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The Gstaad Sale / 1968 Lamborghini Islero S Coupe Chassis no. 6594 Engine no. 50200
Sold for CHF230,000 inc. premium
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Head of Sale
European Sales Manager
International Chairman for Motoring
"This may well become the nicest to drive and the most consistent in behaviour of all Lambos." - Car magazine on the Islero.
Launched at the Geneva Salon in 1968, the Islero was a development of the 400 GT 2+2, which was itself derived from Ferruccio Lamborghini's first production car, the Touring-styled 350 GT of 1964. Launched at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show, the 350 GT was the work of three of Italy's most illustrious automobile engineers, featuring a glorious 3.5-litre, four-cam V12 designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, which was housed in a tubular chassis developed by Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani. The 350 GT's four camshafts and all-independent suspension meant that it upstaged the best that Ferrari offered at the time. After a slow start production soon picked up, with 131 350 GTs being completed before the arrival of the 400 GT and 247 of the latter before it was superseded by the Islero.
The Islero's square-tube chassis was based on that of its predecessors, though with wider track to accommodate fatter rubber, while its elegantly understated coachwork was styled by ex-Touring personnel led by Mario Marazzi. The model was named after the legendary bull that had killed Spain's best matador, 'Manolete'. Housed beneath an impressively low-slung bonnet, Lamborghini's 4.0-litre V12 engine was carried over from the 400 GT and produced 320bhp initially, 350bhp in later Islero S form. The latter appeared in 1969 after 125 cars had been completed and could be distinguished by its flared wheelarches, vented front wings and a revised interior with more supportive seats and improved instruments and switch gear. Improvements were also made to the suspension and brakes.
Car magazine's test Islero achieved a true 157mph (252km/h) back in 1969, proving as quiet and stable at its maximum as at 130mph (209km/h). It was also startlingly quick off the mark, hitting 60mph (96km/h) in 5.9 seconds and hurtling to 100mph (161km/h) in 13.7 - outstanding figures even today. Around the Neapolitan back-roads the Islero demonstrated an agility and sureness of foot which belied its role as a Grande Routière. Despite an impeccable pedigree, the Islero, only 225 of which were manufactured between 1968 and 1969, is today the most overlooked of Lamborghini's early front-engined cars.
One of the 100 more powerful and improved 'S' models made, this matching-numbers example is the 203rd Islero built and was originally finished in Argento (silver) with Tobacco leather interior. The car was completed on 7th November 1968 and 13 days later was delivered to the Lambocar dealership in Milan for their client, a Mr Landini. Purchased by the current owner almost 30 years ago, the car has been stored for some time and is currently a non-runner (the engine will not start). Offered for restoration and sold strictly as viewed, it comes with a driver's handbook, sundry invoices, Swiss Carte Grise and a letter of authentication from Lamborghini historian, Olivier Nameche.