequently been used and enjoyed for over 1,000km and it has performed faultlessly.
The engine starts really easily and the big V12 soon settles into a smooth idle. Out on the open road the car performs as one would expect. The Espada runs essentially the same engine as a Countach so there’s plenty of ‘go’ when you need it. This car pulls strongly through the rev range, the gearbox is tight, the brakes pull the car up efficiently and it handles well. The engine bay is fresh and very well presented.
The interior of this car is very original and it presents exceptionally well for its age. The seats are showing some patina, but there are no rips or tears. In many ways it’s just like a favourite leather jacket! The timber steering wheel and dash are a feature of these cars and both are in very good condition. The carpets in the cabin and rear boot area are also in very good condition.
There is a reasonable history file dating back to 1989 with receipts & photos for the major mechanical works mentioned previously, receipts for all of the works just completed, copies of an Espada owner’s manual & parts manual, an Espada factory sales brochure and other Espada literature that will accompany the car. There are also two sets of keys, a correct spare wheel and factory jack kit.
A Lamborghini Espada is a rare beast but finding an early Series 2 car with the Miura style knock off wheels that is so original is indeed a very rare beast!