AL­TER­NA­TIVE LAMBOS

From the world’s first SUV and a Spe­cial Forces com­mis­sion, to an every­day su­per­car and one-off spe­cials, Lam­borgh­ini’s ‘other’ cre­ations make the Urus look run of the mill

Evo India - - CONTENTS - WORDS by JOR­DAN KATSIANIS

Lam­borgh­ini has made a lot of quirky ve­hi­cles that you might not know of

THE CHANCES ARE YOU know the story of how an in­dus­tri­ous Ital­ian by the name of Fer­ruc­cio stuck it to the world’s pre-em­i­nent maker of sports cars by building his own. Of course, Sig­nor Lam­borgh­ini’s cars were only made pos­si­ble by the busi­ness that funded his side of the spat with Fer­rari. Trac­tors.

Lam­borgh­ini Trat­tori still ex­ists to­day, so the no­tion of a Lam­borgh­ini ‘Chelsea trac­tor’, as the un­char­i­ta­ble might call the Urus, is per­haps less sac­ri­le­gious than some are sug­gest­ing. The Urus isn’t even the com­pany’s first SUV. In fact, Lam­borgh­ini has nu­mer­ous mod­els in its back cat­a­logue that don’t con­form to the mid-en­gined su­per­car for­mat that we tend to as­so­ci­ate with the firm to­day. Here are some of the high­lights.

LM002

Built be­tween 1986 and 1993, the Urus’s di­rect pre­de­ces­sor made Lam­borgh­ini the first su­per­car man­u­fac­turer to ven­ture into SUVs – and this long be­fore Audi took con­trol at Sant’Agata.

The term SUV could even have been cre­ated with the LM002 in mind. The Coun­tach’s V12 took care of the ‘sports’ bit, and the ‘util­ity’ was never in doubt, thanks to an open load bed and the abil­ity to scale in­clines that would have given a con­tem­po­rary Land Rover a nose bleed.

Chee­tah

The LM002 wasn’t Lam­borgh­ini’s first al­lter­rain ve­hi­cle, as nearly ten years be­fore it there was the Chee­tah, com­mis­sioned by the Amer­i­can Spe­cial Forces.

Rather than us­ing a Lam­borgh­ini V12, the Chee­tah was pow­ered by a Chrysler­sourced 5.9-litre V8 that was rear-mounted and wa­ter­proofed. A pro­to­type Chee­tah was built by a de­fence con­trac­tor in the US, then sent to Italy where Lam­borgh­ini ap­plied the fin­ish­ing touches be­fore the ve­hi­cle’s de­but at the 1977 Geneva mo­tor show.

The Chee­tah never made pro­duc­tion, but it could be con­sid­ered a pre­de­ces­sor to the iconic Hum­mer.

400 GT Monza

The first cars built by Lam­borgh­ini were the front-en­gined V12 350 GT (1964) and its suc­ces­sor, the 400 GT (1966). How­ever, with the coach­build­ing era in full swing, it wasn’t long be­fore some even more spe­cial one-off com­mis­sions be­gan to ap­pear.

Cue the 400 GT Monza of 1966, with unique fast­back body­work by Neri and Bonacini. Ini­tially built for an Amer­i­can cus­tomer, af­ter ho­molo­ga­tion is­sues it ended up be­ing sold to a Span­ish client, with whom it re­mained – largely unseen – un­til his death in the early ’90s.

400 GT Fly­ing Star II

The sec­ond one-off 400 GT-based model was the Fly­ing Star II, a two-door shoot­ing brake from coach­builder Car­rozze­ria Tour­ing.

Very mod­ern-look­ing for its era, with sharp creases and el­e­gant pro­por­tions, the Fly­ing Star II may have been built as a pro­to­type but was also fully func­tional.

The car was shown at the Turin mo­tor show in 1966 and was to be the last de­sign to come from the il­lus­tri­ous coach­builder un­til its re­vival in 2006.

Islero

Two years af­ter Marcello Gan­dini of Ber­tone had ap­plied his hand to the mag­nif­i­cent Miura su­per­car, Lam­borgh­ini de­cided to re­place its age­ing 400 GT with a new front-en­gined coupe.

Un­for­tu­nately, Gan­dini’s deft touch didn’t reach the Islero of 1968, the de­sign in­stead beyin AgDt Ah eMw To Or kWoL fE CRar­rozze­ria Marazzi. So al­though the Islero gained the Miura’s fab­u­lous Biz­zarrini V12, it lived in the shadow of its mid-en­gined sib­ling – and of Gan­dini’s other re­cent com­mis­sion for Lam­borgh­ini, the Marzal con­cept car…

Marzal

The Marzal shocked the motoring world with its wild pro­por­tions and stun­ning de­tail­ing at the 1967 Geneva mo­tor show. De­fined by its glaz­ing and hexag­o­nal rear lou­vres, the four-seater Marzal set a prece­dent for Ber­tone de­sign and in­spired the sub­se­quent Es­pada.

The one-off Marzal then dis­ap­peared, not ap­pear­ing again in pub­lic un­til 1996, when a col­lec­tion of Ber­tone’s most iconic mod­els were gath­ered to­gether in Cal­i­for­nia for Mon­terey Car Week.

Es­pada

Ar­riv­ing in 1968, the Es­pada was the pro­duc­tionised re­al­i­sa­tion of the Marzal con­cept. Don­ning a sim­i­lar Gan­dinidesigned sil­hou­ette, it traded the show car’s Per­spex doors and sil­ver leather for a so­phis­ti­cated palette of ma­te­ri­als, yet was no less strik­ing.

Un­der the vast bon­net was the same Biz­zarrini V12 as in the Miura, but here in­tended to ef­fort­lessly trans­port one very wealthy driver and three friends across the con­ti­nent in com­fort.

It may not be the pret­ti­est V12 Lambo, but it sure is one of the most dis­tinc­tive.

Jarama

By 1970, the Miura and Es­pada had raised Lam­borgh­ini’s pro­file to that of a global su­per­car man­u­fac­turer. But Gan­dini’s ex­pres­sive de­sign did leave space for a slightly more un­der­stated GT, es­pe­cially in the US, which had not warmed to the Es­pada’s quirky pro­por­tions.

The Jarama was built for just that pur­pose: an ‘every­day’ Lam­borgh­ini that was less of a state­ment su­per­car. It was also the car that com­pany founder Fer­ruc­cio drove every day. ⌧

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