My Car Quest

July 22, 2024

1971 Lamborghini Espada (No. 8155)

by Mike –

We acquired this beautiful 1971 Lamborghini Espada 400GT in May 2016 from Stacey Charlton, the daughter of the second owner who took great care of it for 43 years. E. P. (Chuck) Charlton II** passed away in early 2015.

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 and Stacey Charlton

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 and Stacey Charlton on pick-up day – May 2016

Chuck Charlton was a long time member of the Lamborghini Club (and I am told he helped organize the Northern California club) and lived in Hillsborough, California where this Espada spent most of its life. He acquired it in 1973 from a friend in Boulder Creek, California (in the Santa Cruz Mountains above the Bay Area) who needed to sell it.

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 – February 2017

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 - February 2017

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 – February 2017

As far as I know this is the only classic car owned by Chuck Charlton and when he bought it it was a new exotic not a classic. I asked his daughter and his mechanic if he ever owned another classic and they both said he did not and he never found another that he liked as much as the Espada.

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 - February 2017

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 – February 2017

This Lamborghini has spent its entire life in the San Francisco Bay Area and is now not far away in Monterey County. It has won many awards at several concours in the Bay Area as well as Concorso Italiano in Carmel/Monterey.

Chuck and his wife Fran drove their Lamborghini all over Northern California attending car events. It was not trailered but driven. I am happy about this today because with about 49,000 miles when we acquired it it has been well exercised over its 46 year life but not worn out.

There was a strong bond between Chuck and Fran and this Lamborghini that lasted until they both died. Stacey Charlton, their daughter, also feels this bond and she wanted to be sure it would be well cared for and loved by a new caretaker.

Lamborghini Espada Awards

A few of the Lamborghini Espada/Chuck Charlton Awards

One of the awards earned by this Espada is the People’s Choice Award at the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in 1981. My former Bizzarrini GT 5300 was awarded the Owner’s Choice Award at Hillsborough in 2011. And both cars are silver with black leather interior – maybe a coincidence?

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 - February 2017

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 – February 2017

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 - February 2017

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155 – February 2017

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155

Lamborghini Espada No. 8155

Below are photos given to me by Stacey Charlton of her father and his Lamborghini Espada from various events.

Notice the Lamborghini has not changed much from the current photos above but the fashion and hair styles of the people have changed quite a bit.

Lamborghini Espada at Concorso Italiano

Probably at Concorso Italiano in 2005 where it won the Lamborghini Club Award


1975 – Unknown events (probably Palo Alto and/or Hillsborough)


1978 – Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance


**Earle Perry Charlton II (Chuck)

Chuck Charlton was the grandson of Earle Perry Charlton who was a co-founder of the F. W. Woolworth Company in the early 20th century. Chuck joined F.W. Woolworth Company in 1950 right after college, starting his career in Schenectady, New York. He left Woolworth in 1979 and then was a founder of an Off Price bookstore chain, Bookmania, in 1980 and opened seven stores in Northern California.

E. P. Charlton II

E. P. Charlton II (Chuck)

In 1982 he had the opportunity to join the founders of Ross Stores, a new startup company which opened their first seven stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he retired, seven years later, in 1989, Ross Stores had grown to 156 stores in 17 states. Today, Ross Stores has over 1000 stores in 33 states throughout the United States.

Chuck met his wife, Frances, in San Mateo, California and they settled down in Hillsborough in 1978. They were married for 38 years until she died in 2008. Their daughter Stacey survives them.

Chuck’s hobby interests included showing and judging at auto shows and concours and his 1971 Lamborghini Espada 400GT was a consistent first place winner in Northern California Auto Shows. One of the car’s highlights occurred when it received an invitation to be displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.


Let us know what you think in the Comments.



So far I have made only one driving video, there will be more once the rain stops – yes rain in California!

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1971 Lamborghini Espada (No. 8155)
Article Name
1971 Lamborghini Espada (No. 8155)
A brief history of a special Lamborghini Espada and its long time owner.


  1. MARK KENNEDY says

    Nice story Mike cheers! Well done she’s a beauty indeed 🙂

  2. Don Meluzio says

    Great story. Wonderful car. I hope you have continued enjoyment !

  3. Bob Appleton says

    A beautiful and unique design. It must turn heads wherever it goes. And it makes such lovely sounds!

  4. Mike Clarke says

    1975 pictures look like Stanford Concours d’Elegance

    The 1978 pictures are the Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance. Sixty years ago It was started by the elementary school to help raise funds for the school district and it often had a fair with rides connected to it. This is now the prominent show in the bay area and is held at the beautiful Crystal Springs Golf Course.

    The Stanford Concours d’Elegance was another great show , but the school no longer wanted the event and sent it packing. Sad as this show had a very large following and was well respected.

    Great pictures, great car just make sure you have a spare distributer cap!

  5. What a great example. We are finishing up a series 1 nut and bolt restoration (chassis 7355) and find that the cars beauty really comes to life when they are returned to an as new condition.
    All the Best
    Randy Cox

  6. Brian Gladish says

    Chuck was very proud of the car. He’d be pleased.

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