New Zealand Classic Car - - PRICE ON -

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.

Sword like

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.

50th an­niver­sary

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.

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