Laborghinis are GT's in their essence. They have always been conceived as ludicrously fast cars that could take you from point A to point B in the shortest possible time, ensuring that you'll never forget the experience which is driving it. Despite now being owned by Audi AG, Lamborghini has always been true to its philosophy, which translates into highly emotional and brutal motorcars.
Normally, Gentlemen are not associated with modern day Lamborghinis: their flamboyance and extreme behaviour sure are highly emotional, but not as gentle as one would like them to be. Besides, being a man of impeccable taste and gifted by a peculiar curiosity in vintage cars, you could easily end up with a vintage 2+2 Lamborghini GT and probably you would choose an Espada, perhaps the most famous of the blue-blooded 4 seaters from Sant'Agata.
Interestingly enough, for years Lamborghini has been a brand living a double life: the outrageous mid-engined 2 seater supercar from one side and the most elegant and refined GT from the other. The Espada is the direct descendant of the first Lambo's, the 350 GT and it was a sibling to the rare and utterly gorgeous 400 GT. Equipped with the same 3.9 l V12 engine and the bodywork designed by Marcello Gandini and made by Bertone, the Espada has been one of the noblest cars ever to come out of the Motor Valley.
Among all GT's from the raging bull, the Espada is probably the most famous one. It is a proper Gentleman's GT, and the sort of car you would take to a week end trip with the woman you love (or 3, counting the passenger seats) and enjoy every mile with the driving gloves gripping the steering wheel and a smile on your face.
Its design comes from the famed Marzal concept car, presented to the public during the 1967 Geneva Motor Show: the futuristic use of glass to create a luminous and spacious interior was years ahead of its time.
The design idea then developed into the Jaguar Piranha one-off by Bertone, which was based on a E-type chassis and powertrain: sadly, this design remained just at this stage for Jaguar and it later became what we know as the Espada. Ferruccio always wanted to have a car in the Lamborghini lineup that could be a “fast commuter” so he commissioned Gandini the design of the Espada: no wonder why the language sperimented with the Pirana ended up in the new Lamborghini! Ferruccio sure knew how to be on time between different business meetings in his many companies!
The sense of occasion permeating the interior is indeed what you need for a high speed trip. The musical and well educated note of the rumbling V12 is indeed the most perfect background of any memorable journey.
This 1970 Espada seems to be made exclusively to accommodate The Outlierman travel collection in its futuristic luggage compartment and leave toward great places like the Villa Cordevigo Wine Relais, an elegant place to spend some quality time savouring some of the finest wines of the region as well as a clear example of the hospitality in the spirit of art de vivre that distinguishes all of the 550 charming hotels and exclusive restaurants in the Relais & Châteaux Association.
A fast cruiser who could easily take on twisty B roads on the hills of the eastern part of Lake Garda, close to the famous Valpolicella area, north of Verona, the Espada is the perfect vintage all-rounder. This region makes the qualities of the Espada shine through as an excellent GT: the sight of the lake in the distance, the colours of the fall approaching and the light shining on the gleaming red bodywork will result in a very pleasant experience.
The low-slung lines of the Espada sure are way more pleasurable when admired in the lovely surroundings of the Villa Cordevigo, with the sun emphasising Gandini's design solutions. Although not your typical Lamborghini, the Espada is one of the best ways to enjoy yourself in the best company possible. After all, who wouldn't want to be alone savouring the sound of that magnificent V12?
Jacopo Villa, contributor
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2017