Few vehicles of the 1970s managed to both embrace the ethos of the ’70s and carry legitimate, unironic coolness like the Espada. It took a while for the world to catch up to that realization, so more than almost any other Lambo they suffered heinous neglect or were robbed of their V12s so that “better” Lambos could live.
Today we’re checking both of those boxes: lousy condition and no drivetrain. However, in contrast to the ever-rising prices of Espadas in good shape, this one’s still dangerously affordable. At the current $8,150 price, it could work as the foundation for an interesting project. Personally, I’d say Step One has to be giving up on it ever being properly restored. This one’s rough enough that attempting to source or refurbish every lest Lamborghini-specific trim, wiring, or drivetrain part would be a never ending quest.
Let’s cut a few corners, but still get creative…
Personally, I’d go after a period-correct-ish build that uses somewhat more obtainable and serviceable parts. Knowing that Lamborghini’s automotive division was started specifically to spite Ferrari, picking a motor from another 1960s Ferrari antagonist seems fitting. Given the size of that engine bay, I vote we go big: a Ford FE 427 side-oiler reproduced in aluminum. We can’t just slap some Holley Double-Pumper on there are call it good; instead, let’s get a proper set of Webers atop an Inglese manifold. Back it up with a four speed Toploader or go nuts and adapt a six-speed for the double-overdrive and untaxed grand touring experience.
Having just blown the budget on a gnarly powertrain (which surely won’t immediately obliterate the factory rear IFS), let’s re-cover the seats and do the minimum to make the interior livable. Lay down some heat/noise blocking paint and call it a day.
Anyway, with a four-digit price tag, this Espada’s just cheap enough to be dangerous. Surely it can’t be that hard to get some version of this thing driving again, right?
1971 Lamborghini Espada project – eBay Motors