My Car Quest

June 24, 2018

I Want A New Drug

by Mike –

Some of my friends were surprised when I sold my Bizzarrini GT 5300 and two Iso Grifos over the past few years and bought a Lamborghini Espada. I also have had Aston Martins, Porsche 911s, Ferraris, Alfa Romeo, Bentleys and other classically beautiful cars; cars that everyone thinks are beautiful.

Lamborghini Espada

Lamborghini Espada

One friend, Bud Millard, said recently that he associated me so strongly with the silver Bizzarrini GT 5300 (which is the logo for my blog at the top of this page) that he could not imagine that I would ever sell it.

Another friend, Bruce Caron, asked me “what’s next after the Espada?” and when I didn’t have an answer he suggested that “I needed a new drug”. I took that to mean something even more Far Out than an Espada.

I also added an AC Cobra Mk IV to the garage a few years ago which is a manly classically beautiful car but is not really Far Out.

AC Cobra Mk IV

AC Cobra Mk IV

Going from the universal beauty of a Bizzarrini, Iso Grifo, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, AC Cobra… to the unusual shape of an Espada creates a hurdle for ‘what’s next’ that is difficult to clear.

It leaves me wondering what, if anything, is next after a Lamborghini Espada?

Let me know what you think in the Comments.

I want a new drug
One that won’t make me sick
One that won’t make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick…

Huey Lewis

 

 

Bizzarrini GT 5300 and Lamborghini Espada

Bizzarrini GT 5300 (top) and Lamborghini Espada (bottom)

Iso Grifo and Lamborghini Espada

Iso Grifo (top) and Lamborghini Espada (bottom)

Aston Martin Vantage V8 and Lamborghini Espada

Aston Martin Vantage V8 (top) and Lamborghini Espada (bottom)

Summary
I Want A New Drug
Article Name
I Want A New Drug
Description
The author wonders what can follow a Lamborghini Espada?
Author

Comments

  1. Peter Heimann says:

    Mike,

    You’ve obviously lived your passion and that’s a gift. But the question you are asking is a difficult one because it might presuppose abandoning an era of automobiles that you are linked to, almost biologically.

    I just watched the interview with Horacio Pagani on UTube’s “Davide Cirone’s Drive Experience” and that truly is an inspiration even for someone like me who is repelled by the “supercar” phenomenon. I’m suggesting his honest and compelling passion might unlock the door for someone like you who may be looking for another level of automotive experience.

    Meanwhile I’m still dreaming of an ISO Rivolta…….. Best, Peter Heimann, Vienna, Austria

  2. Fabien Gysels says:

    Hello MIKE,

    You have the FACEL VEGA Facel II wich is a gorgious car, big and luxurious and still modern. One my relatives owns one, exactly like this :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwYqAlXsTi4

    As a very rare and unique car, do you know the PEUGEOT 407 MACARENA , styled by Heuliez ? You could see it in the Automobile Museum of Châtellerault, 86100 FRANCE. (A good car for Southern California).

    http://boitierrouge.com/2017/07/19/peugeot-407-macarena-la-derniere-danse-dheuliez/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwYqAlXsTi4

    At least for me, under the standout Bugatti Royale, the Iso Rivolta Fidia is in my top five of all cars ever made, (with Ferrari GTO, 300 SL roadster, Miura, and Jaguar E type 1srt serie).

    Fabien Gysels

  3. Rob Krantz says:

    Mike, would love to see the Mk. IV some time! Perhaps a Pantera next?

  4. Jim Van Lenten says:

    Most Espadas I’ve seen have hidden rust lurking beneath the paint

    • Many Espadas were not taken care of properly because they were driven and used up.

      Not this one – the second owner cared for it for 43 years. I have service records back to 1973. It has 50k original miles and has always been in Northern California.

    • FIND ME ONE OF THESE RUST BUCKETS , CHEAP , AND I’LL BRING IT BACK TO LIFE. I ALWAYS WANTED ONE, BUT JUST COULD NOT QUITE REACH IT FINANCIALLY.

  5. Philip Sarris says:

    Mike,
    Maybe you could comment on the pros and cons that you experienced in owning each of these cars. For me, that’s always been the biggest hurdle in wanting to purchase a car that looks exciting, but yet don’t have any (easy) access to driving one to experience what it would be like.

    Also, as technology advances so do our expectations, and as we age we are less inclined to do the frustrating, back breaking chores on our cars and homes that we happily did when we were younger and more agile, had less funds, and never thought twice about it.

    For the past 10 years I’ve been involved with restomodding a few cars, and will probably find another project. I just finished having an LS3/4L65e drivetrain installed in a 1971 Aston Martin DBS V8, it’s original motor was long gone.
    Plus, upgrading the other systems with modern parts; Vintage a/c, electric brakes, intermittent wipers, Bluetooth stereo, cruise control, alarm w/remote locking/starting, 3 point retractable belts, new wiring harness, sound deadening material, etc., makes this already luxurious 70’s GT an even more reliable, faster, fuel efficient, convenient, maintenance friendlier, and overall more pleasurable driving experience. And, it looks entirely stock, bioth inside and out.

    Perhaps driving a restomod could be your new drug.

    • Philip,

      You are a mind reader – I have been interested in a restomod for a while because of: ease of maintenance, comfort while driving, reliability, safety, performance…

  6. Mike,
    You seem to have driven most of the high end breeds and everything that is available seems as though it’s just a reiteration. Sounds hopeless, Why don’t you step out of the box at this point, figure out what you want from your car and have it designed for you…better yet have an open competition, have it designed and built, probably end up costing you less than a buy, you get a one off with built in provenence, some designer gets some PR, and we all have some fun…..and I’ll get a reason to do a new design project

  7. Darrel Newton says:

    No mention of BMW’s thinking along the lines of a late 70s early 80s M1. Similar lines to the Espada I just think the BMW looks better overall.

  8. wallace wyss says:

    I agree restomod is the way to go if you covet a certain body style but don’t want to be stuck with ’60s unreliability (on the other hand there is something to be said for no computers…). I think what you buy should depend on a thorough analysis of why you are buying it and what you plan to do with it. For instance, in entertaining clients for business, I would want a four seater, something you could take them to lunch in; like a Bentley Azure or Continental S/C (only six made) Or if it’s weekend performance where you put it in track events, something that pleases only you in performance and handling. Some of the restomods I have enjoyed seeing recently are big Fifties sleds, like ’48 Caddies or ’60s Lincoln Continental four door convertibles that bring back the glamor of their original era but can cruise at 130 mph if need be with modern brakes,suspensions, etc. I also am glad someone brought up the Fidia, it really is an overlooked car, pure Giugiaro style, needs only a few updates to improve electrics, and is very distinctive.
    I am glad you had the Cobra experience. I had a friend, Al Axelrod, who died of pancreatic disease but only a few weeks before he died, said he was going to get a Cobra when “he gets out of here.” I thought it interesting that as he neared the end he regretted not getting one of the ultimate performance cars (though he did have a Pantera when he died…)

    • optimader says:

      Wallace,

      “…For instance, in entertaining clients for business, I would want a four seater, something you could take them to lunch in; like a Bentley Azure or Continental S/C (only six made) …”

      My clients would be asking for price concessions if I showed up in a Bentley Azure!

  9. Mike Clarke says:

    Your car list is impressive and you should be proud that you got wheel time in some of the better cars the world has to offer. Reviewing the list I see one type of car that you may want to try. Light, good handling and powerful. Some may say the Cobra covers this but I disagree. You could try different eras too. Here is my list . I lean towards the Stratos and it would sound great ripping around Carmel’s quiet streets.

    Prewar-Stutz Bearcat

    Postwar- Lancia Stratos

    Modern – Alfa 4C

  10. optimader says:

    Mike

    A 72-74 Citroen SM.

    A brilliant front mid-engine GT car from the future but built in the ’70’s

    The (possibly) apocryphal high level specification set forth by Citroen was for a GT car that could do a sustained high speed run between Paris and Monte Carlo with two couples and there luggage on one tank of gas! In theory it maps out with the 24 gal fuel cell and 23 mph in 5th gear, but today’s traffic density may a bit short?

    I am setting my European spec example with an updated 3 liter engine (the original is 2.7l) and a Quaife LSD conversion to the great 5-speed transaxle.

    IMO the ultimate GT car. Lots of fuel on board epoxy composite wheels..ab beautiful fast car that will be even more beautiful and faster later this summer.

    • The Citroen SM is definitely on the list.

      • optimader says:

        They are fascinating cars. Complexity is overrated once you understand them and great enthusiast and club support with manuals and parts generally available, as well time rendered fixes to legacy reliability issues. but OTOH these cars are a case study for buying the best example you can.

        Mike,
        In the theme of buying the best example you can, what are your thoughts about the riveted A3/C “continuation” cars offered by isorestorations?

        I am of two minds about them if the end result has fidelity to design.
        It would be a fresh A3/C (copy) built with fresh aluminum, essentially a zero hour car that doesn’t have the baggage of Original Example Stewardship Angst… beyond that fac of course that that even as a copy they are not inexpensive, I would figure north of $400k

  11. Philip Sarris says:

    optimader:

    I’d love to see this SM car when your finished. Please keep up to date with your progress. Where are you located?

    Philip
    philyesi@pacbell.net

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