For over five decades, Lamborghini has produced some of the world’s wildest and most iconic cars. The Italian company is known for its angular bodies, outrageous V12 engines, and high price tags. No one would ever call a Lamborghini a “forgettable” car. But there was one model that is often forgotten about – the Jarama.
Here was the problem: in the late 1960s, Lamborghini has these two cars, the Islero (introduced in 1968) and the Espada (also introduced in 1968). The company wanted to sell the Islero in the United States, but it did not meet US DOT safety standards.
When I think about Lamborghini, I think of their most well known creations: the Countach, the Diablo, the Gallardo, and the Murcielago. But it was Lamborghini’s early cars such as the Miura and the Espada that really earned the company its stripes.
The Miura was unveiled in 1966 to great praise, largely due to its beautiful styling. Two years later, Lamborghini had another hit on its hands with the Espada. This was the company’s first 4-seater, and it went on to become their most popular car up until that time. Just over 1,200 Espadas were built during their 10-year production run.
For over a century, the world’s automakers have been refining and improving the way that cars work. Everyone loves when a technological breakthrough brings better performance or fuel economy, but I think some of the greatest advances in automotive engineering have come from safety.
Recently, I visited the Computer History Museum in California. The museum has an exhibit about the on-board ABS computer developed by Bosch that I found interesting.
Get this, long before Tesla’s were rolling down the assembly line that very same facility was cranking out Chevy trucks.. This particular 1980 C30 was also produced there, for the US government. There are some interesting things about it though I’m not sure which modifications were added after the government took possession. Continue reading →
Following the carefree fifties and the rebellious sixties, the 1970s were a decade of uninhibited excess. This was the decade that brought us leisure suits, disco music, and brutalist architecture. For the most part, the 1970s are remembered as a dark age of design, and cars were no exception.
During this decade, cars got bigger and heavier, less fuel efficient, and in many cases uglier due to a combination of Federally-mandated 5mph impact bumpers and the prevailing styles of the times. There is perhaps no other automobile on earth that embodies the lavish excess, the indulgence, and the absurdity of the seventies quite like this 1972 Stutz Blackhawk. Continue reading →
First introduced in 1964, the Ford Mustang was an instant success that combined style and performance into a compact and affordable package. The car’s long hood, short trunk, and V8 engine captured America’s hearts and launched Ford to the top of the sales charts like a Saturn V rocket. Ford was unstoppable, selling a staggering 600,000 Mustangs in 1966.
As time went on, the initial excitement over the new car began to wear off. By 1972, demand for the Mustang was down to 125,000 cars per year. Then in 1973 the oil crisis hit hard, sending gas prices soaring. It seemed as though the Mustang was going to be a tough sell.
Ford responded by introducing the downsized Mustang II in 1974, an ugly little thing that was based on the Pinto. Although it shared the Mustang name, it didn’t share anything else with the first generation cars. That’s what makes this 1973 Ford Mustang so special – it’s the last year of the original pony cars.