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Lamborghini Espada car of the week

Penned by the legendary Marcello Gandini of Bertone, it was first revealed at the 1967 Geneva Motor show at a time when good things were happening at Lamborghini. The young Italian marque already had the 400GT and the gorgeous Muira in its stable, and was ready to grow some more.

The Espada soon became Lamborghini’s most successful model at the time with 1217 examples built. It was originally fitted with a 4.0litre V12 engine that produced 325bhp(242kW). It featured fully independent suspension and four wheel disc brakes and most of the cars had a manual transmission, although there were some automatics built too, from 1974 onwards.

Over its ten year existence, three different series of the Espada were produced, all with only minor exterior changes and engine improvements - it was on the inside where the big changes were carried out. The series two version got a completely new dashboard and steering wheel and there were also significant changes for the series three interior. Power steering was offered in 1970 and in 1974 there was the choice of automatic transmission.

In 1975 United States safety requirements saw the installation of side impact bumpers – a change that enthusiasts consider to be the birth of the series four Espada, although officially it was still the series three.

A four door Espada was designed by Bertone near the end of production in 1978, but it was never made.