London | Lot 138
1971 Lamborghini Espada by Bertone
£84,000 GBP | Sold
| London, United Kingdom
8 September 2014
- Recently fully restored by a noted Lamborghini specialist
- One of 575 Series II Espadas produced
- Previously refurbished by the Lamborghini factory and currently displayed on the company’s website
- Arguably one of the most recognisable Espadas in existence
350 bhp, 3,929 cc DOHC V-12 engine, six Weber twin-choke carburettors, five-speed manual gearbox, independent coil-spring front and rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,649 mm
The Espada, designed to meet customers’ growing demands for a V-12 Lamborghini with four seats, wonderfully combined V-12 power with typical Lamborghini panache. This was an automobile that made no compromises, as it combined a fantastic engine, which was taken from what many consider the world’s first supercar, with the added practicality of four seats and a spacious boot. The Espada proved to be huge success for Lamborghini at the time, even outselling the fabled Miura, and 1,200 cars were produced in three distinct series over its production run.
This particular Series II Espada is considered to be one of the finest and most well-known examples in existence. The car was completed by the factory in April 1970, and it was originally finished in Azzuro Mexico over a mustard-colour Senape interior. After completion, the car was subsequently delivered to Lamborauto Torino in Italy and then sold to its first private Italian owner. The second owner purchased the Espada in the late 1970s and brought it to Bergen, Norway.
Under the stewardship of the car’s third owner, an Oslo-based enthusiast, the Espada was driven to Sant’Agata Bolognese in 1994, and it was fully restored under the direct supervision of famed former factory test driver Valentino Balboni at the Lamborghini factory, where it was refinished in its current metallic blue over cream colour combination. Following the car’s completion, it was displayed in the Lamborghini Museum and subsequently shown at a local concours d’elegance, where it took home Best in Class honours before it was driven back to Oslo, where it has remained ever since.
The car was purchased by its current owner in 1997. It was then entrusted to the same Lamborghini specialist who was tasked with restoring the award-winning ex-Frank Sinatra Lamborghini Miura, who completely restored the Espada’s mechanicals to as-new condition, with the work being completed earlier this year. The engine was fully rebuilt and fitted with new pistons, rings, valve and valve guides, gaskets, bearings, and engine mounts, and the gearbox was fully restored with brand-new parts which have been sourced from the factory. The brakes were completely rebuilt with stainless steel pistons, to prevent future corrosion, the original brake servos were completely refurbished, and the suspension was completely rebuilt. Additionally, all hydraulic pumps for the brake and clutch cylinders were replaced with new old stock units. The radiator was re-cored by outside specialists, and new hoses were fitted for the car’s factory air conditioning. Finally, a stainless steel exhaust was also fitted, along with a new set of Avon tyres, bringing this lovely Espada to virtually as-new condition. The car retains its incredible paintwork and interior, as restored by the factory, and the interior is especially beautiful.
Espadas have always had a keen following and have proven to be exciting drivers. Following this particular example’s recent mechanical refurbishing, and considering its previous factory restoration and current display on the factory’s own website, it would be quite difficult to find an Espada in comparable condition with such provenance in today’s market. As it is equally well prepared for concours events or driving, this is truly an opportunity not to be missed.