The Marzal show car of 1967 attracted enough excitement that production was considered. There were many changes that would have to be made first to make the car more practical and pleasant to live with.
The first of these changes was moving the engine to the front which enabled the use of Lamborghini's V12 and transmission from previous front engined cars. The first attempt at redesign by Gandini is in my opinion one of the ugliest of his career mostly due to the side window treatment. The basic shape of the Espada was visible and eventually gave way to its present and proper form.
The final design was a full four seater, though it had only 2 doors. The Espada can even carry up to 10 cubic feet of luggage in the rear without blocking vision. The Espada looks quite large at 186.5 inches in overall length, 73.3 inches wide and only 46.7 inches tall but actually has a small car feel once under way. While not everyone will appreciate its appearance, it does grow on you after a while.
NACA ducts on the hood were a nice styling touch. These served to route air to the cabin ventilation system and not the carburators as some thought. Engine compartment air was expelled through a pair of mail slots flanking each front wheel.
The second car, the first production prototype was finished in a spectacular metallic gold and was first shown to the public at the Geneva show in 1968.
The Series I Espadas were most noted for their Marzal influenced hexagonal dash layout and vertical slats on the lower rear window. I don't know why there features were ever changed. I find these among the most attractive features of the car and would certainly seek out one of these early cars if I decide to eventually buy an Espada. The thin chrome bumpers are another wonderful detail that eventually disappeared by the third Series. The Series I Espadas wore cast Miura wheels which were later replaced.
The V12 engine produced 325bhp at 6500rpm with 9.8:1 compression.
Only 4 factory RHD cars were built.
Lamborghini Espada Series I
Front Mounted 60° V12
82mm x 62mm
Aluminum alloy with shrunk in Liners
Chain driven DOHC
2 per cylinder
Seven main bearings with 2 connecting rods per crank
Twin coils and distributor
6 Twin-throat Webers 40 DCOE 20 fed by an electric fuel pump
325bhp @ 6,500rpm
Water cooled with centrifugal pump and two thermostatically controlled electric fans
12 V with 600 Watt alternator
5-speed + reverse, all-syncromesh
Single dry plate hydraulically operated
Independent front & rear with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabilizing bars
ZF worm and screw
Girling ventilated discs on all four wheels in dual circuit with 2 vacuum servo units