The Lamborghini Marzal concept (left) of 1967 was the forerunner of the Espada (right). Picture: LAMBORGHINI
The Lamborghini Marzal concept (left) of 1967 was the forerunner of the Espada (right). Picture: LAMBORGHINI

Lamborghini Polo Storico went back in history, taking the Lamborghini Marzal back to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique.

The first and last car of its kind was made in 1967 and last weekend, more than 50 years later, it was once again opening the qualifiers and races of 1966-1972 Formula 1 vehicles at this celebrated event, driven by his Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco accompanied by his nephew Andrea Casiraghi.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Lamborghini Espada, there was also an Espada model, chassis #9090, which has just been restored at the Polo Storico workshop in Sant’Agata Bolognese.

In 1967, Lamborghini took its latest creation to Monte Carlo on the occasion of the Formula 1 Grand Prix. The Lamborghini Marzal is a four-seater GT and an extraordinary futuristic prototype made by Carrozzeria Bertone, with glazed gullwing doors offering an almost unimpeded view of the interior, with silver leather upholstery and a rear transverse engine.

The Marzal took everyone by surprise, especially Prince Rainier of Monaco. As soon as he saw it, he decided it was the car for his lap of honour before the start of the Grand Prix, with his wife Princess Grace at his side. The photographs of the royal couple in the Marzal reserved a special place for the Marzal in the history of prototypes.

One year later, in 1968, the idea for the Marzal had become the Espada, one of Lamborghini’s most successful historic cars and one of the first four-seater GTs, complete with space for luggage. After reaching fame, the Marzal was relegated to the shadows, as often happens with show prototypes. Only recently has it been restored to its ancient splendour and perfect mechanical performance.

The laps of honour during the Monaco GP were its first public outing since 1967.

At its side was the 1976 Espada, making its public debut after just being restored by Lamborghini Polo Storico.

A vehicle with an unusual history, it has always remained the property of Lamborghini, and was used for several type-approval tests for the American market and for development. The restoration project included the mechanics and electrics as well as bodywork and the interior (it still has the original upholstery) and took 10 months. Only original Lamborghini spare parts were used and the work was carried out according to the specifications on the production file in the Polo Storico archives.

This year’s festivities celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Espada and Islero, also designed in 1968, will culminate with a rally in Italy planned from September 7-11.

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