2023 |Amelia Island Auctions
1968 Lamborghini Islero 400 GT
Coachwork by Marazzi
$400,000 - $500,000
2347 (See Text)
One of Just 125 Isleros Built
Impeccably Restored to a Show-Quality Standard
Accompanied by Lamborghini Polo Storico Certificate and Original Engine (No. 2347)
First in Class at the 2017 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Perhaps the Finest Restored Islero Extant
3,929 CC 60º DOHC V-12 Engine
Six Weber Twin-Choke DCOE Carburetors
320 BHP at 6,500 RPM
5-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
Front and Rear Independent Suspension with Wishbones and Coil Springs
Original Owner, Milan, Italy (acquired new in 1968)
Winford Smith/Midway Motors, San Diego, California (acquired from the above in 1973)
Bill Overhauser, Phoenix, Arizona (acquired from the above in 1980)
Stan Willett, Asheville, North Carolina (acquired from the above in 1991)
Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2010)
Following the successful production of 247 examples of their 400 GT 2+2 and the world-shifting introduction of the Miura, Lamborghini sought to update their GT coupe. The bankruptcy of Carrozzeria Touring, which had built the bodies for the 350/400 GT series of cars, forced Lamborghini to find another option, which came in the form of ex-Touring employee Carlo Marazzi and his sons. Lamborghini introduced their new model, named Islero after a famous Miura bull, at the 1968 Geneva Motor Show alongside the also-new, Bertone-built Espada.
The Islero was designed to be the more conservative option in Lamborghini’s lineup, and the model became the preferred mode of transport for both Ferruccio Lamborghini and his brother Edmondo. Based on the mechanical specifications of the venerable V-12-powered 400 GT, the Islero was significantly updated and arguably more handsome, utilizing pop-up headlights operated by a rocker switch on the dash. 125 examples of the initial Islero were built, followed by 100 more of the subsequent Islero S.
According to documentation on file that includes a Lamborghini Polo Storico certificate, this remarkable Islero was sold new to a banker in Milan in 1968, finished in Azzurro Metallizzato (Metallic Light Blue) over a tobacco leather interior. In 1973, it was purchased by Winford Smith of Midway Motors of San Diego, and imported to the US. Midway Motors closed its doors shortly after, and the Islero was put into storage, where it would remain until being sold to Bill Overhauser in 1980. Mr. Overhauser carried out a restoration of the Islero in 1987 with the assistance of Intrepid Motors of Reno, Nevada. In 1991, Stan Willett of Asheville, North Carolina, bought the Islero and owned it until the consignor purchased it in 2010.
In current ownership, this Islero has likely had more care lavished upon it than any other example. Purchased by the consignor as an outstanding restoration candidate, the Lamborghini was then entrusted to J & L Fabricating in Puyallup, Washington, for an exquisite refurbishment that placed quality over cost in every respect. Much of this fastidious work was completed by the Pebble Beach Best of Show-winning Byers Custom & Restoration, which carried out the paint job, and Dennison International, which rebuilt the engine. Notably, during the rebuild process, the original engine block was found to have porosity issues and a suitable replacement engine was fitted, with the original (no. 2347) accompanying the car.
Now finished in stunning black paint over a tobacco interior, the Islero was invited for display at The Quail, A Motorsport Gathering during the Monterey Car Week, and at the 2017 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. A Lamborghini of uncommon quality, this Islero 400 GT is a must-see for those who collect the very best.