In the 1970s, Lamborghini offered the Espada, a two-door, four-seat grand tourer with a V12 engine. The company made just over 1,200 from 1968 to 1978, and one has been stuffed away in a very special barn in England for about 15 years.
The Lamborghini last ran in the mid-2000s before being tucked away in the same building where Robert Catesby, Guy Fawkes, and other conspirators planned to assassinate King Jame I in the 1605 Gunpowder Plot. But all that happened 400 years before the 1971 Espada S2 moved into the downstairs barn.
The owner serviced the engine before putting it in storage, making its rebirth much a breeze. The 3.9-litre V12 engine has six twin-throat Webber 40 carburettors and pairs with a five-speed manual transmission. It made 350 bhp and 290 pound-feet of torque when it was new. While the service helped preserve many of the mechanicals, the car isn't without its faults and issues that'll complicate any restoration in its future.
There are signs that rodents have lived inside it. There are bite marks on the carpet and mice droppings. Underneath the bonnet, the fuel lines and connectors are in rough shape and leak when trying to start it for the first time. It doesn't take much to get it to start turning over before it fires up and settles into a quiet, comfortable idle. It's even drivable, cruising around the property at low speeds.
At some point, an owner replaced the original Euro Mexico paint with dark blue. However, the red interior is original. While there is some animal damage, the door cards, instrument gauges, and headliner are in remarkable condition. The Espada is just the latest barn ride that has uncovered a sliver of automotive history. Earlier this month, a fleet of Ferraris that fled Florida in 2004 after Hurricane Charley devastated the south-central portion of the state was discovered in Indiana.
The Lamborghini of choice for those who need at least four seats today is the Urus. It has four doors and lacks a V12, but the Urus makes nearly double the Espada's horsepower, pumping out 657 bhp and rocketing to 62 miles per hour in just 3.3 seconds in its new Performante trim. The crossover launched for the 2018 model year and quickly became the automaker's best-selling model, accounting for more than half of the brand's sales, with 5,367 Urus crossovers sold in 2022.