This apocalyptic V12 Lamborghini Espada rat rod is going to auction
Before the Countach came along in the 1980s and defined the classic shape that's underpinned nearly every Lambo since, the biggest selling Lamborghini was the Espada, made between 1968-1978. That's not to say it was a high volume machine; only 1217 of this 4-seater grand tourer were ever built. Which makes this crazy rat rod even more special.
The Espada was a strange and awkward looking car; design studio Bertone had perhaps not hit its stride by 1968. Espada translates from Spanish as "sword" – in particular the type a matador would use to slay a bull in a bullfight. An interesting choice for a company with a bull as its logo, and the Espada would turn out to be much less blade-like than any of its descendants.
But if its shape hasn't translated into a classic, it sure does make an eye-catching rat rod. France's Danton Arts Customs got hold of a 1968 model last year, and decided to make this wild roadster out of it as a celebration of the Espada's 50th anniversary.
The original Lambo V12 engine has been kept, polished and exposed at the front of the vehicle. The wheels have been widened outside the bodywork to make it an 8-foot wide open wheeler with outrageous candy-red honeycomb rims from Govad in Toronto, and fat Michelin tires.
Most of the bodywork has been kept, and sprayed a mean satin grey. The rear section, which looked so weird on the original car, works great with the wheels on the outside, and Danton has brought it up to date just enough with the addition of some side scoops off a more recent Reventon.
The rear end cleans up nicely too, with the original car's big, goofy slanted window tossed for a flat tray and a tiny vertical pane of glass. The taillights are protected by black metal grates, and the whole shape just looks tough as leather.
The interior looks like Mad Max: luxury edition, with welded metal sports seats, rough riveted metal used in savagely decorative patterns, a gutted-out dash with nothing left but a speedo, and a reinforced, bracketed windscreen that looks something like you'd see on a boat.
This thing is an utter brute, it'd pull eyeballs in literally any company and looks like it'd be as much at home at Burning Man or cruising the beach roads as it would be getting valet parked at the Astoria. With a wheel track that wide and that much rubber, it might well even be a nasty corner carver as well.
Danton has put it up for auction. It's going under the hammer at Mecum in Kissimmee, Florida in the new year. Estimated selling price is somewhere between US$200,000 and $250,000.