Occasionally a product is designed in such a subtle fashion that the general public is unaware that they are beholding a classic. The Lamborghini Islero is such a car. The Islero was publicly offered shortly before Lamborghini presented the stunning 2+2 Espada with Bertone coachwork, and all it did was attract a few ho-hums from people with blank looks on their faces. The Islero had nothing new to offer except bodywork which some considered to be wanting. But this is where subtlety begins to play a role. One could call the Islero quie, which, of course, can mean subtle. Others might say the car lacks glamour.
As time passed, the anonymous Lamborghini Islero took on a glamour and shine all its own. It is not at all visually imposing, but clean and well balanced, with nothing disagreeable about its looks. In spite of its harmless appearance, the Islero is one of the world's most aggressive cars. As one writer put it, "This car is not only the most impetuous 2+2 seater type, but the quick­est one in every sense. I have never heard, to tell the truth, of any car with a front motor, irrespective of the number of seats, which was capable of matching its performance."
All the while, keep in mind that the Islero was not designed as a top-end performer, but a lux­ury car in which the builder tried to resolve the performance/comfort compromise in favor of comfort. This car reached a top speed of 161 mph while covering a standing kilometer in just 25.5 seconds! At the time, it was surely the quickest car in the world.
This particular car has been featured in coffee table books such as The Great Book of Sports Cars and The Complete Book of Lamborghini. The Islero is reputed to have been Mr. Lamborghini's favorite model. It is the only car in which he had actual input in the design, and was named after a legendary fighting bull that killed a famous matador, Manuel Rodriquez, in 1947. This car is the same color as that famous bull, a rare color for this car. It has resided in Palm Springs, California. With 35,700 miles, it is said to be in impeccable condition.

SCM Analysis


Vehicle:1967 Lamborghini Islero 400
Years Produced:1967-1969
Number Produced:129
Original List Price:$18,000
SCM Valuation:$24,000-$38,000
Club Info:Lamborghini Club America, One Northwood Drive, Suite 7, orinda, CA 94563
Alternatives:Maserati Ghibli, Ferrari Daytona, Aston Martin DB6

The car pictured was offered at Dana Mecum’s auction at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on July 24, 1999 where it was unsold at a reported high bid of $42,000. This is an exceptionally good car, with 35,700 miles and the luxurious “VIP” interior in several subtle shades of tan. The older repaint was carefully masked and applied and looks at least as good as the original paint (not known for its longevity) would have at this age. The combination of cleanliness, showing careful attention, and this car’s long period in the dry air of the Southwest gives confidence in its underlying mechanical and structural condition. The reported bid was fair, if not a little generous, in today’s market.
Ferrucio Lamborghini commissioned Mario Marazzi of Varese to design a successor to the original 400 GT to keep a luxurious front-engined 2+2 GT in the Lamborghini product line, which was then dominated by the mid-engined Miura. The Islero’s resulting clean and somewhat edgy body shape echoed the Touring-designed 350/400 GT and was much more subtle than the sporty Bertone-designed Espada. It also disappeared into obscurity, making this car-or the later “S” model with 10 more horsepower and a more refined interior-excellent values in luxurious, high-performance gran turismos. However, the recognition factor, and therefore psychic income from the admiring glances of onlookers, is low and long-term appreciation prospects are limited. (Photo and data courtesy of auction company.)

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