1978 Lamborghini Silhouette
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 Bologna, was chosen as the location to build the factory. Born under the Zodiac 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 the 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. In 1970 the Islero was replaced by the Jarama. Lamborghini wanted to enter the junior supercar market and introduced the Urraco or ‘little bull’ named for the fighting bull which killed the toreador Manoleten, at the 1970 Turin Motor Show. The Urraco attracted huge interest from the motoring world and Bertone’s classic wedge shape received critical acclaim at the time.
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 world economy changed quickly and the early 1970’s were a tough time for Lamborghini. Additionally, 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 properly sorted was a genuine threat to Ferrari’s 308, Maserati’s Merak and the Porsche 911 of the day. The Urraco P300 was indeed a fabulous little car and in Sports Car World magazine July – September 1976 Mel Nichols wrote: ” . . . I was not hard pressed to conclude that the Urraco 3-litre is the most enjoyable car I have ever driven.” In the October 1978 issue of Car magazine Nichols pits the Lamborghini Urraco against a Ferrari 308 GTB and a Maserati Merak SS. The article is compelling reading and Nichols picks the Urraco as his favourite. Only 205 Urraco P300’s were built. Lamborghini also built 66 Urraco P200’s (with a 2 litre V8 engine) specifically for the Italian market.
The Lamborghini Silhouette was a further development of the Urraco and it was first shown at the 1976 Geneva Motor Show. The Silhouette was a genuine 2 seater and the 2+2 seating of the Urraco was removed to allow space behind the seats to store the targa top. The Silhouette is one if the rarest Lamborghinis with only 55 cars built, of which only 10 were factory right hand drive.
Lamborghini’s last iteration of their V8 engined junior supercar was the Jalpa (pronounced “YAWL-pa”), named after another breed of fighting bull. The Jalpa was introduced at the 1981 Geneva show and 410 examples were built from 1982 through until 1988.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to confirm the sale of this 1978 Lamborghini Silhouette.
The original factory records confirm this car was completed on the 30th January 1978. It is an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example that was delivered new through importer DeFina. It was originally ‘giallo fly’ (yellow) with a senape interior.
- Lamborghini Silhouette
- 60423 km