The Quail, A Mo­tor­sports Gather­ing

Key anniversaries for Lam­borgh­ini lends an Ital­ian feel to the Cal­i­for­nian coun­try club

Classic Cars (UK) - - Contents -

With the 50th an­niver­sary of Lam­borgh­ini’s Es­pada and Islero recog­nised and Fer­raris and Maser­atis in abun­dance, this year’s con­cours at The Quail, A Mo­tor­sports Gather­ing on the Mon­terey Penin­sula had a dis­tinctly Ital­ian theme – al­though sur­pris­ingly the ex­quis­ite, his­to­ried road cars up­staged the ex­works rac­ing ma­chines.

1969 lam­borgh­ini islero s

‘There were only 98 S mod­els made, and ours is the only one in this colour com­bi­na­tion,’ ex­plained Dr Perry Mans­field of his re­cently-restored Lam­borgh­ini Islero. ‘We re­cently spent three months get­ting the car back up to show stan­dard.

‘We re­built the engine and trans­mis­sion, which are ex­traor­di­nar­ily strong now, and de­tailed the un­der­car­riage and in­te­rior. We also had to cre­ate new tail light lenses from scratch, and I am very happy to have re­fit­ted the cor­rect orig­i­nal type of tyres with the orig­i­nal tread pat­tern’.

The car was de­liv­ered new to Switzer­land and was test-driven in sev­eral car mag­a­zines in 1970. It had a sin­gle owner un­til 1999 when it moved to the US. ‘I bought it in 2002 and have had it ever since,’ said Dr Mans­field. ‘I have owned other Lam­borgh­i­nis but this is by far my favourite. The Islero is not very well known, de­spite be­ing a re­ally great car. It has a 3998cc 350bhp engine, it is a gen­uine four-seater with a won­der­ful trunk, and has a very well-bal­anced chas­sis.’

1952 siata gran sport V8

It’s the first time this un­usual Siata has been shown at The Quail, al­though it’s lucky to have sur­vived at all. An ar­ti­cle in Hot Rod mag­a­zine in 1952 in­spired the engine swap from the orig­i­nal Fiat 1400cc unit to a 3.8-litre Stude­baker V8 in the early Fifties.

Owner Roger Hoff­mann said, ‘The car was im­ported new into New York and owned by Henry Pear­son from 1955 un­til 2014 when he died. He bought the car for his wife and it mainly got used for Sun­day drives un­til 1960 when the rear axle snapped and it was laid up.

‘We are very for­tu­nate that the car is still around be­cause their Mercedes-benz 190SL, parked next to it in the garage, burned to the ground.

‘A bro­ker found the car in 2014 and I bought it from him. I am a preser­va­tion guy, so the car is per­fect for me. Most of it was in great shape so we left ev­ery­thing we pos­si­bly could alone when we re­vived it. For ex­am­ple, the three trailer lights at the rear, and the singed seat and steer­ing wheel are just as they were when it was found.’

1971 Maserati ghi­bli

Re­storer Erik Lars­son fin­ished work­ing on this Maserati a few days be­fore The Quail, then drove ‘for 40 hours straight’ to get it to the show on time.

‘This restora­tion was made more dif­fi­cult by the car be­ing sold three times while in our work­shop as the val­ues climbed. It was a very start-stop restora­tion – the car was owned by a Peb­ble Beach judge who brought it to us in the early 2000s, then it was sold to a guy from Eng­land and just when we had it all crated up in the ship­ping con­tainer ready to head to the UK he sold it again and we had to un­pack it and go back to work.

‘We had to do ev­ery­thing on this car, the body was acid dipped, we fit­ted new floors and sills, and quite a few other rust re­pairs were re­quired too. The whole driv­e­train was re­built and we also had to re­run all the fluid lines.’

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