It may have a huge backside, but there's a proper Italian V12 making music up front.

Most car fanatics know all about Lamborghini superstars like the Countach, Gallardo, and Aventador, just to name a few. But not as many know about the Espada – Lamborghini’s oddly styled grand touring machine that originated in the late 1960s and endured all the way through 1978. The styling of this little-known Lambo isn’t the only thing strange about it, which Doug DeMuro points out in his latest video.

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Truth be told, the Espada isn’t really that bonkers when you get right down to it. Once you get past the idea of a 1970s-era Lamborghini with standard doors, four comfortable seats, and some actual practicality, the Espada almost seems normal. Then you see the radio stuck into the dash on the far side where only the driver can reach it. That’s the kind of engineering we associate with old-school Lamborghinis, and then there are the slots for the electric side windows where handles can be inserted for manual operation, just in case the electrics fail. It seems even Lambo engineers knew they didn't quite have the electric power thing completely figured out.

Lamborghini Espada
Lamborghini Espada

Beyond that, however, the Espada is actually surprisingly, well, normal. Yes, DeMuro points out interesting quirks like dual gas caps hidden in fake vents on each side, but a lot of cars back then did that. The back seat glass windows have a curious way of opening, but none of it is ground breaking. And yes, technically it is a hatchback, but such things are of little consequence when there's a big V12 up front turning the wheels in back. With four comfortable seats, room for cargo, and 300-plus horsepower controlled through a manual gearbox, this car was exactly what Lamborghini intended it to be – a comfortable, fun-to-drive grand touring machine. And if DeMuro's test drive is any indication, it was actually really good to boot.

Over 1200 Espadas were sold, which certainly makes it a rare find. And yes, as with any old Italian car, maintenance and repairs are daily activities. However, if you’re jonesing for a vintage V12 Lamborghini and don’t have a million dollars laying around for a Miura or half a million for a Countach, Espadas are virtual bargains at $100,000 for cars in good shape.

That is, if you can find one.

Source: Doug DeMuro via YouTube

Gallery: Lamborghini Espada