Lamborghini Espada 400 GT

Environmental considerations aside, there are plenty of automotive enthusiasts like Madam Wheels who will be sad to see internal combustion engines phased out. Gone will be the rip and roar of throaty engines cycling through gears to deliver the auditory and full-body experience of downforce and G-force that motoring purists enjoy. That combination in a wickedly responsive machine can be cerebral, hedonistic, pure joy. And joy is something we need more of these days.

The Lamborghini Espada 400 GT is a car that has brought a great deal of happiness to people since its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968. Back then it was the fastest four-seat car in the world powered by a legendary 4-litre 12-cylinder engine.

With the Espada, company founder Ferruccio Lamborghini set out to create the best grand tourer around: a fast sportscar that was also comfortable and luxurious. The Espada hit the brief, coming as it did with outstanding finishes, lashing of leather, even optional air conditioning. Power steering was soon in the mix. 

Despite its size – it sported a 2650mm wheelbase though was only 119cm tall – the Espada was capable of top speeds between 245-260kmh. It became the marque’s biggest selling model for years.

Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney was an early adopter, picking up a right-hand-drive 1971 Series 2 model in red duco with a red leather interior. Wife Linda was often in the driver’s seat before she inadvertently, apparently, drowned the Espada in a pond. American television host and car aficionado Jay Leno also has one in his extensive garage today.

Over 10 years, only 1226 Espadas were made across three models, including just 12 VIP versions which had mini-bars and a refrigerator built into the rear side panels. There was also a TV in the back.

In 2022, Lamborghini celebrates the V12 which powered its most iconic cars for almost 60 years – and an engine that will go out of production before the end of year.

It might be time to invest in one before they’re gone.

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