GALLERY: Go Behind The Scenes On Our Lamborghini Islero And Espada Film Shoot
Sponsored by Turtle Wax
Those among us lucky enough to call car collecting a hobby typically align these efforts toward a unifying theme. The common centers of gravity are things like “only air-cooled P-cars,” “coach-built cars from the ‘70s,” or perhaps “one of every M car.” For Philip Moffat however, the common ground is colors and shapes, a more open-ended set of criterion that just happen to have resulted in two cars made by the same marque in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It wasn’t always this way though, and if you’ve read our longer story last year on these twin-hued Lamborghinis you’ll already know that it took many years and cars before he arrived at his current philosophy and collection.
The roots go back further though, and to a time before he enjoyed a garage stocked with Italian GTs. He credits his education in art history (proof that such degrees don’t have to leave one penniless) and his professors for teaching him how to appreciate the interplay of form and color, and his time at university helped give his love of cars a more distinct lens. He started buying a few classics after a friend of his began to pare down his collection of Italian cars, and so Philip became the owner of one of the last to go: a GT 2+2 “Queen Mary,” painted in a light metallic green.
That was in the late 1990s, and it spurred him on toward more prancing horses in various guise. This was a time such things didn’t command the prices they do today, but surely he was aware that the keys in his collection were special sets. He eventually reduced his group to just two blue cars from Maranello that stayed while many more cars came and went, but eventually he decided that it was time to get into his first Lamborghini.
The Miura had been a childhood dream of his, and while the example that he bought came with its share of problems, it’s hard to spoil the joys of turning toy cars into the real thing. The Miura was eventually sold, but when the financial crisis reared up in the late 2000s he saw it as an opportunity to scoop up some more Lamborghinis at a discount. Such was the circumstance for his first Islero.
That car was more trouble than it was worth to restore, so he parted ways with it (though soon regretting the decision) and a handful of years later he scratched the same itch and landed on the Verde Palido Metallizzato example shown here – fully restored by Orazio Salvioli, former technical director of Lamborghini. Such a unique hue deserves special treatment from another pair of iconic products born out of the 60s, Turtle Wax Zip Wax and Carnauba Car Wax – removing oils and road grime and adding a layer of protection for a factory-fresh appearance.
Philip describes the Islero is rather polarizing, and though at first glance it does seem cut from the same cloth as the Maranello tourers of the time, study it in greater depth and you’ll start to notice a few peculiarities in its proportions. It’s a rather narrow for one thing, and its combination of pop-up headlights and low-mounted taillights give it a sort of “split” look. Anyone who doesn’t fall for that should surely find no fault with the V12 snuggled up under the long hood though.
And the car’s twin (both production designs turn 50 this year), is also a metallic green, V12-propelled design oddity. It’s difficult to find fault in the look of the Espada though, and the idea of a Miura morphing into a family car was executed so well here that many will say this is the more striking car of the two. Perhaps it didn’t define the idea of the supercar like many give credit to the Miura for doing, but the Espada’s kamm-tail design and upswept profile make it the one people will gravitate towards if you park them together, we’d imagine. Gandini penned this and the Miura, and both have stood up to the tests of time to become hallmarks of early Lamborghini design.
Philip’s is an unrestored (the paint was changed from gold to green in its past, otherwise it is fully as it was in period) example of the third and final series of the model’s decade-long production run, and though he lauds the roadholding and straight line performance of the Islero, he can’t quite fit his family into that car like he comfortably can in this one.
While these two bulls share a lot on the surface (and under the hood), they still represent diversity: one is restored to better-than-new order, one is almost fully original. One is a little-known product of the brand while the other is a staple. One is best enjoyed alone on an open road while the other is fit for families and air-conditioned trips into town. But both are beautiful cars, and perfect representations of what it means to collect cars with purpose and passion.