For a one-year period, Lamborghini produced the Islero. In total, only 225 Isleros were built, and RM Sotheby’s is currently offering the 179th of those Isleros on auction. This particular car also has the distinction of being only the 54th car of that line that was built to the high-performance S specification.
The Islero was produced from 1968 to 1969. Serving as the replacement for the 400GT, the Islero got its name from the bull that killed matador Manuel Rodriquez “Manolete” on August 28, 1947. With that kind of a namesake, Lamborghini had to provide some significant power, which it did with its Lamborghini V12 engine. The Islero came about largely in part to Carrozzeria Touring going bankrupt. Up until that time, Carrozzeria had been providing Lamborghini with their chassis.
A former employee of Carrozzeria, Carlo Marazzi, stepped up to fill the void, offering what was essentially a re-body of the 400GT. The track was changed so that wider tires could be used, and it had a roomier interior. The outward visibility was also improved, and soundproofing made for a quieter ride. The Islero came with a five-speed transmission married to the V12, and was capable of 325 braking horsepower. Marazzi also added a fully independent suspension and disc brakes.
The S specification stepped up the performance, bumping horsepower to 350, though the torque stayed the same. That extra power made the Islero jump from a 6.4 second 0 to 60 to a 6.2 second. The S topped out at 161 miles per hour. The S had an enlarged scoop on the hood and fenders that were slightly more flared. The S also featured brightwork blind slots on the front fenders, tinted windows, round side-marker lights, and a fixed section in the door windows.
The example of Sotheby’s was changed up slightly before going to its first owner to have a red colour with a light-coloured interior instead of the planned Verde P over Bordeaux. The car changed hands a couple of times, and was completely rebuilt in 2010. Sotheby’s lists the car at USD$275,000 to $325,000.