Image credits: © Lamborghini.

1970 Lamborghini Jarama

1970 Lamborghini Jarama 1970 Lamborghini Jarama 1970 Lamborghini Jarama Coupe
Designer: Marcello Gandini
When the Lamborghini Islero could no longer meet the United States safety and emissions requirements, the Jarama was designed and built as its replacement introduced for sale in the very important United States market and around the world in 1970.

As keeping with the intention of the Islero, the Jarama is a 'gentleman's car' with an ideal mix of elegance and power. The 4.0-liter V12 engine produced 350 horsepower and that, combined with many luxury features, resulted in the perfect combination to be Ferruccio's favorite car at the time. The Jarama was capable of sprints to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds and had a top speed of 162 mph.

In keeping with the bullfighting theme, the Jarama was named after the famous bullfighting region in Spain. However, many believe that it was named after the famous Jarama racing circuit near Madrid.

This is a rare car that Lamborghini only produced 327 (177 Jarama and 150 Jarama S units). This Jarama was imported into the United Sates in January of 1985, it has 55,000 miles, and the drivetrain was rebuilt in 2009. The car was first seen on eBay in January, 2001. The current owner tracked it down to the purchaser in Petaluma, California, who had purchased it from Forza Motors in Gaylord, Connecticut. The current owner acquired it in 2001.

In the early 1970's, manufacturers that were producing vehicles for the United States had to comply with new government regulations and emission standards that not only made the vehicles safer but more fuel efficient. The Islero was forced to comply in order to continue to be sold in the United States. Marcello Gandini of Bertone was tasked with creating designs that would fit atop of a shortened Espada platform.

In 1970 the Lamborghini Jarama was introduced and stayed in production until 1976. The GT version lasted from 1970 through 1973 while the GTS was produced from 1973 through 1976.

The GT and GTS were very similar in design; most of the changes were to the mechanics. The GT was powered by a V12 engine producing 350 horsepower while the GTS produced 365 horsepower. The GTS was given power assisted steering, an optional Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic transmission, and removable roof panels. The engine had been tuned to produce more horsepower by introducing a new exhaust system, revised heads, carburetion and camshafts. The interior was slightly modified, given new seats that were slimmer, resulting in more rear legroom. Brushed aluminum replaced the wood trim. On the exterior, the GTS had revised taillights, courtesy of the DeTomaso Deauville. Five-bolt wheels replaced the previous wheel rims. Air intake could now be found on the hood and behind each front wheel were air-extraction openings.

During the entire production run for the Jarama, 327 examples were produced. 177 examples were of the GT version. 10 examples were produced with the optional automatic transmission on the GTS. On display in the Official Lamborghini museum is Ferruccio Lamborghini's own personal Jarama GTS, chassis number 10418.


By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006
With subdued looks that belied its V12 power, the Lamborghini Jarama was among the very last of Lamborghini's grand touring cars before the Italian carmaker decided to pursue fulltime the production of two-seat supercars. The Jarama was built in the same spirit as the very first Lamborghinis. It was comfortable and capable, with no more flash than necessary.

Created to replace the Lamborghini Islero, the Jarama was first produced for 1970. It was based on a modified Espada platform and, though the Jarama was far from being a featherweight sports car, it was a potent yet understated grand touring car.

The Espada platform was shortened by 10.6 inches when used for the Jarama, but it was otherwise altered very little. This gave the Jarama odd proportions, making it appear particularly wide. Marcello Gandini, working for the Bertone design house, was tasked with creating the Jarama's shape. His efforts were admirable given the awkward platform with which he was working, but the Jarama nevertheless had an unconventional style that made it stick out against its finely sculpted competitors.

The Jarama may have inherited its strange proportions from the Espada, but it also took from that car a wonderful engine. Displacing 3,929cc, the quad-cam V12 in the Jarama produced 350bhp at 7,500rpm from the outset of production. A 26-gallon fuel tank ensured that, despite the Jarama's prodigious weight and thirst, its six Webers would remain well-fed for many miles at a time.

Final assembly of the Jarama was conducted by Marazzi, and two versions were built. The first was the Jarama 400GT. This model had the cleaner styling of the two variants, and was equipped with the Miura's center-lock wheels. Between 1970 and 1973, 177 examples of the 400GT were made before the updated Jarama GTS was introduced. The GTS model could be visually distinguished by its five-bolt wheels, as well as by vents in the front fenders and an additional air scoop that was mounted between NACA ducts on either side of the hood. Beneath the revised exterior, the GTS featured an even more powerful engine that, with 365bhp, produced 15bhp more than the GT. This, combined with lower weight, enabled the Jarama 400GTS to reach 161mph, a top speed 9mph greater than the first Jarama. There were 150 examples of the Jarama 400GTS built from 1973 to 1976.

Power from the Jarama's V12 was typically sent through a 5-speed manual gearbox, but Lamborghini made a Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic transmission optional on the 400GTS. About 10 examples were produced with the TorqueFlite transmission, making it a very rare option.

The Jarama, with its odd styling and low sales volume, has failed to reach the status of Lamborghini's most famous models. It has been overshadowed by Lamborghini's racier offerings, as well as by the company's earlier and prettier and GT cars. The Jarama is a capable grand touring machine, though, and its low production numbers and strange styling only serve to make it an undeniably unique Lamborghini.

Sources:

'Classic Line up at Lamborghini Cars.' Lamborghini Cars: The Enthusiast Site n. pag. Web. 3 Jun 2010. http://www.lambocars.com/cla/index.php.

'Lamborghini Jarama.' International Lamborghini Registry n. pag. Web. 3 Jun 2010. http://www.lamborghiniregistry.com/Forums/Jaramas.php.

By Evan Acuña

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