My Car Quest

September 25, 2021

The Nature Of Classic Car Beauty And Style

by Mike –

There are some classic cars that have universal, or near universal, appeal. We all love the Lamborghini Miura, the Mercedes 300SL, the Ferrari 275 GTB, the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato and the Iso Grifo.

But what about models that have something “special” even though they may not be universally loved? I am thinking about the Lamborghini Espada, which is special to me, and to many others, but maybe not to all.

Lamborghini Espada

You have to admit that Marcello Gandini of Bertone really expanded the boundaries of what can be thought of as beautiful car design with the Espada (as he did with a few other designs).

The Espada is a functional super car in that it carries four adult size people in style and comfort quickly. In order to accommodate two people in the backseat (and provide storage space) the roof line continues at a mild slope all the way to the back where it abruptly ends in a Kamm tail.

Lamborghini Espada

It reminds me of the Ferrari 250 Breadvan a little or a shooting brake (station wagon). A Kamm tail design improves the aerodynamics and has been used by many designers of race cars like the Shelby Cobra Daytona, Ford GT40, Iso A3/C (Bizzarrini GT 5300) and many others.

Under that rear glass hatch is quite a large luggage space that sits over a full size spare tire. There is enough luggage space for four occupants to be comfortable on a long weekend road trip.

Lamborghini Espada

Espada luggage space

The V12 engine sits in front and is placed a little more forward than some other cars, which helps provide more interior space and improved comfort.

Lamborghini Espada Cutaway

Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 250 Breadvan, Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada and Lamborghini Espada

In the photos below you can compare the side view of the Espada on the bottom to the Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 250 Breadvan and Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada.

Note the Espada has a roof shape similar to the Breadvan. The Espada wheelbase is a few inches longer than the other three.

From Top to Bottom: Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 250 Breadvan, Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

From Top to Bottom: Ferrari 250 GTO, Ferrari 250 Breadvan, Bizzarrini GT 5300 Strada

Lamborghini Espada

Lamborghini Espada

All of the parameters which allow for four people to ride in style and comfort impact the exterior styling and eye appeal.

My tastes evolve as I mature. What once was unusual or even odd may now be elegant and sophisticated. That is the Espada for me today.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Lamborghini Espada



Lamborghini logo

The Nature Of Classic Car Beauty And Style
Article Name
The Nature Of Classic Car Beauty And Style
Classic car beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the owner.


  1. Art Harvey says

    The Espada is an excellent choice to illustrate that intangible, personal perception of style.

    Look at that black/white profile photo – how could anyone not LOVE that shape? And the details; concealing the gas filler behind an air-extraction louver, the glass at the kamm tail, not to speak of the full glass hatch, and the sheer audacity of the four full bucket seat layout (also offered by Dodge in their equally love-it-or-hate-it first generation Charger). The wide, flat and low hood with NACA intakes.. the center mount aerial on the roof, details not found anymore.. what a tremendous design. Easy for me to love. I can understand if the same elements are hard for others.

    As you note, your tastes evolve over time.. thank goodness for that. How boring life would be without personal change. The Maserati Bora and Khamsin represent the designs that have grown on me. The more I look, the more I see, the more I like them, love them. One design that’s waiting for my taste to catch up to it is the Bizzarrini. I’m not quite there yet.

    Thank you,
    – Art Harvey

    • Thanks for the comments Art. I also like the Bora and Khamsin and with time I suspect you will learn to appreciate the Bizzarrini GT 5300 – especially when you see one in person.

  2. Mark D. Carbone says

    I have a Gold 1/18 AutoArt Espada coming in the mail.

    Already have a 1/18 B.o.S. Iso Grifo IR8 Metallic Gold / Green, and a 1/18 Maserati Ghibli in Blue.
    Trying to decide which Bizzarrini GT 5300 to buy.

    Your sight is great ! Thanks for putting it out !

  3. Jack Nelson says

    Many many cars come to be “loved” over time by others who in the past may have not appreciated their bold break from “traditional design”……the Espada is a prime example. I find it is a sign of thoughtfulness (maturity?) as one’s tastes & opinions evolve (change) over time; too bad the same does not apply to politics…..a candidate is a “flip flopper” or worse…. god-forbid that their positions on issues “evolve”, what a pity.

    Looking forward to pics of your latest,
    Jack Nelson

  4. Sorry, Mike, but the breadvan looks as if it was designed by Divco and you know I have similar thoughts about the Espada from previous comments. Never liked the “squashed down, spread-out” school of car design but, as you say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    I suggest, for real beauty, you consider the small block AC Cobra and/or the 1965 GT-350. Classic, beautiful, timeless and appreciated by all but a few. Try one, you’ll like it.

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