Amelia Island | Lot 284
1969 Lamborghini Islero 400 GT
$242,000 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
11 March 2017
- Offered from the collection of Adam Carolla
- Retains its original special-order pigskin interior
- One of only 125 built
320 bhp, 3,929 cc V-12 engine with six Weber carburetors, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent suspension with unequal-length A-arms, coil springs and anti-roll bars, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100.4 in.
Although having much more angular and modern bodywork, the Islero was the ultimate evolution of Lamborghini’s first model, the 350 GT. Since Lamborghini’s regular coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring, went bankrupt, Ferruccio Lamborghini commissioned Mario Marazzi to design and build a new model. As was Lamborghini tradition, the Islero was named after a famous bull that killed the matador Manuel Rodriquez in 1947.
Powered by the famous Lamborghini V-12 engine mated to a five-speed transmission, the car had performance capabilities that far exceeded most other cars of its era and class. With six Weber dual-choke carburetors feeding its 320 horsepower engine, it had a top speed of over 150 miles per hour, with acceleration, handling, and braking to match. Aesthetically, the Islero’s clean styling was much more subtle in execution than Bertone’s Espada. It is widely believed that Ferruccio Lamborghini himself greatly influenced the car’s styling, and it was generally considered one of his personal favorites. Production began in 1968 and continued through 1970, but with only 225 examples built, they were and continue to be very rare and sought after by enthusiasts.
This 1969 Islero was completed on 16 September 1968 and was offered for sale later that year at SEA, Lamborghini’s dealer in Rome. By the early 1970s, it had been exported to the United States and has remained stateside ever since. The previous owner used the car in many events, successfully completing the Mountain Mille and New England 1000 vintage rallies and winning awards at the 2006 Le Belle Macchine d’Italia and at the 2005 Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance. It has been a prized piece of Adam Carolla’s diverse collection since 2008 and has always been well maintained during his ownership.
Today, the car is attractively finished in dark blue and retains its very well-preserved original special-order pigskin leather interior. Although never having been fully restored, the car’s condition is consistent with its 53,000 original miles (85,200 kilometers) and regular maintenance throughout its history. Some of the stitching on the seats has split from age, but the leather itself is in remarkable condition. It is equipped with a Becker Mexico radio and factory air conditioning on the passenger side dashboard. Further and importantly, this Islero retains its original engine.
This is a very attractive, exceptionally clean, and well-cared-for example of one of Lamborghini’s finest GT cars and is sure to provide its next owner with years of enjoyment.