In 1963 Ferruccio Lamborghini took the motoring world by storm by announcing a brand new high performance gran turismo, the 350GTV. In production form this outrageous machine was toned down and sold as the 350GT, this in turn becoming the 400GT. Two years later Lamborghini stunned the public still further with the introduction of the amazing Miura. While the public and competitors alike were still catching their breath the Marzal was unveiled, a flamboyant proposal for a luxury full four seater, incorporating many novel features, including a rear mounted straight six engine.
Lamborghini, born under the sign of the bull, hence the charging bull insignia, adopted bull fighting terms for the names of his cars and his new four seater was to be no exception. Espada, as the car was called, is the sword used by the matador to deliver the fatal wound.
Lamborghini once again stole the Geneva show in 1968 with the Espada, styled by Marcello Gandini, the genius who heads Bertone’s design studio and whose other designs include the Marzal, Countach, Diablo, Lancia Stratos and Cizeta V16.
Despite its incredible styling the car was comparatively conventional, incorporating a pressed steel semi-monocoque built by Marchesi in Modena, into the front of which was placed the 4 litre quad camshaft V12 engine from the 400GT, mated to a 5 speed gearbox. 320bhp was sufficient to propel the car’s four occupants to over 150mph., while they lounged in sumptuous leather upholstery, cooled by air conditioning. The Espada was the fastest full four-seater in the world, and even forty years later few cars come close to matching its towering abilities.
Remaining in single ownership over the last 20 years; from 1997 until June 2017, during this time, this lovely example of the second iteration of the Espada has been maintained by Lamborghini Specialist John Hartland, formerly known as the restoration company Motorapide. With a swathe of invoices dating right back to the 90s, it is clear that this car has been very well looked after! Included in the cars comprehensive history file are over 20 MOT’s also dating back to the mid-90s.
More recently in 2016, the car underwent a comprehensive restoration costing £30,000, again overseen by John Hartland under his new company Hartlandmotorsport, and is now found in excellent condition throughout.