1973 Lamborghini Urraco P250S – Ex Top Gear
Lamborghini’s baby bull was officially announced on the 27th October 1970 and known simply as P250, the ‘P’ designating posterior or rear and the ‘250’ the engine capacity of 2.5 litres. In November of 1970 the Urraco as it was now known (and in the tradition of Lamborghini named after a famous fighting bull) was displayed at the Turin Motor Show and there it attracted a huge interest from the motoring world. Bertone’s classic wedge shape receiving critical acclaim at the time.
The early 1970’s were a tough time for Lamborghini and it wasn’t until some two years later in 1972 that the first production cars rolled off the Sant ‘Agata production line. Lamborghini hoped to build the Urraco in big numbers, however, this never eventuated and only 520 of the P250’s were built up until 1975 when the P300 was released. The Urraco had some teething problems early on and the car unfortunately developed a reputation as unreliable. This was perhaps unfair as once Lamborghini ironed out the bugs the car was in fact a little gem and if properly sorted was a genuine threat to Ferrari’s 308, Maserati’s Merak and the Porsche 911 of the day.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer a very unique Lamborghini Urraco P250S.
The factory records confirm that chassis number 15672 was a factory RHD Urraco P250S fitted with A/C and it was completed on the 12th March 1973. It was 296th Urraco built and it was noted as finished in ‘argento’ (silver) with a ‘nero’ (black) interior, however, it is possible the car was in fact ‘nero” (black) from new.
The car was sold through the UK Lamborghini agent in London and first registered on 26th September 1974 as SRW 48N. Its very early history is unknown, however, it was acquired by its assumed second owner a Mr Chris Malins from Castle Motors in Liskeard (Cornwall) England in 1978. The owner moved from Plymouth to Aberdeen in 1980 and kept the car until 2005. In the history files he notes the car was stored in a ventilated garage and used during the summer months only. The car was often seen at classic car shows throughout Scotland and it was more often than not the only classic Lamborghini present.
The car was sold due to ill health in 2005 to the BBC Studios and was featured in the Junior Supercar Challenge episode of Top Gear where Clarkson, Hammond and May were each tasked to go and buy a ‘budget supercar’ for under GBP 10,000. Clarkson chose a red Maserati Merak SS, Hammond a yellow Ferrari 308 GT/4 and May this very Lamborghini Urraco P250S, all be it black in colour at that time. Not surprisingly the TV show was rigged and the little Urraco kept ‘running out of electricity’ and suffering other operational problems during the challenges set!
Following the Top Gear feature the car was sold to its next owner who was a UK based Lamborghini collector. There is a pre purchase inspection report on file dated December 2005 from when he purchased the car. The report was generally very positive, however, the paint work was tired and he opted to have the car repainted in orange and re-trimmed in black/tan. At that time the mileage was noted as 34,000 miles. He eventually sold the car to its current Australian owner in 2010 following the acquisition of a Lamborghini Urraco P300. It was in fact sold to its current Brisbane based owner in December 2010 and subsequently imported into Australia. The import approval on file is dated 8th February 2011.
There is a receipt on the file from the current owner’s mechanic for miscellaneous mechanical works completed in June 20011 at which time the odometer was 35,568 miles.
Today the odometer reads 35,587 miles.
The current owner is a very private and significant car collector and his intent is now to live half the year in the UK so he has decided to ‘thin out’ his collection of cars here. He is a reluctant seller but has decided he will sell off the cars he uses least frequently, including this little Lamborghini.
The car is best described as a ‘nice driver’ that could simply be used ‘as is’, however, given the rising values of these cars it could have its condition improved over time or it would be a good candidate for a full restoration. From a meter the paint looks lovely but on closer inspection there is shrinkage and cracking evident in certain places, particularly on the front bonnet, boot and one of the doors. The exterior trim and glass are generally in good condition. Unfortunately the slatted engine cover has been over extended somehow and damaged the paint work on either side of the roof. The engine cover has also been damaged which is only evident once it is open.
The interior is in quite good condition. Apart from a missing steering wheel centre and the fact the style of the trimming of the seats is not original the car looks to be complete and very correct inside. The leather trim on the seats and door cards is generally very good, though one of the seams on the drivers seat has split.
Turn the key the car starts on the button. Once fuel has been swallowed by the Weber carburettors the engine bursts into life . . . and it sounds fantastic! These V8 Lambos make a growl like no other! The oil pressure is very good and the car pulls strongly right through the rev range. The gear change is slick and the synchros are all good. In summary the car runs and drives really well.
These junior supercars continue to be really good news and the Lamborghini Urraco is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Lambos ‘baby bull’ is arguably one of Bertone’s greatest designs and we think one of the prettiest cars ever built.
This one is a little bit special as it presents a chance to own a very unique part of Top Gear history!
- Lamborghini Urraco P250S
- 35589 miles