Carrozzeria Bertone unveiled one of its motor show sensations at the 1967 Geneva event, the Marzal. This dramatic concept car was seen as an approach to a four-seat Lamborghini... and it turned out to be a forerunner of the Espada, a genuine four-seater and a distinctive 1960s supercar.' – David Hodges, 'Lamborghini – The Legend'.
A mere five years after introducing its first car and three years after launching the sensational Miura, Lamborghini again up-staged Ferrari by announcing a full four-seater at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show. Named after a matador's sword, the Espada was styled along lines similar to those of the stillborn, rear-engined, six-cylinder Marzal but carried its 4.0-litre, four-cam V12 up front. The latter - first seen in the 400GT and used also by the contemporary Islero - produced 325bhp, an output sufficient to propel the distinctive, Bertone-styled coupé to 150mph. Islero running gear was employed but wedded to a platform-type, semi-monocoque chassis rather than the former's tubular frame.
Introduced in January 1970, the Series II cars came with an extra 25bhp, 155mph top speed, an improved dashboard layout and the option of power-assisted steering. The dashboard was revised yet again in late 1972 for the Series III, which also incorporated power steering as standard, up-rated brakes, minor suspension improvements, and a restyled front grille. Espada production ceased in 1978 after 1,217 of these imposing cars had been built. Even today there are few cars that can match the on-road presence of the Espada.
Testing a prototype Espada in 1968, Autocar found Lamborghini's new family-sized supercar to be 'perfectly practical as a full four-seater for long journeys' while possessing the 'seven-league-boots' of the 400GT. Clearly highly impressed by the Espada, the esteemed British motoring magazine concluded, 'when styling is added to the well-known Lamborghini engineering, the offering is almost irresistible'. Who would disagree?
A rare right-hand drive model supplied new in the UK, this Espada Series III was extensively restored in 2018 with exemplary attention to detail, the paintwork being entrusted to Bodyworks of Manchester and the full interior re-trim to Mike Hammond (Auto Interiors). In addition, the car has recently benefited from full service and re-balancing the carburettors. Restoration bills are on file and the car also comes with a V5C Registration Certificate and current MoT.
Finished in stunning and harmonious combination of Rosso with contrasting and equally beautiful cream leather interior, this jaw-dropping right-hand drive Espada is presented in spotlessly clean cosmetic order throughout.
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