Saturday, August 11, 2018

Lamborghini Espada (1968-78)

The Lamborghini Espada is a 4-seat grand touring coupé built by Italian car manufacturer Lamborghini between 1968 and 1978. The car was designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone. Gandini drew inspiration and cues from two of his Bertone show cars from 1967, the Lamborghini Marzal and the Jaguar Piraña. The fuel cap of the Espada was hidden behind a black cosmetic grille in the C-pillar, one of Gandini's signature touches.

The Spanish name "Espada" means "sword", referring to the sword that the torero uses to kill the bull in the corrida. 

The Espada used a monocoque steel body. Its 3,929 cc (240 cu in) V12 engine breathed through six Weber side-draft carburators and 24 valves commanded by two chain-driven overhead camshafts per bank. The gearbox was mounted in block with the engine. Most transmissions were manual, and the Espada also introduced one of the first automatic transmissions able to transfer the torque of a large sporting V12. It had unusual gearing, with 3 ratios: drive, 1 and reverse. 

During its ten years in production, 1217 Espadas were made, making it the most successful Lamborghini model until the expansion of Countach production in the mid-1980s. Three different series were produced: S1 (1968–1970), S2 (1970–1972) and S3 (1972–1978). Each model featured interior redesigns, while only minor details were changed on the exterior.

Also, debuted at the 1978 Turin Motor Show, the Lamborghini Faena is a one-off 4-door sedan based on a reinforced 1974 Espada Series II chassis, and built by coachbuilder Pietro Frua. 

Series 1 (1968-70)


The Espada was launched at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show. The original design of the dashboard was inspired by the Marzal concept car, and featured octagonal housings for the main instruments, topped by an additional binnacle for the secondary gauges. Wheels were Campagnolo alloys on knock-off hubs, of the same design seen on the Miura. The tail lights were the same units mounted on the first series Fiat 124 Sport Coupé. 186 were made before January 1970.






























This custom-built Espada S1 (chassis 7293) has a unique large plexiglass roof section.


















(Photos from columnm.com & classiccarratings.com)


Series 2 (1970-72)


At the 1970 Brussels Motor Show Lamborghini unveiled the Espada S2. Outside the only change was the deletion of the grille covering the vertical glass tail panel. Inside changes were more radical: all-new dashboard, centre console and steering wheel were installed. The instrument binnacle was of a more conventional rectangular shape, with round gauges. A wood-trimmed fascia extended along the entire width of the dashboard. Power output increased to 350 PS (257 kW; 345 bhp) due to a higher compression ratio.  Power steering was offered as an option. 575 Series 2 Espada were made, making it the most popular and desirable variant. 


















































(Photos from classiccarratings.com, bonhams.com & en.wheelsage.org)


Series 3 (1972-78)


The Espada S3 was launched in 1972. Its 3.9 L V12 engine produced 325 PS (239 kW; 321 bhp) With the second redesign the dashboard changed to a aluminium-trimmed cockpit that kept all instruments and most controls (including the radio) within easy reach of the driver. Newly designed wheels on five-stud hubs replaces the earlier knock-off wider wheels fiitted with Pirelli Cinturato 215/70WR15 CN12 tyres, making the Espada S3 instantly recognizable; other exterior changes included the square instead of hexagonal mesh grille and tail lights from the Alfa Romeo 2000 replacing the previous Fiat-sourced ones. In 1974, a Borg Warner automatic transmission became available. From 1975 large impact bumpers had to be installed to meet United States safety requirements; some people consider cars produced with them as a separate fourth series, but Lamborghini did not officially change the model designation.










































 






























 (Photos from classiccarratings.com & bonhams.com)



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