• CAR LAMBORGHINI ISLERO

    SAFETY FIRST FOR RAGING BULL

    RUN BY Dougal Macdonald
    OWNED SINCE October 2004
    PREVIOUS REPORT April

    / #Lamborghini-Islero / #Lamborghini / #Lamborghini-V12

    Since my previous update, I have managed to sort a few problems with the car. I took it back to Colin Clarke Engineering to try to find out why the headlights wouldn’t raise or work beyond high beam. I had removed the centre console panel, where the window and headlight switches kept disappearing because their mounting brackets had broken. Some new ones are on order, but a consequence of their repeatedly being pushed into the dash was that I had inadvertently knocked the earth cable off the back of the switch. Not very clever.

    The headlights’ refusal to rise caused the motor to overheat, so we have now bypassed it and I can slowly raise them manually. The early Islero has only one motor, putting it under huge pressure because it also has to lift a cross-bar for the offside light. So do I add a second, as per the Islero S, or does that make the car non-original?

    On the recommendations of several members of the team, I took the car to Quickfit SBS in Stanmore to have the seatbelts in the front changed to inertia reels, and to have belts put in the rear for my children. Stuart Quick and his team did an amazing job: I love the neat chrome slits in the parcel shelf, and the front reels are hidden behind the B-pillar trim panels. I can now release the handbrake on a hill start without having to slip the belt off my shoulder, and can have the seat further forward and more upright to give a better driving position. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready in time for the Festival of Speed, but it meant I took the train for once and saw the Red Arrows flying to Goodwood over Arundel Castle. On collecting the Islero from Quickfit, I drove to Biggin Hill to see Larini Systems. Now I love my car, and I love driving it, despite the fact that the engine produces enough footwell heat to remind me of driving my Land-Rover 90 in east Africa. However, the M25 on a Friday afternoon is frankly scary: I’m endlessly being cut up by thoughtless moderns, and the brakes pull sharply to the right under heavy braking. I think I need to have them looked at during my next visit to Colin Clarke.

    Haroon Ali and David Clark at Larini Systems were the first people I went to after I bought the car, although nowadays they focus on more modern cars such as Aston DB7-9s, Ferraris 550s and the like. Back then they were just doing classics, and they handmade me the most beautiful exhaust with a straight-through back box. If I had the choice today I’d probably have a quieter system, but at 6000rpm the V12 does sound amazing. I always promised that once the car was finished I’d bring it back for some photos. It might be 12 years on, but better late than never!

    It was 4pm by the time we were finished and I took the back-road from Biggin Hill to the motorway – well worth a blast if you find yourself with the choice. I think by the time I reached my brother’s home in Hampshire, where the car is kept, I had covered about three-quarters of the M25 in one day.

    I was delighted to get an email from Iain Macfarlane (Letters, September), who owns the Islero featured in the 2001 C&SC article I mentioned in my previous report. That story was the reason I bought a Lambo, and my hope is that we can get the two cars together soon.

    From top: Islero pauses with the aircraft at Biggin Hill after a hair-raising M25 run; superbly neat seatbelt installation, with new rear belts; front reels are concealed; interior looks unaltered.