something different: Lamborghini Espada with a Chevy V8.

A while ago, my friend Bradley and I took a trip to Gullwing Motors and saw a green Lamborghini Espada parked outside within a chained in parking lot.  One of the primary reasons for that trip in the first place was to see that Espada as well as 2 Alfa Romeo Montreals they were selling.

I happen to think that the Espada is truly one of THE coolest ‘supercars’ to ever grace the streets….effortlessly cool even.  I’ve always thought of it as Lamborghini’s response to the muscle car—-a muscle car built with the DNA of a supercar.   It is low slung, beautifully designed, with a plush mega-italian interior, and a presence that few cars can aspire to have.  If you park an Espada next to any of the modern supercars; i know which one you’ll find me staring at non-stop!

Fortunately David Lang found my little blip about that car on IEDEI and reached out to me with more information about the unique and interesting Espada we had seen that day at Gullwing—–and about the Espada that HE bought!  So rather than wondering “whatever happened to that green Espada?”…..we have an interesting story and an update!

David:

“When the car arrived from Gullwing Motors it had been in storage approximately 5 years, or more and had no brakes and a badly running engine. The engine was tuned with new spark plugs, several vacuum leaks were repaired and fresh gas was added to make it run very well.

(here’s a photo of David’s Espada i’d taken when I went to Gullwing motors in 08/2010)

“The engine appears to have been a new crate unit (no numbers stamped on the ID pad) and has a Tuned Port Injection (TPI) system installed. It is a 1985-86 350ci engine that would have been used in Corvettes or Camaros of the day. The transmission is a Borg Warner 5 speed with a hydraulic clutch. The shift leaver was adapted and is original to the car. The original exhaust system was also adapted and is in the car as is the balance of the running gear and brakes. Overall the installation of the engine, TPI and tranny appears to have been professionally done to almost perfection. I say almost because of what I discovered when I drove the car the first time. It overheated even with the hugh, original radiator and double fan system. The radiator was checked by a local shop and found to have been rebuilt. It needed no service. After explaining to the specialist what it came out of and the engine conversion he told me to change the thermostat and check the water pump for proper rotation. I found that the pump had been running backwards due to the use of V belts instead of the serpentine belt the engine was designed for. I replaced the pump with one designed for clockwise rotation and problem solved. The car had been operated for 25 years with the wrong pump! That explains the low mileage of 43000 on the car. I”m guessing but I suspect the engine and tranny have less than 5000 miles on them and operate as new.”

(current photos of the car to follow)

“Work yet to be completed include paint stripping and repaint to a dark factory blue color from the original mint green and doing some electrical repair to obtain working headlights and original air horn. The body is very straight with just two very small rust holes in the bottom, front corners of both doors. The glass, bumpers and trim are near perfect. I have removed the awful bumper overriders and remounted the outside mirrors from the front fenders to the doors as most are. The mirrors are original too. The car apparently had good care most of its life but was neglected for the last 5 or so years while stored.”

“With new tires, the car drives very well. It tracks straight, rides smoothly and quietly and feels like it is glued to the road. With the engine and tranny change, I believe about 400 pounds have been lost from the front giving the car a close 50/50 weight distribution and a lighter feel to the unboosted steering.”

I, for one, am really glad this Espada has been rescued by an owner who is enthusiastic about his beautiful classic.  Thanks to David for writing!

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10 thoughts on “something different: Lamborghini Espada with a Chevy V8.

  1. Anonymous says:

    Love it! So cool

  2. Anonymous says:

    Gorgeous! One of my dream cars

  3. Anonymous says:

    Awesome! Probably nicer to drive with the V8 than with the original V12 (wonder how it sounds through that original type exhaust…IEDEI should prod the owner for a video!).

    Also love that it was “running close to perfect” with just plug change, fresh gas, and vacuum leak remedy. imagine dealing with the original temperamental V12 after a long hiatus!

    • anonymous says:

      “Probably nicer to drive with the V8 than with the original V12” Only someone that has never driven the V12 could say that!

  4. Anonymous says:

    please keep it the original color!

    • Anonymous says:

      THIS!!! So much this! That color tells me so much about “when”/”the times” that car was built in. Awesome!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Darn, I was going to buy this car! Had a 3.9 V-12 lined up and a resto down the road. The 17k price was negoc. but way too much for this car.

  6. Peter K. says:

    Just checking in. For the owner, any interest in selling this car?

  7. […] engine probably wasn't going to be found but that was the car and price for what you want IMHO. something different: Lamborghini Espada with a Chevy V8. | IEDEI There's a S2 with VIP interior and a 440 V8 with an ugly hood scoop somewhere in PA? Try Joe […]

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