This car was introduced in 1968. The Lamborghini Espada has a special story. Ferruccio Lamborghini was angry at Mr. Ferrari because he thought he couldn’t build decent cars. He started building cars himself. He introduced the 350GT, and people liked it. However, they wanted a car to seat 4 adults, a Lamborghini Panamera avant la lettre. Mr. Lamborghini came up with this car, the Espada, with seats for 4 adults. OK, 2 adults with very short legs, but it seats 4 people. The Espada’s design was made by Marcello Gandini from Bertone. He looked at 2 earlier concept cars: the Lamborghini Marzal and Jaguar Pirana. He had drawn both himself. He combined these designs to form the Espada.
I think the design polarizes. You either like it or you don’t. This makes it rather cool. The interior is very cool as well. It’s very ’60s/’70s with its straight lines. This interior is from a Series II. The Series I was built for 2 years, ’til 1970. A Series II came in 1970 and was built ’til 1972. This Series has been built the most. After this one came the Series III, which was in production ’til 1978. The Series II had a different dashboard from the Series I. It had 2 layers, very special. It’s impractical as well. Here, the buttons are more within reach. The details are cool. A wooden steering wheel, a wooden gear knob… I wonder what it sounds like. Let me grab the key. We’ll hear what this car, built for Edgar M. Cini III, sounds like. A V12. The carburators and fuel pump need to make ticking noises first. The sound of a mechanical, naturally aspirated V12… We’ll miss that now the turbo era has begun. Even at Ferrari and brands like that. This is an engine going extinct. This car’s V12 is a 3.9-liter engine with 345 hp in the Series II. That’s 25 hp more than the Series I.
It’s the newer “S spec”. It also has 288 lb ft torque, so you can be lazy with the gears. You don’t have to shift continuously to get the ultimate rpm. If you do that, you’re rewarding yourself with a fantastic sound and good performance. Naturally… We’re used to a torque curve going up, stay level and going down. It’s different with cars like this. The ideal torque sits between 5,000-5,500 rpm. If you can stay within that range, it scoots. Else it’s a rather docile car. Still, the numbers don’t lie. 0-62 mph takes less than 7 seconds. The top speed is 155 mph. Those are nice numbers, especially for a car from the early ’70s. The V12 has a very short stroke. This has a reason. Lamborghini wanted the most compact engine, so the car’s nose could stay low. This all came together in the packaging because of the compact V12 with a short stroke but a rather high compression. I have to admit an old V12 is thirsty. We’re going to fuel up. A HEALTHY ENGINE – BP Ultimate unleaded 98 cleans the engine while driving.
It does not contain ethanol. When fueling up you have a gas cap on either side. They’re not connected. If you’re not doing it right and fuel up only one side, your tank is only half full. You do have a full tank, but only 1 and not 2. Get it? The name Espada has a fun background. It’s a bullfighter’s sword to kill the bull with. Lamborghini named his car after something which killed his own logo.
I don’t know why, but it fits the tradition of Lamborghini with everything bullfighting. It doesn’t handle like a die-hard sports car. It’s not as mental as you know old Lambos to be. You hear stories about them being deadly to drive. It’s not like that. It’s relaxed to drive. Heavy, though. The steering is heavy, but it’s not a difficult car to drive. It is a big car, so you have to keep its size in mind when parking etc. It won’t be the first time you’ve done that. I would find a spot where you can easily park it. Much more convenient. This is the first time I’m driving a Lamborghini. I could do this because I was invited by the Van den Akker showroom in Best. They have this beautiful Miura blue Espada for sale.
It has done a little over 18,600 miles. It has had a quiet life. It’s very pretty. The interior as well with the two-tone leather. Everything smells like and breathes supercar from the ’70s. Fantastic.