1969 Lamborghini Islero S
- One of only 75 Islero S examples built
- A rarer and more elegant alternative to its Ferrari and Maserati contemporaries
- Retaining its original engine
- Copies of original documentation and invoices included
- Delivered new to Switzerland
- Chassis no. 6420
- Engine no. 2973
- Registration: English – UK V5
- Vehicle Location: England
What is it?
It’s a Lamborghini Islero S. Introduced alongside the shark-like Espada at Geneva in 1968, the Islero replaced the Touring-built 350 GT and 400 GT models, though was designed and constructed by the comparatively lesser-known Carrozzeria Marazzi. Despite its svelte 2+2 bodywork, the Islero – named after the bull which killed Manolete, Spain’s most famous matador – lived in the shadows of the more dramatically styled Miura and the Espada.
Not even a starring role alongside Roger Moore in The Man Who Haunted Himself (which is widely considered to be Moore’s finest work) could enhance its saleability. Just 225 Isleros were built in total, of which only 75 were the enhanced S version, benefitting from a 25HP hike in power from the 3.9-litre V12 and several aesthetic tweaks including subtly flared arches and a larger scoop on the bonnet. The left-hand-drive car we’re offering is one of those Islero Ss.
Could you tell us about this particular Islero’s history?
This Lamborghini Islero S is chassis 6420. An invoice from Lamborghini dating to 12 May 1969 confirms that this car was bought by Garage Foitek in Switzerland for the sum of 5.25m Italian lire. Chassis 6420 was originally finished in Silbergrau (Silver Grey) with a Leder Rot (Red Leather) interior, and fitted with the engine numbered 2973. Crucially, the car retains this engine today.
In June of 1969, Garage Foitek sold this Islero S to Frau Lucy Fleckenstein, who traded in her Ferrari 330 GTC. Chassis 6420 passed through the hands of several further owners, covering 63,000km before an inspection by the official Lamborghini dealer in St. Gallen, Switzerland, in June of 2016. Works carried out as a result of said inspection included an overhaul of the braking and cooling systems. The car also received new air and fuel filters.
We had the pleasure of selling this Islero, now painted a gorgeous shade of blue, three years ago as part of a collection of Lamborghinis curated by a prominent Swiss collector. And the car’s condition suggests it’s been used only sparingly since then. It’s had a recent service, including some extra maintenance work. This comprised a full refurbishment of the fuel tank, and an overhaul of the carbs, electrical systems and pop-up headlights.
What’s it like to drive?
As 1960s Gran Turismos go, the Islero S is a joy to drive. The clutch is light and the gearchange positive, the all-around visibility from the expanse of glass surrounding the cabin is superb and the 3.9-litre V12 is punchy enough on a winding road to put a broad grin on your face yet docile enough to effortlessly lope for mile after motorway mile. And that beautifully original interior is a wonderful place for the whole family to sit.
Sell it to me in a sentence…
It’s both considerably rarer and, in our opinion, better looking than the Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 against which it was pitched – and more affordable to boot.
Price: €295,000 (EUR)
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