AN ITALIAN THOROUGH BRED IN FOR SOME TREATMENT
Projects from Auto Restorations in Christchurch have often graced this page in our magazine. Its high-quality restorations have gained the company an international reputation for the work it does. Currently, the team is completing the restoration of a 1972 Lamborghini Espada for a Dunedin collector of thoroughbred cars.
This ex-uk car came to New Zealand in the ’70s and, since then, has had several owners and been dressed in several different coats of paint. These cars were produced in three different series and this is a Series 3. It is powered by a 261kw 3.9-litre V12 fed through six Weber carbs. All explosions of petrol are managed by 24 valves, which are controlled by two pairs of overhead camshafts — in other words, a genuine Italian supercar motor.
Lamborghini produced over 1200 of these Espadas, the name taken from the sword that the Spanish bullfighter uses to administer the coup de grâce to the unfortunate animal.
This was no ordinary car at the time, and the new purchase price was more than twice that of the competing Aston Martin DB6. The company started producing the Espada to replace the two-plus-two 400 GT. It was also producing the Miura at the same time, but the Espada was a true four-seater. Over the years, rumours have suggested Lamborghini intends to revive the model name, and it even produced a concept version of a new four-seater a decade ago. However, the idea has yet to progress past that concept, so the only way to get a true Lamborghini four-seater is to revive one of these classic Espadas.
Michael Pidgeon and the crew at Auto Restorations have done all they can to celebrate the Espada’s 50th anniversary. They started by stripping the car back to its metal body; only a small amount of rust necessitated repairs. The under-bonnet area has been freshened with new paint and plating; electric power steering has been fitted, to make those tight situations more manageable; a few worn or broken parts have been replaced; and the older black interior was stripped out and has been replaced with a new tan leather one. The body is now back to that incredibly periodcorrect bright green, and, very shortly, the car will once again be very hard to miss as it prowls the streets of Dunedin.