Automotive

This apocalyptic V12 Lamborghini Espada rat rod is going to auction

This apocalyptic V12 Lamborghi...
Danton has turned the weird-looking Espada into an 8-foot wide Lamborghini hot rod
Danton has turned the weird-looking Espada into an 8-foot wide Lamborghini hot rod
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Custom front end is a departure from the Espada's classic lines
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Custom front end is a departure from the Espada's classic lines
Long, low, lean, mean
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Long, low, lean, mean
Danton has turned the weird-looking Espada into an 8-foot wide Lamborghini hot rod
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Danton has turned the weird-looking Espada into an 8-foot wide Lamborghini hot rod
How's that for a stripped
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How's that for a stripped-out cockpit?
The original 3.9-liter V12 is polished and exposed in all its glory
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The original 3.9-liter V12 is polished and exposed in all its glory
Reventon side scoops look terrific
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Reventon side scoops look terrific
Forged wheels from Govad in Toronto, Canada
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Forged wheels from Govad in Toronto, Canada
The seats are a wildly brutal look
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The seats are a wildly brutal look
Imagine that pulling up next to you at the lights
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Imagine that pulling up next to you at the lights
A very tidy rear end, with the slanted window removed
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A very tidy rear end, with the slanted window removed
Super-wide wheel track
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Super-wide wheel track
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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.

Custom front end is a departure from the Espada's classic lines
Custom front end is a departure from the Espada's classic lines

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.

The seats are a wildly brutal look
The seats are a wildly brutal look

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.

Source: Mecum via Robb Report

View gallery - 11 images
4 comments
guzmanchinky
Well, I always complain about boring cars, so I guess I can't say that today!
McDesign
I think it's great - and I look at the welds on the seat, and think my welds on the new fuel cell are just fine.
buzzclick
The interior doesn't do it for me. They shouldn't have messed with the front end so much. Definitely an attention grabber. Not used to seeing rat rods that aren't made from American cars, so this is a first for moi. The Lambo engine is outstanding. When the hammer comes down, Danton will get its money. A very practical set of wheels that you can pick up grandma to do her groceries.
Gregg Eshelman
Destroyed beyond all hope of restoration.

This is worse than what ZZ-Top had done to a super rare mint condition 1948 Cadillac fastback coupe when they had CadZZilla built. At least CadZZilla looked good! But they could have started with a crashed and burned 4 door sedan and had the same result since so little of the original car was left untouched.