1968 Lamborghini Espada

1968 Lamborghini Espada

Introduced in 1968 the Lamborghini Espada was a true four-seater sports coupe. Many sports coupes have had a rear seat which required a person with the skills of Houdini to enter and exit from but the Espada had a rear seat which offered the occupants a comfortable and spacious ride. Powered by a V-12 engine it was like a Rolls-Royce on Speed.

At the time of its introduction this dramatically-styled car was the fastest four-seater in the world with an impressive top speed of 241 km/h from its 4.0-litre, 242 kW motor. In later versions introduced in 1970 and 1972 the engine power crept up to 261 kW and then 272 kW with an increase in top speed to 249 km/h.

The quad-cam 4.0-litre V-12 engine drove through a purpose built five-speed gearbox but for the lesser enthusiasts a three-speed automatic transmission was later added as an option, although not often ordered. Early models also had knock-on alloy spoke wheels with spinners.

In total 1217 Espadas were built using a Bertone designed high-waisted coupe body with a sweeping window design and a sharply cut-off tail. Rear vision was improved by the large rear sloping glass panel above the tail-lights. Inside the dashboard was bold and stylish. Whilst not to everyone’s taste the overall body shape was blade-like and gave the car a big and aggressive look. The alloy bonnet had large twin air scoops to feed the powerful motor.

With wishbone suspension all round the big Italian four-seater provided a beautiful supple ride, but in no way was handling impaired. Stability and lack of roll was far superior to any of the other big four-seaters. The wide track, fat tyres and suspension made for powerful cornering.

Although early models did not have power steering this was subsequently added and the car remained in production from 1968 to 1978.

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