Raging Bulls - Issue N. 5 #RagingBulls
In 1970, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to replace the Islero, of which only 225 units had been sold, with a brand new model.
The Islero’s successor, called the ‘Jarama‘, was presented in March 1970, at that year’s Geneva Motor Show.
Ferruccio Lamborghini intended the name to recall the fighting bulls bred in Jarama river area in Spain and not the Jarama racing circuit near Madrid.
Production of the Jarama can be split into two distinct phases: the Jarama GT 400 (1970-1973) and the Jarama GTS 400 (1973-1976)
The Jarama GT was aiming at the same market segment as the Islero did before, more specifically the wealthy businessman who wanted a high performance, luxurious and subtle car that didn’t attract too much attention for him to enjoy on a daily basis without being too large, like the Espada, or too exotic, like the Miura. Ferruccio also wanted to keep a 2+2 model in the line up with impressive looks without being offensive and the Jarama fit that description perfectly.
The Jarama was designed by legendary Italian designer Marcello Gandini of Bertone, who had also designed the Miura and the Espada, and its body panels were manufactured by Bertone with assembly by Carrozzeria Marazzi.
In order to keep development costs down, chief engineer Paolo Stanzani built the Jarama on a modified version of the Espada’s chassis, whose wheelbase was shortened by about 27 cm (10.7 in), which gave the car a wide, low and aggressive stance; despite having a wheelbase 7 cm shorter than the Islero, this didn’t prove to be a problem for interior room, as the engine could be mounted lower on the Jarama’s chassis.
The suspension setup for the Jarama was identical to the Espada’s, with coil springs over Koni shock absorbers while the wheels were the well known Campagnolo knock-off 15-inch units previously seen on the Islero, the Espada and naturally the Miura.
The design of the Jarama showed very nice, flared wheel arches, two NACA ducts on the engine cover, a small winglet integrated into the rear edge of the roof and an overall hatchback look, despite the fact that there was no rear hatch but rather a small luggage compartment cover that opened up into a 250 litre large space. For even more luggage space the rear seats could be folded down.
One of the most characteristic features on the Lamborghini Jarama are the four, large headlights installed behind folding down covers. Unlike the pop-up headlights on the Islero or the exposed lamps on the Espada, the Jarama used a totally innovative way to hide the headlights when not in use.
The design of the front looked very clean and aerodynamic during the day, but when the headlights were needed small electric motors would tilt down the covers to reveal the quad setup. A very similar system would also be used by the Alfa Romeo Montreal, also designed by Gandini.
Apart from the front, though, the Jarama’s design didn’t shine for formal balance: the rear overhang was excessive, the tail was very long and the sideboard was not balanced.
Since the Jarama’s body was made out of steel, the car resulted considerably heavier than the Islero, weighing at a total of 1,450 kg (3,197 lb). Despite the increased weight, however, Lamborghini claimed that the Jarama could reach the same top speed of 250 km/h (162 mph) and a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of 6,8 sec.
The Jarama’s engine was an evolution of the 3929cc unit from the Islero, with modified crankshafts, other distributors, a new radiator and water cooling system, and a more powerful alternator, plus six Weber carburetors and sent power to the rear wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.
The Jarama would also be the first Lamborghini model to be officially sold in the U.S. and thus side markers were fitted at the front and rear.
Air conditioning was available as an option on the Jarama GT while leather seats were standard together with blue tinted, electric windows and a heated rear window.
The dashboard was covered with soft Italian leather with the dials on a wooden background, in front of the driver behind the wood-trimmed steering wheel a row of toggle switches were placed on a horizontal section while the wide central console housed controls, air vents and the wood topped gear shifter. Overall, it was a very luxurious place to be for the distinguished business man.
An option that didn’t find a lot of customers were two small removable roof panels, resulting in an ‘open-top’ Jarama, in fact only about 20 Jarama were ordered with this option, 18 of which went to the U.S.
Between 1970 and 1973, 177 Jarama GTs left the factory, with just 6 right-hand-drive units, and the car was replaced in 1973 by the upgraded Jarama GTS.
Below, an image gallery of the Jarama GT (credit: @RM Sotheby’s), plus videos:
The Jarama GT had received some criticism from both journalists and ownersw regarding various aspects of the car: the workmanship wasn’t too good, panel fitments left much to be desired, the dashboard looked cluttered while switches and controls weren’t always labeled logically. There was room for improvement.
The GT’s replacement, the Jarama GTS (also called Jarama GTS 400 or simply Jarama S), was presented at the 1972 Geneva Motor Show and entered production that year. It was a vastly improved car
On the outside the bumpers were modified, the windshield wipers were now parallel action while on the original Jarama they folded together in the center, the Miura style knock-off wheels were replaced by the Espada’s five bolt Campagnolo units, while a stylish ‘S’ was placed on the rear fascia. Some sources state the taillights were modified too, and some mention they were the same units used by the DeTomaso Deauville.
The biggest change on the Jarama S could be found in the cockpit: the interior was completely revised, the front seats now had slimmer seatbacks that resulted in more legroom for the rear passengers who now had two separated seats.
The wood trim on the dashboard was replaced with brushed aluminum and the switch labeling was improved, on top of the dashboard extra air vents were installed and in general the fit and finish of the interior was vastly improved.
Most Jaramas were delivered with a very nice wood-trimmed steering wheel, although from 1973 on, starting with chassis #10500, the steering wheel received leather trim.
Power-assisted steering became available during production but a handful of Jarama S were delivered without it.
Starting from 1974, a Chrysler TorqueFlite automatic transmission became optionally available, but since it didn’t perform very well, only about 10 Jaramas were equipped with it.
The Jarama S was also available in right-hand-drive configuration from the factory, about 28 were delivered in this configuration.
A new, more efficient exhaust system, together with revised heads, cams and a modification of the tuning on the Weber carburetors, raised the power of the S up to 365 hp at 7,500 rpm, resulting in a 260 Km/h top speed and could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in 6,8 sec. This made the Jarama S faster than the Espada at that time. An oil cooler could be fitted underneath the front section of the car, although, sitting so low to the street, it was rather prone to damage from debris.
Despite all the improvements, the Jarama S still couldn’t convince buyers and only 150 units were sold when production was officially halted in 1976, although at least 5 Jarama S’s were built after that, as late as 1978 in fact, partly because the Lamborghini factory was falling into severe problems and parts just weren’t delivered by suppliers anymore.
328 Jaramas were manufactured in total.
The Jarama was Lamborghini’s last 2+2 model, and did not get replaced.
Below, an image gallery of the Jarama S (credit: @Bonhams), plus videos:
The Jarama GTS chassis #10418 was Ferruccio Lamborghini’s personal car, it was stored in his private museum at his wine making vineyards, today it can be found at the personal museum founded by Tonino Lamborghini as a tribute to his father.
It was the only brand new car Ferruccio Lamborghini when he owned the company, this Jarama GTS #10418 with engine number #40979 (unfortunately, its engine is sitting in #10564 now), the other cars he bought were second-hand ones like the Miura SV and the Countach S, all on display in the Museo Ferruccio Lamborghini.
The Jarama Rally is a one-off, race modified Jarama built by Lamborghini’s test driver Bob Wallace.
It features a modified 3.9-liter V12 engine that was repositioned to sit farther back in the engine bay. This allowed it to achieve a nearly 50/50 weight distribution (the standard Jarama had 53/47 weight distribution). The engine produces 380 hp (280 kW) at 8,000 rpm, 15 hp (11 kW) more than stock, and could reportedly reach a top speed of 270 km/h (167.7 mph) and accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in about 5 seconds.
As a race-ready example, Bob Wallace built the car from a bare shell, re-welding it where needed for stiffness and fitting a lightweight steel rear roll cage. He also upgraded the Jarama with a heavily modified aluminum body, which got rid of, amongst other things, the Jarama’s hinged headlights and plastic discs, allowing the car to be around 300 kg (660 lb) lighter than stock at an estimated 1,170 kg (2,580 lb). It also featured center locking Miura wheels and low back seats, Koni racing shock absorbers, and a stripped out interior.
The orange and black painted vehicle never ended up participating in any races. The car was reportedly restored in the UK in 1990 after being discovered in Saudi Arabia.
Below, a brief image gallery of the Jarama Rally, plus a video:
In the early 70s, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided it was time to develop a new concept of sports coupe, a mid-engined four-seater. It was meant to be a smaller, cheaper model, intended to compete on the same level as cars such as the Dino 246 GT or the porsche 911.
The difficulties inherent in choosing the configuration were many, but the manufacturer was convinced of the goodness of the solution.
Lamborghini’s decision will be followed in a surprisingly parallel way also by the rival Ferrari a few years later: both manufacturers turned to Bertone for the bodywork, both adopted a central trellis frame with independent wheel suspension with overlapping triangles, and both chose a V8 engine.
In November 1970, at the Turin Auto Show, the first pre-production Urraco, designed by Marcello Gandini, was on display both on the Lamborghini stand and on the Bertone stand.
Unfortunately the Urraco prototype was far from finished, and another two years were required before the first customer car could be delivered.
The Urraco P 250, the only version available at the time of the launch, was powered by a 2463 cm³ single-shaft crankcase powered by 4 double Weber body carburetors, mounted in a central transverse position.
The particular technical disposition conditioned the line, which was characterized by a low and pointed front and by a tapered fastback tail and equipped with ‘venetian blinds’ colored in opaque black above the engine compartment and the side uprights, a stylistic solution borrowed from the Miura.
The Urraco was a good looking car, with a steep windshield, a sharp front with pop-up headlights, large, wide opening doors, all in all a well-balanced car which drove like a kart actually, the deep steering wheel took a little getting used to, but once you got to know the car you would acknowledge it as a true Raging Bull.
In the following interview (credit: @Davide Cironi Drive Expreience), the late Paolo Stanzani tells us why he considers the Urraco to be the most innovative Lamborghini of the time:
But the Urraco was born during a troublesome time for Lamborghini and the future of the company didn’t look as sunny as before, and because it took over 24 months before the first Urraco was available, several people cancelled their order, a serious blow to the already unstable financial state at that time.
As a result of the unstable financial situation, the very first Lamborghini Urraco delivered were really not up to the specs Ferruccio intended for his GT’s, workmanship left much to be desired, interior ergonomics were not on the top of the list apparently, the driving position could have been better and only dead ahead you would have good vision in this first baby Lamborghini, although the latter was true for most exotic cars of that era.
However, things were shaping up.
During October 1972 an improved Urraco S was introduced, using a full leather upholstery, powered windows that were now also tinted and optional metallic paint was available while the engine received new Weber 40 DCNF carburetors for cars with no emission control.
All these modifications made the Urraco S a lot more reliable than the early models, however the belt drive used on the V8 engine was still a point to take into account when owning the P 250.
Between 1974 and 1976, Lamborghini sold the Urraco P 111 (also known as P250 Tipo-III), in fact nothing else than a U.S. legal version of the Urraco.
In order to comply with American regulations, these cars had larger, black front bumpers and emissions controls, the latter resulting in only 180 bhp instead of the earlier 220 bhp, and adding another 200 kg in antipollution equipment. It didn’t take a genius to understand that the P 111 was seriously under powered, and subsequently only 21 were sold.
In total, 520 P 250s were made, considering the 21 P 111s.
Below, an image gallery of the Urraco P 250 S (credit: @Bring a Trailer) and P 111:
The buyers of the P 250, however, were not fully satisfied with Urraco’s performance, whose 220 hp were not considered sufficient. People expected much more from a Lamborghini.
As a result, in 1974, driven also by the arrival of its main rival, the Dino 308 GT4, Lamborghini launched the much improved Urraco P 300.
The engine’s displacement was increased to 2996 cm³, new dual overhead camshafts were mounted along with a much more reliable chain drive and the heads now incorporated the combustion chambers.
Thanks to all these modifications, the engine now made 265 hp and performance improved significantly, with a top speed of 260 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of 5,6 sec.
The transmission and the suspension were also modified, which resulted in a more balanced ride.
The bodywork was slightly altered, the headlights were moved further forward and the front hood now used six fins instead of the earlier two seen on the P 250 and, on the inside, a better finished interior was made entirely in-house at Sant’Agata and no longer by Bertone.
190 were made.
Below, an image gallery of the Urraco P 300 (credit: @Bring a Trailer), plus a video:
Simultaneously with the P 300, the P 200 variant debuted.
The Urraco P 200 was only available on the local Italian market, it was built specifically to comply with the then new Italian tax laws that imposed heavy taxes on car engines with a displacement over 2.0 litres.
It was the same as the P250, but with a detuned version of the P 250’s engine, with its displacement reduced from 2483 to 1994 cm³.
The original 88 mm bore was reduced to 77.4 mm, power output from the Urraco P200 was claimed at only 182 bhp, a lot less then what people would expect from a Lamborghini.
The exterior of the P200 remained exactly like the P250, but the interior was still reworked, both the Urraco P200 and the 3-liter Urraco P300 received a higher quality, Lamborghini-built interior while in case of the original Urraco P250, the body shell was supplied by Bertone, complete with plastic seats and manual windows already installed.
Despite the lower taxes, the P 200 was not very successful, and only 66 units left the factory, and only a mere fraction of those are still around today. Despite the fact that P200 was built in so little numbers, and was only sold in Italy, it is not yet considered to be a true collector’s item while nowadays it is extremely hard to find one.
Below, an image gallery of the Urraco P 200 (credit: Tomini Classics):
Bob Wallace built the radical Jota in his spare time, but in 1973 he converted an Urraco into a real ‘hot rod’. He used the number ‘3’ of the early ‘pre-series’ P250’s from 1971 as a base, this fact is recognizable by the far-back position of the front pop-up headlamps.
This particular Urraco is known as the Urraco Rally, also nicnamed Urraco ‘Bob’.
The bright orange finished Lamborghini was powered by a special 3.0-Liter engine using a 4-valve/cylinder configuration with dry-sump lubrication which, coupled to a six-speed gearbox, added up to a power output of more than 310 bhp.
Later sources stated this 4-valve engine was only briefly installed in the car, and was soon replaced by a tuned two-valve 3.0-litre engine from the P300.
When taking a look at the pictures, two big exhaust pipes can be noticed on this car, a feature which would surely never be street legal.
This special Urraco also featured a roll-over cage, while all the unnecessary items were stripped from the interior to reduce weight, the entire rear seat was removed and a special fuel tank was installed in its space.
MacPherson suspension were mounted, just like on the normal P250, but special adjustable Koni shock absorbers were mounted, various different types of brakes were tested, and different tires were used for testing purposes, including Pirelli P7’s and Dunlop Racing covers, all mounted on massive Campagnolo magnesium wheels like those used on the Jota.
The chassis received special welded-on parts to stiffen it, because of the large increase in power, the lateral forces would surely be higher than on the standard P250. Another modification was the solid bolt-on for the rear sub frame, which improved handling at high speeds, which was necessary because the rear wing greatly increased down force at the rear.
The body styling had to be modified, the wheel arches were widened and various chin spoilers were mounted, even an adjustable rear wing was installed during development testing, a special windscreen wiper was also mounted.
Bob Wallace was actually able to race this specific Lamborghini once at the Misano Race Track during a gathering of exotic cars, where the Urraco Rally managed to outrun a Porsche.
The Urraco ‘Bob’ was left abandoned at the Lamborghini factory, but someone was able to acquire it and had it restored back to the original specifications.
Today this car is back in pristine condition and is owned by a member of the Japanese Lamborghini Owners Club.
A replica of the Urraco ‘Bob’ was later built, using a 1974 Urraco P 250 as a base.
This specific car underwent a complete ground up restoration and was made to look like the one and only Urraco Rally from the same era. Once the original car was stripped to the bare chassis, Chesterton Coachworks modified the narrow body by completely removing the bumpers, filling the holes left by them, adding massive wheel arch extensions at the rear and a deep front spoiler.
The front hood, rear luggage cover and ‘slotted’ engine cover were replaced with quick release, fiberglass units to reduce weight, also the side windows have been replaced by plastic panels featuring a sliding section just like a race car. Inside the race style continues with bucket seats similar to the ones used back in the 70s, a complete roll cage has been mounted in the spartan interior, the dashboard received special switches and there is even a fuel cut off switch next to the hand brake for the race spec fuel tank, which uses a kind of foam inside the tank for safety during a crash.
Further security measures include a fire extinguisher integrated in the engine bay in case those exposed air funnels on the four double carburetors of the Jalpa sourced 3.5-litre V8 engine behaved badly.
The original car’s pop-up headlight look to have been riveted, which might mean that they aren’t used anymore, for aerodynamic purposes perhaps.
Like the original Urraco Rally, this replica features an impressive exhaust system, even though it doesn’t exactly look like the original’s.
Whereas the original car mounted cener lock Campagnolo wheels, this replica mounts Silhouette wheels.
This car is currently located in Japan.
Below, a couple of videos of the Jarama ‘Bob’:
A late model Urraco P 300 was modified at the factory to serve as a base for research.
This car was a U.S. Specifications car, since the side running lights were present and the big black bumpers were installed on the car.
This car was finished in bright yellow over a black interior, but the main objective of this Urraco was to obtain valuable information on road holding and suspension settings when using bigger wheels at the back than at the front.
Silhouette wheels were mounted on this car, 8.5x15 inch up front and 11x15 inch at the back with 205/50 and 285/40 tires, because of these big rims, special wheel arch extensions were mounted.
These were taken from the Countach S series, note their round form against the more angular ones used on the Silhouette later.
Suspension geometry was changed too, because of the wide rear wheels, contact with the road was a major objective, so the MacPhersons were modified to comply to this new need.
This car performed many test kilometers before it was retired at the factory, the information gained from this unique car led to the Silhouette in 1976, today this piece of Lamborghini history is still located there in it’s original yellow color with the black wheel arch extensions still mounted, waiting to be restored.
A very special Lamborghini Urraco, nkown as the Urraco P 250 GT-R, was found in Switzerland by Raymond Stofer.
Not much is known about this specific Lamborghini, only that is was based on a P 250 S Urraco.
This car has recently been restored and is now finished in black instead of the original white, though the interior’s color isn’t known at the moment.
The visual impact of this special Urraco was high: at the front a deep chin spoiler was mounted, styled in typical Silhouette looks, from which the wheels were also taken, much sought after items to mount on the more recent Jalpa’s.
Stylish wheel arch extensions were also mounted and completely integrated into the bodywork, the front and rear wheel arches were connected by custom running boards with rear intakes, probably to cool down the disk brakes.
This P250 S had the big black bumpers, which would designate it as a late model P250, not an US-Specs since no side lights were present.
When taking a look at the entire car it’s strange to find out that no rear wing was mounted, but to compensate this detail, special race-type bucket seats were mounted on the inside, complete with five-point seatbelts, the entire interior was originally covered in white leather with red inserts, together with the white exterior and a fine red line running from the front of the car to the rear.
This Urraco was put for sale in mid 2001.
Unfortunately, the owner of the car requested all online images of his Urraco to be removed.
In 1971, the prototype for what would become the successor of the outstanding Miura was presented.
It was known as the ‘Countach‘, a Piedmontese expression indicating awe and shock.
It was, howewer, a very difficult time for the company’s founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini;
During the early 1970s, Ferruccio Lamborghini’s companies began to run into financial difficulties, all due to an apparently unrelatred event.
In 1971, a coup d’etat was successfully staged in Bolivia, and the new military government cancelled an order for 5000 tractors, which were already beign prepared for shipment in Genoa. Lamborghini Trattori, which exported around half of its production of tractors, found itself in serious financial trouble. Trattori’s unionised employees could not be laid off, putting immense strain on the company.
As an attempt to raise funds for his tractor company, in 1972 Ferruccio made the hard and painful decision to sell 51% of his stock shares to Swiss enterpreneur Georges-Henri Rossetti for $600,000, thereby relinquishing control of the automaker he had founded.
He continued to work at the Sant’Agata factory; Rossetti rarely involved himself in Automobili’s affairs.
The situation howewer, didn’t improve and, in 1972, Lamborghini sold his entire holding in the tractor company to rival tractor builder SAME (Società Accomandita Motori Endotermici).
To make things worse, the 1973 oil crisis plagued sales of high performance cars of manufacturers from around the world. Consumers flocked to smaller, more practical modes of transportation with better fuel economy. By 1974, Ferruccio had become disenchanted with his car business. He severed all connections with the cars that bore his name, selling his remaining 49% stake in the automaker to René Leimer, a friend of Georges-Henri Rossetti.
As explained by the late Paolo Stanzani in the following interview (credit: @Davide Cironi Drive Experience), Ferruccio cared more about his tractors due to the fact that, while Automobili Lamborghini was a joint stock company, Lamborghini Trattori was entirely of his property, and an eventual bankruptcy of his tractor company would’ve been considered as a personal bankruptcy.
While the tractor company’s crisis was the primary reason why Ferruccio sold Automobili Lamborghini, another reason can be found also in the bad mood he felt towards the trade unions that were widespread in most Italian factories at the time, which not only had slowed down production and affected the build quality of the cars, but had also seriously undermined Ferruccio’s enterprenurial enthusiasm. In fact, within a few years, Ferruccio also sold off his other activities and retired to private life in his vineyard in Perugia, dedicating himself to the production of wine. His most famous wine is the ‘Colli del Trasimeno’ red wine, known by all as ‘Sangue di Miura’ (Miura blood), perhaps as a reference to his past.
It was indeed a very difficult time for Automobili Lamborghini, but it would be right in the midst of this troubled situation that another star would find its way to rise and shine from the ashes; that star is known to us as the Countach
Thank you for reading this article! Raging Bulls will return next week with Issue N.6! Don't miss it!