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Review of 2013 – Lamborghini’s 50th Anniversary and the Islero’s 45th

23 Jan

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Well, 2013 was quite a year for Lamborghini enthusiasts.  Lamborghini production since 1963 has introduced some fantastic automobiles to the motoring community.  Among the notables would be our beloved Islero, considered by Ferruccio Lamborghini to be his favorite car.  It was the final development of the GTV concept car, Lamborghini’s first footstep into the grand touring world, 50 years ago.

There were some great 50th anniversary celebrations around the world.  Some were noteworthy here due to Islero participation.  Here is a review.

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As previously noted, #6300 of Switzerland was the sole Islero representative at the factory celebration in May.  This beautiful dark green example not only participated in the grand tour (Giro) but was also judged 2nd in it’s class.  I know the owner had a wonderful experience.  This Islero also was present at the Schloss Bensberg show.

Kevin Crauwels was my eyes and ears in Europe and reported that #6036 joined the event at the Silverstone Classic, England, where 100 Lamborghinis were featured.  This car and #6435 also celebrated at the London Concours.  At Schloss Dyck in Germany, #6072, an early example, and #6637, a later S version joined the party.

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At Pocono and Amelia Island, the anniversary gained momentum and at least one Islero changed hands at the associated auctions.  Meanwhile, Jack Riddell, moderator of the Vintage Lamborghini Garage, arranged a reunion of vintage Lamborghinis at Billings Montana.  It included 3 days of touring, along with attending the annual reenactment of Custer’s Last Stand as hosted by the town of Hardin and the local Crow Indians.  Islero #6096 and your humble reporter, Lou Herrin, drove out and back from Illinois and enjoyed a great adventure and great camaraderie at this event  (at least until the Highway Patrol sent my wife a picture of #6096 speeding home through Iowa…..)

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Besides those driving their cars, many Islero owners attended these events without them.  Uno Junghans of Denmark attended several, as did Bob Huber of California.  I met Richard Hobley of Canada at the Pebble Beach Parade of Cars admiring an Islero S he had owned 25 years previously.  I also met an engineer, who had prepared the Lamborghini V12 for racing in the Vector automobile, at a random meeting in a motel parking lot in Colorado.  He was also on his way to California and we met again at the Concorso.

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The various events including and surrounding the prestigious Pebble Beach concours included half a dozen Isleros this year.  #6489 belonging to John Clark was presented beautifully on the lawn at the Quail lodge event.  #6408 of Toronto, Canada was a participant in the Pebble Beach Parade of Cars and then displayed Sunday on the lawn at the Concours d’ Elegance by owner, Ayad Shammas. #6201, the Islero Ferruccio drove, was sold at auction that weekend by the Goodings Company at their Monterey event.  It reportedly changed hands for around $225,000.  #6066 owned by Chris Kidd was stunning at the Concorso Italiano, having spent much of its life in St. Louis and then with David Walters in Hawaii.  #6327, presented by Walter LeBreton of New Orleans was likewise spectacular.  And #6096 was again driven across country by myself.  It was in the featured Lamborghini car display at the Concorso Italiano and enjoyed trouble free and comfortable 8,000 miles of summer driving.

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All in all, it is wonderful to see these cars on the road, participating in events,  and being used and enjoyed by their owners.

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Ciao,

Lou Herrin — # 6096

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Lamborghini 50th Anniversary

21 May

6300-em-40-blog

With the advent of the 50th anniversary of our Lamborghini make, there are many opportunities for Islero owners and enthusiasts to participate in special activities.  Isleros are now 45 years old (the GT) and 44 years old (the GTS).  Many were built within the first 1000 cars produced by the factory.  They are especially significant due to being the only production model that was largely conceived by Ferruccio Lamborghini himself.  Builder Mario Marazzi, who also built the Alfa Romeo Stradale, working with designer Frederico Formenti of Touring fame, brought these ideas into being.  The Islero was Mr. Lamborghini’s vision of what a luxury GT car should be.

During 2013, many of the annual shows, as well as separate events, will showcase the products of Sant’ Agata Bolognese.  Featured exhibits and honors are being noted at the Le Belle Macchine d’Italia at Pocono, Amelia Island, the Concorso Italiano in Monterey, and of course a huge factory event in Italy.

Of special note, the Vintage Lamborghini Garage, Internet group moderated by Jack Riddell and Bob Staaterman, (You all are members. Right ??) will be having a get-together in Billings, Montana, in June, which will include several days of touring as well as being treated to a re-enactment of “Custer’s Last Stand” by the Crow Indians.  We will cover this and other anniversary events in a future post.

While the Pocono evert will be this summer and the Monterey event in mid-August, the factory celebration in Italy has already occurred.  350 Lamborghinis and countless owners and spectators were on hand for the displays, dinners, and driving events.  Especially noteworthy was a beautiful Islero that not only took part, but won 2nd place in its class behind one of the two 350 GT convertibles made. Included here are 3 pictures of #6300 in all its glory.

Our Isleros are made to be enjoyed and driven.  For a great time, get yours out there on the road and participate in one of this years fantastic celebrations !!

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The Adventures of Ed and His Fantastic Islero #6300

02 Apr

Lamborghini Islero #6300, owned by Edouard M. of Switzerland

Edouard M. of Switzerland has been enjoying his Islero to the max.  First, by acquiring and preparing it, and doing every necessary bit of restoration work to get it totally road-worthy and show-ready.  Secondly, he had a scale model of the Islero commissioned to be an exact likeness of his own, #6300.  And third, he has taken part in a grand car show this year, The Milano Auto Classica, in Italy, with his car displayed on the coachbuilder, Marazzi’s, stand.

Edouard's Islero engine ready to run at Edmond Ciclet's shop

When Edouard found his Islero in the spring of 2008, at Autodrome in France, it was in need of some engine and mechanical work, which were being carried out by the legendary French Lamborghini specialist, Edmond Ciclet.  That done, he then had the Islero’s beautiful green paint updated.  As you can see from the pictures, this is a spectacular car.  #6300 was the 98th first series car constructed, having been completed by the factory on January 21, 1969.

The model as built by Marshall Buck at Creative Miniature Associates

Obviously proud of the way his Lamborghini had turned out, Ed found an artisan, Marshall Buck, at Creative Miniature Associates in New York, who could make a model of his car.  They used pictures of Ed’s Islero and even paint chips to get every detail correct.  All accessories, such as number plates and mirrors, were built by hand.  The resulting 1:43 scale Islero is done with great precision even down to the scale of the metal flake in the paint.  Impressive !!

No, this is not the actual car. It's the model !!

"Mini-6300" finished VERY nicely.

The "real 6300" in front of the modern Marazzi headquarters in Milano

Edouard’s Islero friend, Olivier Nameche, who owns, and is restoring the historic Islero that qualified at LeMans, had met and interviewed the coachbuilder, Mario Marazzi of Milano, who had worked with Ferruccio Lamborghini and Federico Formenti on the design and construction of the Islero bodies.  He brought Ed and Marazzi together so that Ed’s Islero became a featured display on the Marazzi stand at The Milano Auto Classica.  What a great historic reunion of coachbuilder and car, and what a great adventure for Ed !

Mario Marazzi beside #6300, the body of which, he built in 1968

Ed's Islero on display on the Marazzi stand

Mario Marazzi autographing Ed's visor

These cars are timeless classics and there is no end to the wonderful experiences of ownership, such as those covered here.  The interesting people and great adventures make it all a passionate hobby indeed.

A beautiful day ! How about a drive ?

 
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The Odd and Interesting Story of #6677, The Last Islero Made

09 Feb

At the end of 1969, Marazzi, the coachbuilder, had completed their 225 bodies for the Lamborghini Islero, as contracted.  125 had been delivered in 1968, and 100 “S” models in 1969.  They had been designed by Federico Formenti, the visionary designer of Carrozzeria Touring, along with ideas from Ferruccio Lamborghini, himself.  Touring had built the bodies for the early 350/400GT Lamborghinis, but closed their doors in 1967, and their employees had gravitated to other body makers.  Marazzi, a time honored body maker, who had also created the bodies for the Alfa Romeo Stradale, had absorbed some of the craftsmen from Touring, including their designer. Meanwhile, at the Lamborghini factory, all of the Islero bodies had become complete cars and had been consigned by February 6, 1970.

Enter one Dries van der Lof, the late Dutch racing driver/car collector, after the production run was completed.  He was taken by the appearance and appeal of the Islero and persuaded the factory to build for him an example of this car.  Automobili Lamborghini obliged, and delivered an Islero “S” to him in 1970. It was the last Islero made, body number 6677 and engine number 3018.  Italian car historian and photographer, Marcel de Lange, reported that Mr. van der Lof had collected the Islero at the factory and registered it in December 1970.  After his death, his two sons had kept the car in great secrecy.

All photo credits to the owner, Evert den Outer

Unknown, as all the body numbers were accounted for, number 6677 began to be reported and identified in the early 2000’s.  Historians could not believe there was another Islero, but it was seen, and the serial number reported from the build plate, by many reputable observers, including Marcel de Lange, Marcel Wallenburg, Han Pomp, and Wil van Lierop.

The new owner, Evert den Outer, of The Netherlands, has had #6677 restored and renewed.  He enjoys using his interesting and historic Lamborghini.  In July 2010, he brought it to the European Islero Meet at the Chateau St. Gerlach, Valkenburg, The Netherlands, where #6677 won first place for the concours section of the event.  It is truly beautiful in silver with a black interior, and appears to be in just the same condition as when it left the factory.

Still, how is it that there could be a 226th Islero when all of the bodies had been used in the regular production?  The answer may be in the Marazzi body number which is recorded on a metal tag on the firewall.  The number on #6677’s firewall indicates that it started out as the body intended for Islero #6504. The body had been retained at the factory, unused, (or had been used and returned to the factory) so that it was available.  Therefore, Lamborghini was able to fulfill Dries van der Lof’s request.  The body was combined with the engine #3018, completed as a new car, and assigned a new serial number, #6677, the last Islero to leave the factory for their very special client.

This is quite a tale, and certainly #6677 is one of the most desirable Isleros due to its concours condition and fascinating history.

Evert's friend, Cor Hofs, Valentino Balboni, and #6677 at the factory.

 
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Europe Islero Reunion – 2010

02 Nov

Europe Islero Reunion – 2010

In July, my wife, Lori, and I were in the UK for the wedding of our daughter.  Fellow lamborghini historian and enthusiast, Marcel Wallenburg, from The Netherlands, found out about our trip and organized an Islero reunion at the beautiful Chateau St. Gerlach, near Maastricht, and very near friends we were staying with in Belgium.

The event was a total success, with 12 Isleros attending, the most ever together in one spot.  Those at the Chateau were: #6000 (Germany), #6045 (Germany), #6135 (Denmark), #6249 (The Netherlands), #6288 (The Netherlands), # 6402 (The Netherlands), #6417 (England), #6435 (England), #6480 (Germany), #6495 (The Netherlands), #6637 (Germany), and #6677 (The Netherlands). Note that #6000 was the first Islero built and #6677 was the last completed by the factory.  In addition, owners attended representing a further 14 of these cars, including Islero #6009, the only Lamborghini to ever qualify at LeMans.

The reunion included a display of cars, gourmet lunch, concours, and a fabulous dinner.  Many new friends were made, and many stories were shared. Most of us had been communicating by e-mail for years, but had never met until now.

This was an extremely enjoyable and historic day.  Many thanks to Marcel for all his planning and pulling it off perfectly !

 
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Lamborghini Islero Information Exchange – Relaunch

14 Oct

At long last, the Lamborghini Islero Information Exchange is being relaunched and reincarnated with a new format.  I have had increasing problems with updating the website and have gone to this semi-blog format, which will be much easier to keep current and should be much more useful to those of you who enjoy the Islero community.    The Exchange has been present on the web since 1996, and is the oldest exclusively Lamborghini site known.  I have high hopes of developing this by adding a photo gallery, links to useful service and parts sources, coverage of Islero events, and news collected from you owners and enthusiasts.

At this time I would like to thank the many people who have supplied photos, history, and stories about their Isleros, or Isleros they have had contact with.  Also I wish to recognize some people who have been an inspiration, and without whose help, there would be no viable Exchange:  Rob de la Rive Box (deceased), Marcel de Lange (deceased), Paul Clemence, Ingrid Pussich, Marcel Wallenburg, Olivier Nemeche, and Jim Kaminski.  The list, by no means ends here, and I thank all of you for your input and influence.

Please check out the database section as it is all newly updated.  My son is helping me by condensing the past issues of the Exchange and some of them are already included on this site.  All the rest will eventually make it onboard, except Issue 2, from 1997, which is hopelessly lost.  My next post here will be a short coverage and some pictures from the Europe Islero Meet 2010, in The Netherlands, where 12 Isleros gathered at the glorious Chateau St. Gerlach.

Until then,

Lou Herrin #6096

 
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Past Islero Exchange Issues Coming Soon.

20 Sep

Lamborghini Islero Information Exchange | More Past Volumes
Coming Soon!

Please stay tuned as the archives for this website get updated within the next 2-3 months.

-Louis Herrin.

 
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Islero Interiors | Volume 7

10 Oct

Lamborghini Islero #6096

Islero Interiors | Volume 7
Fall 2000

Islero #6096 having a grand time at the Italian Happening in Detroit, September 2000. This is an early 1st series Islero, easily identified by the teardrop side marker lights that were so commonly used by mid-sixties Italian cars. The later series I Isleros used small round side markers. The 3-eared knock off hubs, such as above, were used on all Isleros with Campagnolo wheels except those destined for Germany, which used hex shaped hubs without ears.

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Isleros Attend UK Italian Car Day | Volume 6

10 Apr

Lamborghini Isleros #6435, #6036, #6249, #6564, and #6156

ISLEROS ATTEND UK ITALIAN CAR DAY | VOLUME 6
Spring 2000

This picture, sent by Paul Cox of England, shows all five Isleros lined up with a Vickers VC-10 jet. Weather for this get together was wet and not the best but a good time was had anyway. This year the event will take place later in the summer on July 8th and 9th. The English group is a very enthusiastic bunch. Plan to attend if at all possible. The Isleros shown above are #6435, #6036, #6249, #6564, and #6156. for questions about this event send Paul Cox an e-mail.

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Italian Happening and Technical Tips | Volume 5

10 Oct


Lamborghini Isleros #6198, #6447, and #6096

ITALIAN HAPPENING AND TECHNICAL TIPS | VOLUME  5
Fall 1999

Three Isleros are pictured above together at the Italian Happening in Detroit/USA the first weekend of September, 1999. The Italian happening is an annual event benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation for terminally ill children. Its in its 21st year and was held this year at the Edsel Ford estate. Present here are the yellow Islero (#6198) of Chuck VandenBerg, Jon Hussey’s gold Islero-S (#6447), and Lou Herrin’s red (#6096). The gold and red cars caravaned across Michigan to and from the meet and a good time was certainly had. Below are two more views of these great cars.

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