By Andrew Romanowski
Photos by Andrew Romanowski & Automobili Lamborghini
After an unseasonably cold Friday and Saturday, the Sunday at the Amelia Island Concours was blessed with a warm, and very bright day – perfect for bringing out the exact details in every car on the field. Held at the Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, this event plays host to much more than the main concours event on Sunday. There are always various manufacturers (Lamborghini included) conducting test drives for potential new buyers in their new models, the RM Auction running through the weekend, a cars & coffee on the event lawn Saturday open to any collector car owners, a Saturday night Gala dinner, and an after party hosted by McIntosh. All of this coming together in concert for a weekend that is starting to feel a little but like Monterey, so much to see and do, it is hard to fit it all in. Likewise this event is always well attended, but this year the Sunday concours field seemed to be crowded to a level more than I was used to in past years making for a busy, but fun experience getting around the show field to see all of the cars. As you entered the event, Automobili Lamborghini had a display setup with the newest models, as part of that Lamborghini Palm Beach was there setup and selling a fair amount of Lamborghini merchandise to the event goers. Alongside many iconic race-cars and many other makes, this year’s display brought four very special Lamborghinis, first, the all new Huracan with a great introduction to the American public by Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO, Stephan Winkelmann. And then three vintage Lamborghinis each with an interesting history. Two of them, the Miura and Islero were great restorations while the other, the 400GT 2+2 was a completely original example – all representing Lamborghini very well at the event.
The Miura, owned by Joe Nastasi displayed beautifully on the lawn, with the green paint and iconic lines drawing the attention of anyone within eyesight. The car which was said to be from Italy had the body and interior restoration done by AutoSport Design in Modena, while Joe personally rebuilt the engine here in the states where the two would meet after the work was complete and become one beautiful Miura. The car was largely what you would expect to see with a Miura, but with a couple distinct changes, the fuel filler through the front bonnet, and the verde interior stitching. Most other details being fairly accurate, just small exceptions like the rear shock spring color (some Miura owners just don’t care for the light blue on the rear springs apparently), and the red paint Lamborghini script on the valve covers. (The Miura display engine in the Lamborghini museum at the Factory does have this script on the valve covers painted red however, but this is not considered correct for the Miura.) The black wrinkle paint on the valve covers was not something that came on the Miuras out of the factory – the Miura engines were painted with a high temperature silver paint that is almost a perfect match to the wheels and rocker panels, but when owners saw that finish from the factory on the Espada valve covers, they would sometimes return to the service department for the same treatment on their Miura valve covers. (This wrinkle black valve cover treatment is something that young Valentino remembers doing in his time in the service department.) But all of this is being a little critical of the car, it was very nice and a crowd favorite for sure.
The 400GT 2+2, owned by Richard Griot was and is the most original and authentic 400GT 2+2 I have ever seen with my own eyes, the car was simple amazing. Precursor to the Islero, the 400GT was built as a proper classis GT road car following Ferruccio’ s dream realized with the 350GT. Sequentially this is the 46th to last of only 224 examples completed and assembly was finished on October 4th, 1967. Chassis 01213 was originally special ordered and sold new via MITSUA the official Japanese Porsche Distributor for a very special client as there was at the time no official Lamborghini Agent in Japan. Special ordered options included exterior paint and an interior trim combination as well as optional, seat belts for both the front and rear seats, AM/FM Stereo Radio with dual speakers, heated rear-window, Air Conditioning and Iodine front fog lights. After arrival in Japan, It was then delivered and road-registered on plates “30 57” by a single private collector and driven carefully and conservatively over the next 45 years. This Lamborghini has 100% original paint, interior and is of course all matching numbers. Only 11,609 completely authenticated and documented original kilometers have been added since new, and a fair amount of the original tool kit still in the trunk of the car. Absolutely one of the most original and correct surviving examples still existing.
The Islero, owned by Andy Manganero carried the most special brand history that any Lamborghini owner could ever imagine: it was formerly owned by Ferruccio Lamborghini himself. In addition to a beautiful restoration, the car featured a wooden gas cap that had been on the car since it was imported to the United States, the story being that it was a special touch on the car by Ferruccio due to his love for wooden boats. This restoration was one of the more accurate restorations I have seen on an Islero, although you could find a couple small things that still needed to be done with the car, the car was stunning and one of the best I have seen. In addition to the fine restoration and cleanliness of the car (the car did not have one spec of dirt on it – anywhere), it also featured a complete tool and jack kit that the owner was able to put together. (Most of the tool kits you see in the vintage lambos are far from correct but this one was spot on, it even featured the correct “wheel wedge,” which is even rarer to see.) Something else interesting about the car was the red finish on the valve covers, something had never seen before, but rumored to be correct to how it was when Ferruccio owned it. Simply put, another fine vintage Lamborghini in amazing condition. Although outnumbered on the lawn by almost all of the other Italian makes, the Lamborghini brand was well represented with these models and created sort of a hangout on the lawn around the cars for the fellow Lamborghini owners that were in attendance to the event. If you can make it by this event next year, it is well worth the trip, especially as an escape to the winter weather if you live in the north!