1969 Lamborghini Espada Series 1
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 short comings of his cars Enzo dismissed Ferruccio and he subsequently decide that he could 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 in to 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 great success story for Lamborghini with circa 1200 cars built from 1968 to 1978. The rarest and most desirable of all the Espadas is the Series 1, with less than 200 examples built.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer a 1969 Lamborghini Espada Series 1. The car is chassis number 7338 with engine number 40108 and body number 104. The factory records confirm the car was delivered 26/6/1969 to Righetti in Italy. Its original colours are “bianco espada” with a “bleu” interior, the colour it wears today. This example is fully matching numbers and even the original body number stampings remain on the chassis, both doors and the bonnet.
The car was acquired by its understood to be second owner from Alvaro Bondi in Padova Italy in February 1977 and at the time was registered as PD 236168. The car was subsequently imported into Australia and it arrived into Fremantle on board the ‘Novolvovak’ on the 24th April 1977. Once in Australia the car had to be converted to right hand drive because you could not register a left hand drive car in Australia back then. Apart from the conversion the car is incredibly original. It looks as though most of the paint and the interior are all original.
When acquired by Oldtimer Australia late last year, the cars last owner of almost 40 years advised that when he purchased the car in 1977 the odometer was just under 100,000km . . . so she has seen very little use in the last 38 years! That said the previous owner ran a mechanical workshop servicing Italian cars so the car has been maintained. The odometer is at 13,105km today, and therefore its true mileage of 113,105km is understood to be genuine.
The car runs and drives and could easily be made roadworthy. Alternatively, given the rarity and value of these cars it is a great candidate for a concours standard restoration.
The car is complete and given its originality it presents incredibly well. The condition of the body and paint is consistent with a very well cared for original car. There are blemishes, scratches and the odd small dent in the paint/body and some rust spots in the usual places. All of the glass and exterior trim are in good condition. The interior is good, however, the seats are showing their age as the leather is dry and the front seats have split in places. Unfortunately the foam is disintegrating, which is evident by the puff of yellow dust that comes through the splits in the leather when you sit in the car! The seats do still hold their shape and could easily be left ‘as is’ to maintain the originality of the car.
The car starts easily and once on the open road the engine pulls strongly, the gearbox is very good (the synchros work well and the gear change precise) and the car turns & stops as it should. The handling is a little loose, which is as a result of the suspension being tired and the shock absorbers require overhauling. The exhaust system is in poor condition and will require replacing.
In summary this is an incredible time capsule and the big debate is whether to preserve or restore.
This is most likely the only Lamborghini Espada Series 1 in Australia and therefore presents a unique opportunity in this country.
- Lamborghini Espada
- 113105 km
- 3929 cc