A perfect example of just how wild the 1970s were, the Lamborghini Espada is by far one of the weirdest Lambo models that you’ve never heard of. Featuring the iconic 4.0-liter, 3,929 cc Lamborghini V12 engine from the earlier—and similar—400 GT 2+2, this strange beauty could hit 350 hp and a top speed of 155 mph.
If you think about the iconic shapes of some of the most classic Lamborghini models, you are definitely not picturing the Espada. It was sold alongside the Islero and Miura models of the late 60s, with 1,217 units produced in three Series between 1968 and 1978—the most numerous and longest-running Lamborghini model until the mid-80s.
Want to know everything there is to know about the rare and daring Espada? We're bringing you all the specs and juiciest info on this obscure blast-from-the-past.
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What makes the Lamborghini Espada special?
The Spanish word Espada refers to the sword used by a terera to kill a bull during a bullfight. If you think that’s as weird as this car could get, think again.
Not only was the Espada sent into auto obscurity by the success of the Miuras of the 60s and 70s—it just plain looks weird, with a glass hatchback panel more reminiscent of a
Toyota Prius than a sports car.
The Espada’s V12 engine was based on the original Lamborghini design from Giotto Bizzarrini. The Series I Espada’s power output was stated as 325 hp at 7,200 rpm, but the Series II bumped these numbers up to 350 hp at 7,500 rpm. Most were paired with a 5-speed manual transmission with a hydraulic clutch, but 55 Series III Espadas were built with the
Chrysler Torqueflite 3-speed automatic transmission.
As with any Lamborghini of the 70s era, the Espada had abysmal fuel economy, despite being designed specifically for touring. It maxed out at about 15 mpg on the highway—making any
road trip with today’s gas prices luxuriously expensive.
Considering its era, the Series I Espada’s 6.2-second 0-60 mph time would have been extremely impressive upon its release—especially for a touring car (as opposed to a sports car like the Miura).
A Series II or III Espada could top out at 155 mph, putting them on par with a 1970 Chrysler Hemi and just barely beating the 1971 Chevrolet Corvette ZR2’s top speed by 3 mph. However, the Lambo underperforms compared to the fastest 4-seater of the 70s—Ferrari’s 1970 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer with a top speed of 186 mph.
The Espada’s styling is arguably one of its least favorable features. It looks like Lamborghini wanted to make their own version of a family station wagon. It’s long, weirdly shaped, and overall kind of silly—especially when viewed alongside one of the beautiful Miuras of the same era.
Custom Espadas are very rare, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. The most notable custom Espada was created by Danton Art Kustoms in France. It revealed the original V12 engine with a stripped hood and front fenders and sported 19-inch Michelin tires on red Custom G67 RUMI wheels from Toronto, Canada.
Danton’s 1968 Espada CHD was up for sale for about a quarter of a million dollars in 2020, still undercutting its multi-million-dollar Miura siblings.
Series III: The final Espada
Not all weird things must come to an end, but the Espada certainly did. The Espada S3 launched in 1972 with a redesigned interior instrument panel that moved everything within reach of the driver. Inadvertently, this also put the radio controls out of reach of passengers—told you the 70s were weird.
Upgraded wheels, a reshaped front grille, and new taillights, along with a secondary air injection pump added to meet
U.S. emissions requirements set the S3 apart from its predecessors. However, it’s generally agreed that the S2 was the pinnacle of the Espada’s revisions.
How much does a Lamborghini Espada cost?
Since you can no longer buy a new Espada, the exact cost of this Lamborghini varies depending on the condition of the used vehicle. A quick browsing of online listings suggests that you’ll pay anywhere from $125K to $175K for an S2 or S3 and closer to $100K for an S1—despite the latter’s higher rarity.
How much does it cost to insure a Lamborghini Espada?
Insurance costs for Lamborghinis are infamously variable and tend to be on the very expensive side, but the older Espada—with its standard-breaking ways—is relatively inexpensive to insure. On average, a 1972 Lamborghini Espada will cost about $2,127 a year to insure, but that number can change significantly based on the age of the driver, as well as their credit history, accident history, and location.
For example, a senior driver in a low-cost state could end up paying less than $1,700 a year, while a teen in a state like
Louisiana might end up paying annual premiums closer to $4,000. All things considered, the Espada is one of the cheapest Lamborghinis to insure.
How does the Lamborghini Espada compare to other models?
The Espada sure is unique! But just how does it stack up against modern competitors? From the Lamborghini Huracán, Countach, and Urus to competing makes like Ferrari and Bugatti, here’s how the Espada of olden days compares in price, specs, and speed.
$114,251 (average used price)
Electrically-assisted 6.5-liter V-12 w/802 hp
8.0-liter W-16 w/1,578 hp
4.0-liter V8 w/three electric motors, combined 986 hp
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Where you can buy a Lamborghini Espada
If you’re a dedicated Lamborghini collector on the market for an Espada, don’t expect to find a ‘68 at your local Lambo dealership. You’re going to have to find a private seller, instead. Luckily, there are plenty of classic car sites online with Espada listings and auctions.
Save up for a Lambo by lowering your insurance premiums
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