My Car Quest

December 2, 2023

The Lamborghini Espada And Islero At The Quail – 2018

The big event on Friday of Monterey Car Week is The Quail, A Motor Sport Gathering. It is an expensive event with limited tickets available. However, with a ticket all the food and wine you want is included in addition to the really cool cars.

Today we reach back into the My Car Quest archives and re-post The Lamborghini Espada And Islero At The Quail – 2018. This is the fifteenth of the My Car Quest Archives Series.

I do hope you all are staying safe and healthy and that you enjoy these flashbacks as a reminder of what next year can be.

Mike Gulett, Publisher and Editor

by Mike Gulett –

Eleven Espadas and ten Isleros were at The Quail, A Motor Sport Gathering on Friday August 24, 2018 in Carmel, California celebrating the 50th anniversary of each model.

Lamborghini Espada

Lamborghini Espada

This must be the largest gathering of Espadas and Isleros since the factory stopped making them.

One of the Espadas was mine and I had a visit from two well known TV personalities (Jay Leno and Wayne Carini), plus Valentino Balboni (the famed Lamborghini test driver) and other interesting car lovers during the day. The President of Lamborghini presented the car owners with certificates of authenticity for each of our cars.

Wayne Carini and Mike Gulett

Wayne Carini interviewing Mike Gulett

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Espada

The Espada seems like a big car from the outside and is very low to the ground. From the inside you see there is enough room for four normal sized adults to ride in comfort. It is a real GT (grand touring) car with room on the inside and the looks of a sports car.

Lamborghini Espada

Lamborghini intended this to be the family GT car for long road trips. It was in production from 1968 to 1978 and is less than 47 inches from the ground to the top of the roof. Compare that to the Bizzarrini GT 5300 which is 43 inches high! The Bizzarrini was designed to be an all out race car and the Lamborghini was designed to be a family car.

Lamborghini Espada

Lamborghini Espada

If you see an Espada with other cars around it will likely be the most startling looking car. This is not a car for shy people, it will attract attention, like it or not. The styling is by Marcello Gandini at Bertone and a little more than 1200 were made from 1968 to 1978.

Valentino Balboni and Mike Gulett

Valentino Balboni Autographed Mike Gulett’s Espada

Lamborghini Islero

The Lamborghini Islero was the replacement for the 400GT and was manufactured between 1968 and 1969 with a total of 225 examples being made (100 of those were the ‘S’ version with 350 hp compared to the base model with 325 hp). It is essentially a rebody of the 400GT and is closely related to the Espada. The styling is by Mario Marazzi at Carrozzeria Marazzi.

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini Islero

Lamborghini V12 Engine

Under the hood of both the Espada and Islero is the Giotto Bizzarrini/Giampaolo Dallara designed V12 aluminum alloy masterpiece of an engine with its 4-camshafts and six Weber carburetors feeding fuel to the nearly four liter displacement.

Lamborghini Espada engine

Some say that the Islero was Ferruccio Lamborghini’s favorite although the Espada sold many more. Which one do you like best?

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

More photos are in the slide shows below.

Lamborghini at The Quail



The Lamborghini Espada And Islero At The Quail - 2018
Article Name
The Lamborghini Espada And Islero At The Quail - 2018
This must be the largest gathering of Lamborghini Espadas and Isleros since the factory stopped making them.


  1. Sad to see NO Iso pics from Monterey this year!

  2. I’m watching a friend restore a Espada and it is a painstaking task, so many little hand made parts and devices in that engine compartment, no easy task. Lamborghini packed a lot of gear into that car.

    • Bernard Tilanus says

      Yes I am also restoring a Espada 9238 1973.
      Lots and lots of cleaning and revamping old parts.
      Engine was stripped 30 years ago, and I did not strip, it was stripped by someone else.
      Hopefully will have it running by End December 2018
      I comes from South Africa, Johannesburg, where I used to live, now live in Charlotte NC.

  3. Thanks for photos of my black Espada. I enjoyed being there, great cars and fine friends.

  4. Islero is a favorite, so under stated while sleek / Italian & attention drawing…
    Styling apparently is polarizing to many, Islero & Espada from era when Lambo & others eg.: Ferrari, did
    GTs that were the definitive gentleman’s express… Amazing as on subject, that design of Ferrari’s 400 coupes, as angular & IMHO; attractive as Islero , are small % of a Islero $ ??? Same era & both were too of line flagships for manufacturers, w/ loads of speed via 12 cylinder power & luxurious GT trappings. Islero might be slightly
    rather than 400/400i /412 i although, not more than 1200 or so of the Ferrari in all those variations over 20 years or about of production, not much rarer.. Believe the downfall or differential issue is majority … perhaps 70%!of the Ferrari 400i production was automatic transmission equipped , which made it a big sales success but killed fun factor for driving & collectibility… recall the Lambo was once within reach financially, sadly no more as on short list…

  5. Ken Phillips says

    There is an exceptional series of videos of the restoration of Harry’s ( “Harry’s Garage” ) Espada engine. Also there is a long video of Harry driving his Espada across Europe to attend a special Lamborghini tribute to the Espada.
    Harry is very candid about his concerns for his Espada that showed up during his trip that resulted in his turning his Espada over to an unusual shop to have the Espada V12 rebuilt. Although each owner should make their own decisions on how they want their engine rebuilt, this very detailed explanation of the decisions that went into this engine might be very helpful to anyone considering it

    I found it interesting the way Lamborghini decided to make unique changes for the Espada engine.

    • Ken,

      I have watched the Harry’s Garage episodes where he drives his Espada on a long trip. I also watched the one where his engine is rebuilt – fascinating to see that engine pulled from the car. Details of this engine support the idea that one would want an experienced Lamborghini technician doing this work.

  6. Wayne Watkins says

    I still have the manufacturer’s firewall plate from a maroon 69 Espada I sold around 47 years ago to the local Mafia . It is vin 9346 , engine 41225 weighing 1635KG ( 3605 lbs ) . Tyres Michelin 215-VH-15 . Yes they spelled tyres the correct English way , not the American Tires . If anyone owns this car with this missing plate , then it’s yours . From memory it was not fitted with power steering and it was a pig to park and drive in slow moving city traffic and those six Webers guzzled fuel . I did buy the car back about 3 months later with torn leather and a few bullet holes in the body , but sold it again a few months later and never saw it again .

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