8 September 2014

Previous Next

Lot 138

1971 Lamborghini Espada by Bertone

  • Chassis no. 7791
  • Engine no. 40260
  • Body no. 75272

Sold for £84,000

350 bhp, 3,929 cc DOHC V-12 engine, six Weber twin-choke carburettors, five-speed manual gearbox, independent coil-spring front and rear suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,649 mm

  • Recently fully restored by a noted Lamborghini specialist
  • One of 575 Series II Espadas produced
  • Previously refurbished by the Lamborghini factory and currently displayed on the company’s website
  • Arguably one of the most recognisable Espadas in existence

The Espada, designed to meet customers’ growing demands for a V-12 Lamborghini with four seats, wonderfully combined V-12 power with typical Lamborghini panache. This was an automobile that made no compromises, as it combined a fantastic engine, which was taken from what many consider the world’s first supercar, with the added practicality of four seats and a spacious boot. The Espada proved to be huge success for Lamborghini at the time, even outselling the fabled Miura, and 1,200 cars were produced in three distinct series over its production run.

This particular Series II Espada is considered to be one of the finest and most well-known examples in existence. The car was completed by the factory in April 1970, and it was originally finished in Azzuro Mexico over a mustard-colour Senape interior. After completion, the car was subsequently delivered to Lamborauto Torino in Italy and then sold to its first private Italian owner. The second owner purchased the Espada in the late 1970s and brought it to Bergen, Norway.

Under the stewardship of the car’s third owner, an Oslo-based enthusiast, the Espada was driven to Sant’Agata Bolognese in 1994, and it was fully restored under the direct supervision of famed former factory test driver Valentino Balboni at the Lamborghini factory, where it was refinished in its current metallic blue over cream colour combination. Following the car’s completion, it was displayed in the Lamborghini Museum and subsequently shown at a local concours d’elegance, where it took home Best in Class honours before it was driven back to Oslo, where it has remained ever since.

The car was purchased by its current owner in 1997. It was then entrusted to the same Lamborghini specialist who was tasked with restoring the award-winning ex-Frank Sinatra Lamborghini Miura, who completely restored the Espada’s mechanicals to as-new condition, with the work being completed earlier this year. The engine was fully rebuilt and fitted with new pistons, rings, valve and valve guides, gaskets, bearings, and engine mounts, and the gearbox was fully restored with brand-new parts which have been sourced from the factory. The brakes were completely rebuilt with stainless steel pistons, to prevent future corrosion, the original brake servos were completely refurbished, and the suspension was completely rebuilt. Additionally, all hydraulic pumps for the brake and clutch cylinders were replaced with new old stock units. The radiator was re-cored by outside specialists, and new hoses were fitted for the car’s factory air conditioning. Finally, a stainless steel exhaust was also fitted, along with a new set of Avon tyres, bringing this lovely Espada to virtually as-new condition. The car retains its incredible paintwork and interior, as restored by the factory, and the interior is especially beautiful.

Espadas have always had a keen following and have proven to be exciting drivers. Following this particular example’s recent mechanical refurbishing, and considering its previous factory restoration and current display on the factory’s own website, it would be quite difficult to find an Espada in comparable condition with such provenance in today’s market. As it is equally well prepared for concours events or driving, this is truly an opportunity not to be missed.


Please note this lot is now offered without reserve. Please note that this car will require a known amount of finish work to the brake and clutch hydraulics with all necessary parts included.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more