Car of 1981: Lam­borgh­ini Jalpa

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - The Way We Were -

The year of 1981 wasn’t a vin­tage one for new car launches, al­most as if the in­dus­try was get­ting its breath back af­ter the flurry of ac­tiv­ity dur­ing 1980 to cap­i­talise on the new decade. It’s tempt­ing to cel­e­brate the Re­nault 9 and 11, Honda City, Fiat Argenta or gen­er­ally mis­er­able third gen­er­a­tion Chevro­let Ca­maro, but no… let’s not. In­stead, let’s re­mem­ber the Lam­borgh­ini that every­body for­gets; the Jalpa.

The Jalpa was named af­ter a fight­ing bull, which tied in nicely with Lam­borgh­ini’s mar­que badge. As a re­work­ing of the ear­lier Sil­hou­ette, the Ber­tone-penned car was pitched as the bud­get op­tion in com­par­i­son to the wildly ex­pen­sive and even more wildly ex­tro­vert Coun­tach. In Lam­borgh­ini terms, it was quite suc­cess­ful, with 410 find­ing own­ers be­tween 1981 and 1988. But in looks, it wasn’t the hap­pi­est of styling ex­er­cises; its clash of curves and an­gles with bulging whee­larches, air in­takes and prom­i­nent front spoiler mak­ing it look like a half-de­cent mi­dengined sports car had col­lided with the DIY ac­ces­sory aisle at Hal­fords. Still, Sylvester Stal­lone had one in Rocky IV, while drum­ming ac­tor Phil Collins drove a white one in an episode of Mi­ami Vice. So it must have been the epit­ome of cool. Once… The Jalpa, once seen, rarely re­mem­bered.

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