1970 – Lamborghini 400 GT Espada

Lot 84
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Estimation :
125000 - 150000 EUR
1970 – Lamborghini 400 GT Espada
1970 - Lamborghini 400 GT Espada Lamborghini's first family supercar and the fastest of its time French registration Chassis n°7819 Engine n°40275 - Design by Gandini, engine by Bizzarrini and chassis by Dallara - One of only 578 Espada Series 2 built - Delivered new in Switzerland with air conditioning and power steering - Original engine and color scheme - Mechanical restoration by the late Edmond Ciclet in 2019-2020 - Interesting Swiss history and remarkable state of preservation Derived from the Lamborghini Marzal prototype, the Espada was presented at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show. It was the result of Ferruccio Lamborghini's desire to broaden his range by offering a GT-type sports car that was truly family-oriented. Technically, to achieve this, the brand's chief engineer at the time, Gian Paolo Dallara, extrapolated its structure from the chassis of the 400 GT 2+2, the Italian marque's first two-seat rear coupé, which succeeded the 400 GT, itself a descendant of the very first Lamborghini, the 350 GT. Compared to the 400 GT 2+2 on which it is based, and which explains its name, the Espada has a wheelbase 10 centimetres longer and an engine positioned further forward, to free up as much space as possible in the passenger compartment. The powertrain, meanwhile, is the powerful Bizzarrini V12, in its 3.9-liter version, initially developing 325 hp. Four-wheel independent suspension, disc brakes and lightweight magnesium-alloy wheels reduce unsprung mass, giving the Espada a healthy, efficient ride that also benefits from the car's aerodynamic design. Like the Marzal and other legendary Lamborghinis before it, the Espada's styling is the fruit of Marcello Gandini's work for Bertone bodywork, and is a true work of art. Its lines are streamlined and its silhouette remarkably balanced, with a wide track, large overhangs and low height. This shape gives the Espada a strong visual identity, while offering good light and visibility thanks to large glazed surfaces, as well as excellent habitability thanks to generous dimensions. The Espada comfortably accommodates four people and their luggage with elegance. It also boasts a highly refined finish, with plenty of leather and generous standard equipment. The Espada is a functional, high-performance and luxurious car. It has been a huge success for the small Italian manufacturer from Sant'Agata Bolognese, with a total of 1,226 units produced in all series. This success was due in part to the fact that in February 1970, Lamborghini released an even more refined version, with the engine increased to 350 hp, ventilated brake discs, a slightly revised and better-finished interior, and optional power steering. Although less extravagant than the Miura or Countach, the Espada is just as spectacular in its styling and capabilities, a credit to its prestigious name. The Lamborghini Espada on display is a 400 GTE by its in-house code name, i.e. a Swiss-engineered Series 2 from May 1970. As the second-series version of the model, this Espada features the 350hp 3.9L V12 derived from the Miura, an upgraded transmission (with constant velocity joints), ventilated disc brakes, a dashboard with wood inserts, and is still equipped (like the Series 1) with Campagnolo center-clamp wheels. It also features air conditioning and the rare option of power steering. All of which makes this even more desirable. Chassis number 7819, this car was delivered new to the Foitek garage in Zürich on May 29, 1970, with engine number 40275 and "Notte" blue color with blue leather interior, which is still its current configuration. It spent at least twenty years in Switzerland, where it belonged to a great art lover and collector renowned for his museum in Geneva, as attested by the copy of the cancelled Swiss registration document in the file. It was then registered in Paris, according to its license plate, before being acquired by a professional in 2014, after having been immobilized for several years following mechanical damage (suggesting a faulty cylinder head gasket). Some time later, the Espada was sold to its last private owner, who undertook its restoration. A well-informed enthusiast, he entrusted the work to one of the best specialists in the field.
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