Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Bertone
The Espada presented here is one of only 186 Series 1 models built between 1968 and 1970. The purest form of an iconic 1960s design, these early-production Espadas are immediately distinguished by their space-age hexagonal dashboard layout, prominent vertical slats on the lower rear window, thin chrome bumpers, and cast Campagnolo wheels – the same as those used on the contemporary Miura.
The history of this unique Series 1 Espada can be traced back to its first owner, Franklin S. Davis of North Reading, Massachusetts. Mr. Davis, who owned Wynn’s Car Care Products of New England, special-ordered the new Lamborghini to help promote sales through its use as a show and parade car.
At Carrozzeria Bertone, Mr. Davis’ Espada, chassis 7293, was uniquely equipped with a large Plexiglas roof section and finished in a dazzling 15-coat metallic-flake paint job, as seen on the one-off Miura Roadster.
On December 23, 1968, Lamborghini Export Manager Sig. Salgarella wrote to Mr.Davis to confirm the order and provide a time frame for delivery. In this letter Sig. Salgarella informed his client that, “at present we have at least 100 orders for the Espada and that among the international recognition you can find as Espada forthcoming owners the Shah of Iran, Prince Faisal of Saudi Arabia, the singer Salvatore Adamo, John Surtees, Jean-Pierre Beltoise, Johnny Servoz-Gavin, etc.”
On May 18, 1969, 7293 followed in the footsteps of the cutting-edge Bertone Marzal concept car when it made its public debut at the Grand Prix of Monaco. Prior to the start of the race – widely regarded as the most glamorous event on the Formula 1 calendar – the metallic blue Espada completed parade laps around the circuit, with Prince Rainier at the wheel and Princess Grace as a passenger.
The following week, Sig. Salgarella wrote again to Mr. Davis to inquire if he had seen the Lamborghini’s dramatic unveiling, stating that, “On television the Espada was shown 7 minutes all over the world and 22 minutes in Europe. Your car is really magnificent.”
On May 29, 1969, Mr. Davis’ Espada arrived in Boston aboard an Alitalia Super D6-8 cargo plane.
In October 1969, the Espada was exhibited at the New England International Auto Show and was featured in the Boston Sunday Globe, with the headline “Auto Show Spotlights Italian Beauty.” Over the next few years, the custom-built Espada was displayed at numerous car events throughout New England and it never failed to draw a crowd.
Following its service at Wynn’s Car Care Products, the magnificent Espada eventually passed to a collector in Florida. From there, New York collector Adam Gordon acquired 7293 and displayed it at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel Valley. Since 2009, the Espada has been a fixture in a prominent Texas collection.
Offered with the sale of this important Lamborghini is an impressive binder of documentation that includes archival photographs, postcards, period advertisements, clippings from Alitalia News, the Boston Sunday Globe, and the Hartford Courant as well as original correspondences between Lamborghini S.p.A. and Franklin S. Davis.
With its bespoke features, rich documentation, and singular status as the 1969 Monaco Grand Prix parade car, 7293 possesses all of the qualities one looks for in a thoroughbred Italian exotic. This rare, historic, and charismatic example of the original four-seat supercar presents an exciting opportunity to acquire an important Lamborghini during the 50th anniversary celebration of the legendary marque.