1973 Lamborghini Espada Series III
Chassis no. 9128
Engine no. 41117
A mere five years after introducing its first car, and only three years after launching the sensational Miura, Lamborghini once again upstaged Ferrari by announcing a full four-seater at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show.
Named after a matador's sword, the Espada is historically significant as the first genuine four-seater Lamborghini (rather than merely a '2+2') capable of carrying a quartet of adults in considerable luxury at supercar speeds. First seen in 1968, the generously proportioned Espada was styled along lines similar to those of the stillborn, rear-engined, six-cylinder Marzal but carried a 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, endowing the Espada with a supple ride and excellent handling.
Introduced in January 1970, the Series II cars came with an extra 25bhp, 155mph top speed and an improved dashboard layout. The latter was revised yet again in late 1972 for the Series III Espada, which also incorporated power steering as standard, up-rated brakes, minor suspension improvements and a restyled front grille. Espada production ceased in 1978 after only 1,217 of these magnificent cars had been built.
According to available information, this car spent some time on the West Coast and was sold in Monterey both in the 1991 and 2002 auction seasons. Between these two presentations, it is believed to have received a color change from blue to the current light metallic green, a color that is both period to its build and suits the car well. It is thought to have been re-freshened again prior to its current ownership.
In September 2002 the car was known to be resident of San Marcos County California, passing then to Michael and Mary Ann Peter, of Ukiah, California where it would remain until being acquired by the current owner in 2010. Its interior, an unusual combination of chocolate and cream leather, is thought to be original to the car and shows only modest age.
This generation of Espada is a very usable classic Italian sports car. It benefits from air-conditioning, allowing its four passengers to stay chilled even in the well-glazed cabin, with the features of power windows and leather upholstery, while the driver can enjoy the comfort of power steering.
Lamborghini, in honor of its 50th year, is a featured marque here at the Boca Raton Concours d'Elegance in 2013. With its classic lines, unencumbered by the later safety enforced heavy rubber bumpers, and riding on its original Campagnolo wheels, this is a great looking car and a way for four people to enjoy the brand's legendary V12 at the same time.