1969 Lamborghini Islero S

Debuting at the 1968 Geneva Salon, the Islero evolved from the 400 GT 2+2, itself a descendant of Lamborghini’s first production vehicle, the 1964 Touring-styled 350 GT. Designed by esteemed engineers Giotto Bizzarrini, Gian Paolo Dallara, and Paolo Stanzani, the 350 GT boasted a magnificent 3.5-liter four-cam V12 engine and a tubular chassis, outshining contemporary Ferraris. Despite a slow start, 131 units of the 350 GT and 247 of its successor, the 400 GT, were completed before the Islero arrived.

Named after the formidable bull that felled Spain’s famed matador ‘Manolete,’ the Islero inherited its predecessors’ square-tube chassis, with widened track for better grip, and elegant, understated styling led by Mario Marazzi.

Housing Lamborghini’s 4.0-liter V12 engine, initially producing 320bhp and later 350bhp in the Islero S variant, it boasted enhanced features like flared wheel arches and improved interior elements.

Achieving remarkable speeds, a test Islero reached 157mph in 1969, displaying stability and agility even on challenging roads. Despite its remarkable performance and heritage, only 225 Isleros were manufactured from 1968 to 1969, rendering it often overlooked among Lamborghini’s early front-engined models.

Photo Source: RM Sotheby’s