Between 1968 and 1978 the Lamborghini Company manufactured a grand tourer named Lamborghini Espada. This car was one of the most successful cars made by Lamborghini at the time and was produced to fill the four seats car niche of the Italian company lineup. Lamborghini manufactured only 1217 units that were designed by Marcello Gandini.
The name of the car refers to the sword (Espada means sword in Spanish) that is used by the toreador to kill the bull. The car was manufactured in three series during its ten years of production. The series were called S1 (1968-1970), S2 (1970-1972) and S3 (1972-1978) and they all had improvements regarding the engine power and the interior and exterior design. For example, the S2 series had a new dashboard, a new steering wheel, vented brakes and a plus of 25 horsepower.
At the beginning the Espada was equipped with a 4.0 liter V12 engine, had an independent suspension and four wheel disc brakes. This car was “the fastest four seats car on the planet” that could go from zero to 60 mph in only 6.5 seconds. At that time cars had manual transmission, but Lamborghini Espada introduced for the first time the automatic transmission. This new transmission had the capacity to absorb the torque of the V12 engine. Moreover, this car had a cheaper chassis, but a much stronger platform manufactured from pressed-steel which was supplied by Marchesi of Modena.
The Lamborghini Espada was equipped with two NACA ducts that “feed” the V12 engine’s six Weber carburetors. That’s the reason why this car wasn’t so quiet when it achieved its maximum speed. To have an easier access to the engine bay, the designer introduced a forward-hinged unit that included the hood and the upper fenders.
The interior was spacious enough if we take into account the fact that it was a four seats car covered in leather. All the instrumentation was placed handy, in front of the driver. The most important features were the switches and the “eyeball” vents. Even if at the beginning the design of the steering wheel was really ugly having three spokes, the latest models benefited from an improved, better looking steering wheel.
The second Espada series was called 400GTE and was displayed for the first time in 1970 at the Brussels car show. This new Lamborghini Espada had some improvements regarding the design of the dashboard while the passengers could now enjoy the additional ventilation and the lighting placed in the arm rest. The technical components were updated too, including the chassis and the ventilated brakes. But the most important changes are related to the compression boost that increased the power to 325 bhp at 7500 rpm and the new Lobro CV joints.
The third series of the Lamborghini Espada was manufactured in 1973 and was part of the Turin Show that took place in the same year. The distinguishing features of this series were the taillights and its redesigned front. The car was also equipped with an upgraded power steering system. Other features that were improved included the shock rates, the brake power and the air conditioning that became standard. The interior of the car suffered some changes only in the dashboard area. The optional features of this new Lamborghini Espada were the sunroof and the Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic transmission that was used only for 55 Espadas.
The Lamborghini Espada is an exquisite car that impresses car collectors and enthusiasts every time it makes its appearance at the car shows and auctions that take place around the world, every year.