- Chassis # 9612
- Engine # 41010
- Under Single Ownership For Nearly 40 Years With A Fascinating Story
- Painted Pink In 1979 By Original Owner
- A Finely Aged Circa 1992 Restoration With Fresh Engine Rebuild Completed By Notable Specialist
- Includes Factory Tools, Jack, Spare, Owners Manual, And Available Service Records
The Lamborghini Espada is undoubtedly one of Lamborghini’s most unique automobiles. Built from 1968 to 1978 and penned by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini, the 4-seat grand touring coupe drew inspiration from the Lamborghini Marzal and the Bertone Pirana, two concept cars that he built in 1967. The Espada was produced in three different series and was powered by a 3.9L V12 mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 3-speed automatic transmission. Depending on the series, the engine put out either 325 hp or 350 hp.
The three series of the Espada underwent interior redesigns alongside minor mechanical and exterior changes. The Series III featured a redesigned aluminum-trimmed instrument panel, five-stud wheels instead of knock-offs, a square mesh grille, new taillights, and an optional sunroof. The Series III cars saw US-required changes starting in 1975 which included large impact bumpers, a secondary air injection pump, as well as specially-tuned carburetors and ignition system. A total of 1,217 Espadas were produced in the model’s ten-year lifespan.
This particular example, Chassis #9612, is a two-owner example of a Series III Espada with a strikingly unique pink paint job, a white Connolly leather interior that is contrasted by pink Wilton wool carpets, and 15” five-lug Campagnolo wheels. The car was initially green and was sold by Grossman Motor Car Corp. in West Nyack, New York. The window sticker shows it being delivered with power steering and an automatic transmission as options, however this appears to be a clerical error as we have confirmed with the original owner that the car was never fitted with an automatic transmission and was delivered new with the 5-Speed manual transmission.
The original owner, Lorrie Stern, received the Espada from her husband, Stanley. The two, being fans of Italian cars, would frequently window shop at Bob Grossman’s dealership in Nyack, N.Y. The Espada, then wearing its factory green color, was one of the cars the couple eyed whenever they passed by. A few trips and much convincing later, her husband agreed to buy it as a Christmas present, trading Ms. Stern’s Fiat 124 Spider in for the wedge-shaped Bertone supercar. The only condition was that she had to daily drive the Espada, which to many collectors, would almost seem like heresy. Ms. Stern didn’t flinch, however, and she daily drove the car, even fitting all four kids in the grand tourer. Whenever the neighborhood kids needed a ride, the Espada’s rear seats (and sometimes trunk) would serve them too. The odometer stopped working once it hit 98,800 miles but Ms. Stern says it crossed the 100,000 miles mark long ago, largely thanks to road trips alongside the Maserati Club’s eastern chapter that she and her husband helped create in 1985. The Espada even saw use around Pocono Raceway’s road course in Pennsylvania.
Ms. Stern gave it its signature pink coat in 1979, a color that not only matched the kitchen in her Long Island home but that she also believed better showed off the car’s body lines.
The car was always serviced by Wil De Groot of Exoticars USA in Milford, New Jersey throughout the 1990s for everything from cotter pins to timing chains and ball joints. That same shop would later perform a full, engine out refurbishment on the Espada in 1992 that included a fresh coat of pink paint, refinishing the interior in the aforementioned white Connolly leather, repainting the engine bay black, underbody rustproofing, a valve adjustment, carburetor rebuilds, new vacuum lines, and new brakes at all four corners. Two years later, it won a Special Prize ribbon at the Concorso Italiano as they didn’t quite have a category that fit the car. In 1998, a new fan motor was installed at Exoticars USA alongside a speedometer drive spear, R-134 recharge as well as a few o-rings and bulbs. It made its way back to the shop in 1999 for a new oil filter and gasket, new suspension fulcrum shaft bushings and rings, new tires, an oil change, and a brake fluid change. In 2017, the car was serviced by Auto Elite in Tenafly, New Jersey where it received a mechanical inspection and a new brake master cylinder before being listed for sale on Bring a Trailer in 2018.
The Pink Espada’s new owner continued servicing and maintaining the car in the same meticulous manner as its original owner. In February of 2020, Olsen Engines, Inc. of Nyack, NY. machined and milled the heads, cleaned the valves, and installed brand new valve guides. It then went back in March of 2020 to get all of the block sleeves bored and honed for new pistons. In May of 2020, the then-46-year-old engine received a well-deserved rebuild thanks to Auto Elite Corp. in Tenafly, New Jersey. The $27,000 job included new pistons, gaskets & seals, valves, Weber carburetors, bearings & washers, filters, spark plugs, and all-new fluids.
As it sits, this is a well-driven yet taken care of example of Lamborghini’s 4-seat grand tourer with what is believed to be around 110,000 miles on the odometer. With a freshly rebuilt, screaming V12 at the front, this icon of the 70s will bring its future owner as much excitement as comfort. This particular example’s unique paint job and backstory earned it numerous features on news websites like The Drive, MotorTrend, and even The New York Times. All of these details combined serve to make this Espada a certified head-turner at any classic car event or simply rolling down the boulevard in style.
Upon purchase, the new owner will receive spare floor mats, the original toolkit, jack, original manual, as well as the car’s custom New York license plates and numerous service records.
body and paint
The paint and body on this 1974 Lamborghini Espada are very presentable, and the overall condition is that of a cherished, driver-quality collectible. The entire car had a high quality, windows out, repaint over 30 years ago and it has held up well. The car was originally Green though it was repainted this shade of Pink in 1979 by the original owner and subsequently repaint the same shade of pink in 1990. There are no dents or noticeable dings in the body panels. The panel gaps are consistent and the body is very straight. The paint has a deep and consistent luster. There is no overspray, though there are some cracks, discolorations, and other small imperfections in the paint that have surfaced from age and use. The bottoms of the doors have some rust at the weld seam, and there are some other small rust spots and blemishes to be found in the door, window, and hatch jams (see detailed photos).
glass and trim
All the glass is clean and there is no clouding to be found. There are some minor scratches from normal use scattered throughout. The windshield looks to be a high-quality replacement, but all the other windows look to be original. The stainless steel trim throughout the car is straight, secure, and with a nice shine. Upon close examination, you can see minor pitting. The logos and insignias are clean, straight, and secure and show minor signs of aging. The front bumper is straight and has a nice consistent shine. There are some minor indents from regular use and some pitting. The front grill is in excellent shape with some minor blemishes in the black paint. The rear bumper is in similar condition, though the upper mounting bracket on the passenger side is missing. It is still secure and does not seem to compromise the bumper as it is more decorative than protective. The tail lights and side markers are nice with some minor signs of their age. All the black trim is excellent with no fading or discoloration. The Hella headlamps are in great condition with minor wear in the lenses from use, but no noticeable delamination of the reflectors. All the gaskets are pliable and in good condition, and indicative of a well stored and maintained vehicle. Some of the larger door gaskets are damaged from use, showing some minor tears.
All the Campagnello wheels are clean and straight with a consistent shine. The center caps with the bull logo are in good condition with minimal signs of aging. The passenger-side rear wheel has some chips in the paint.
The overall condition of the car is very nice, and the car has obviously always been stored well and looked after. It was driven regularly clocking over 110,000 miles and has the imperfections of this regular use. The most notable flaws are the missing rear bumper bracket and the door weld seam rust. The detailed photos are extensive, and a very honest presentation of the car’s condition.
seats and surfaces
Like the exterior of the car, the interior is in impressive condition but also indicative of general use. The white leather seats are clean and have a nice patina. They are free of any rips are serious blemishes. The front seats need new padding and there is some minor webbing in the leather. The white leather on the dash, center console, door panels, etc is clean and tight, though some deficiencies can be found. The mousse hair dash is in excellent shape and must have been redone in the past. The peach/pink carpets have discoloration and blemishes, especially in the driver’s footwell, and transmission tunnel. The white leather door armrests also show some use.
functionality and accessories
All the gauges, stalks, buttons etc., work with the exception of the Speedometer and Odometer which stopped working at 98,xxx. Mrs. Stern estimated that the car had about 110,000 miles at the time of her sale of the car in 2010. The windows are slow and the blower fan is noisy, like many older Italian cars. The A/C appears to need a recharge. All the interior lights work and the small red lights on the door jams work when the doors are opened. All the exterior lights work, as does the pink air horns.
engine bay and trunk
The large engine bay is relatively tidy. There is a lot going on under the hood but it looks to be well looked after and as clean as one would expect from a recent high dollar engine rebuild though with some work, it could be made even more presentable.
The trunk area is complete with all the carpet pieces, battery cover and spare tire cover accounted for. The carpet is sun-bleached and there are small signs of use, but overall it is very presentable.
The underside of this Lamborghini is overall, very nice. There is undercoating and black paint on most of the surfaces. The suspension looks good and well cared for and though there is surface rust on the exhaust, it is secure and free from exhaust leaks. There is some surface rust above the rear muffler, but the rest of the underside is very solid and relatively rust-free.
The interior has some small flaws and the trunk/hatch area has been aged by the sun. The underside is solid with one small rust area. The car is relatively leak-free though we did notice a few drops of oil on the floor after the car sat for a couple of weeks.
The car cold starts well after a few cranks. Once warm, it revs freely through the rev range and sounds as symphonic as it should being a vintage Lamborghini V12. The car delivers strong, linear power with no hesitation in the higher rpm range. Occasionally, if the throttle is fully pressed to the floor around 2,000 RPMs, it slightly stumbles, likely due to needing a minor carb adjustment
The transmission is very smooth throughout each gear with no grinding, clutch slipping or other common issues that we noticed.
brakes and suspension
The suspension feels firm with no noticeable odd noises. The brakes operate as they should however upon hard braking, it pulls slightly to the right. The steering is as precise as a 1970s GT car can be.
A slight pull to the right is noticed upon hard braking.
The Lamborghini Espada is quite the treat to drive. It is the ultimate luxurious Grand Touring four-seater that Ferruccio Lamborghini set out to achieve when this car was originally conceived. The glorious V12 sound keeps the driver wanting more and more as the rev range gets higher and higher. Though it is relatively large, the Espada gives you the illusion that you are behind the wheels of a two-seat sports car. It comfortably fits passengers in the rear seats and golf bags in the trunk. It is the pinnacle of cool, 1970s grand touring transportation and a perfect addition to any stable.