Never let an argument drag on and on – that should be the lesson we all learn from the fate of a late Series III Lamborghini Espada recently retrieved from abandonment in Switzerland. The car was used on Lamborghini’s stand at the Geneva Motor Show in #1978
, then resprayed and used at another show elsewhere in Europe. After that it found a buyer in Hamburg.
Michael Gross of ChromeCars.de, the ‘automotive archaeologists’ from Jena in eastern Germany who recently retrieved the Espada, explains what happened next. ‘The first owner had never had a 12-cylinder Italian car before and he didn’t treat it properly – he would drive it away quickly, before it had warmed up, and in only 8000km the cams failed. The engine was repaired but there was a lawsuit, which went on and on while the car waited at a garage in Switzerland. Eventually it was moved outside and it was left there for many years, unfortunately with one of the back windows open.’
ChromeCars got a call about the Espada last year, and having checked the story and found a large amount of documentation to support it, they bought the car. It turns out to be the youngest Espada left, as the two SIII cars built after this one are no longer extant. Gross and his colleagues brought it to Techno Classica at Essen in the spring in untouched condition, but it didn’t quite stay untouched.
‘Some people walked up to it and picked off bits of paint with their fingernails. I said, “What the hell are you doing?” and they said they wanted to find out if it was really an untouched rusty car or a fake.’ ChromeCars has also recently sourced and bought the third-ever production Espada and an engineless Series II, to complete the set. The fate of this one? ‘We want to restore it back to original condition, and it will certainly happen sometime. At the moment we think it’s very sexy as it is,’ says Gross.
LAMBORGHINI ESPADA covered just 8000km before its first owner made the engine go pop. Legal complications meant it was left unloved for many years before it was bought last year.
Nigel Boothman on a dust-enhanced Espada, a 911 uncovered in Trinidad and some Jowetts in rusty slumber.
Dashboard has held up to 30 years of neglect fairly well Bodywork seems to have survived time in the wilderness Just in case you didn’t think its barn find status was real.