My Car Quest

February 26, 2024

Is The ‘S’ Version Really That Much Better For The Lamborghini Miura, Islero and Maserati Ghibli? – Part 3

by Mike –

This is Part Three of a three part series where the first generation Lamborghini Islero which was produced from 1968 to 1969 and the Islero S produced in 1969 are discussed.

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

Part One was about the Lamborghini Miura and Part Two was about the Maserati Ghibli.

For comparison purposes I quote prices for a condition 1 car from the latest issue of the Hagerty Price Guide (No. 22 Sep-Dec 2013).

Lamborghini Islero

The Islero was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 1968 and replaced the 400GT in the Lamborghini line up and is a re-body of the 400GT using the same V12 engine.

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

The 4-liter V12 engine produced 325 hp. It had a five-speed manual transmission, fully independent suspension, and disc brakes. Top speed is 154 MPH and zero to 60 MPH comes in 6.4 seconds.

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

Number made – 125

Value – 1969 Islero Coupe – $127,500

Islero S

Introduced in 1969 the Islero S V12 engine produced 350 hp – 25 hp more than the original. Top speed is 161 MPH (6 MPH faster than the original) and zero to 60 MPH comes in 6.2 seconds (0.2 seconds faster than the original).

Lamborghini Islero S

Lamborghini Islero S

There are styling changes to the S that are easy to spot:

* A larger hood scoop

* Flared fenders

* Tinted windows

* Round side-marker lights instead of the longer shaped lights

* Larger brake discs

* Revised rear suspension

* Redesigned dashboard and interior

Lamborghini Islero S

Lamborghini Islero S – photo by Bruce Caron

Number made – 100

Value – 1969 Islero S Coupe – $159,500¹

This is 25% higher that the original Islero. This is a smaller difference than for the Miura S or the Maserati Ghibli SS. The 25 hp difference is also more than the difference between the first generations Miura and Ghibli and the second generations of those models.

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

There are cosmetic changes on the Islero S that may be more desirable that the original or maybe they are just a matter of personal taste.

I still think that for 25% ($32,000) I could live with the 25 hp less because as I said about the other two cars in this series I am not sure that I could tell the difference. I do like the idea of the larger disc brakes.

Lamborghini Islero Engine

Can you tell if this is an Islero or Islero S engine?

The decision here is a little tougher than with the Miura and Ghibli but it really may not matter because there are so few Isleros that when one comes up for sale if you want an Islero there may be other factors more important than if it is an ‘S’ model or not.

¹There is a typo in the Hagerty Price Guide – they show the Islero S as a 1968 model and it should be a 1969 model.

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Lamborghini Islero on the left and Lamborghini Islero S on the right

Lamborghini Islero on the left and Lamborghini Islero S on the right – photo by Bruce Caron

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

Is The ‘S’ Version Really That Much Better For The Lamborghini Miura, Islero and Maserati Ghibli? – Part 3
Article Name
Is The ‘S’ Version Really That Much Better For The Lamborghini Miura, Islero and Maserati Ghibli? – Part 3
Just because it is a Lamborghini Islero 'S' and has a few more horse power does that mean it is really worth a lot more money than the original Islero?


  1. I think what you have shown is that for the most part the “s” versions delivered very little to the owner compared to the higher asking prices. Collectors are putting way too much value on these “s” versions.

  2. This article was really, really well done, with a lot of research and fun facts. When it comes to prices, whether it’s cars, stamps, coins, antiques, luxury watches, it is always provenance and volume produced, with the emphasis on the volume produced, that figures a lot into the selling prices. Unless I am wrong, on all three examples you cited, there were significantly less SS versions produced than the regular versions. So, I would say it isn’t the added horsepower or added features that make the SS versions more valuable, but the simple truth is that less were produced, making them rarer and therefore more valuable. Unfortunately, a lot of collectors don’t look at any car with added features as being worth the extra money at all, but as a better “investment” due to its added rarity, and that fact that this added rarity will allow the car to appreciate better than the car with the non-added features. The people doing these purchases for these reasons are not necessarily doing them for their love of cars, but simply as an investment to cash out with later at a significant profit, or they are doing it for both their love of cars and the possibility of significant financial gain. This is why regular Mustangs, Camaros, Chargers, Barracudas, and Corvettes will never carry those tremendous prices, unless they have incredibly rare engine and/or equipment combinations: the American manufacturers produced these cars in tens of, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands, and there is not much rarity to generate the skyhigh prices. The only caveat to this is the convertible versions, which, again, were produced in significantly fewer numbers. Glenn in the Bronx, NY.

  3. Regardless of the power and other differences–and I still don’t believe old Italian (or British) horsepower numbers–the Islero has always been one of my favorites. It is such a sleeper. Gotta love that interior, too. Mike Gulett, did they all have interiors like that, with that beautiful diamond pattern on the leather? TIA

    • Miguel – I am sorry to say that all the Isleros interiors were not all like that. This car was Feruccio Lamborghini’s personal car and it was different than others I have seen – it had a wood gas cap cover.

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