Abandoned 30 Years: 1968 Lamborghini Espada

I don’t normally get all that worked up about YouTube videos (in fact, I think most “content creators” are vastly overrated), but this one is a different story. The Late Brake Show, hosted by Jonny Smith, recently posted an amazing video and story of one of only a handful of right-hand drive Lamborghini Espadas being discovered in a forgotten barn in Lake Winderemere in the UK. What’s absolutely mind-bending is that it was parked here 40 years ago by a passer-by, and the owner hasn’t been heard of since. Find the full story here on YouTube wherein Jonny explains how the owner paid a few months’ storage and then vanished.

That’s it – that’s the story. A gentleman asked the owner of a farm to store his Espada, and worked out a monthly storage arrangement. The individual paid his bill for a few months and then the checks stopped coming in. The individual never returned to get his Espada, and after the owner of the farm passed away, the heirs asked a caretaker to remove the Lamborghini and find a new home for it as it wasn’t theirs and they had no real interest in the car. It is believed to be one of just 130 Espadas equipped with right-hand steering, so it’s an even rarer version of an already rare car. If you’re an Espada fan in the UK, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. Surely, the number tag could be researched to tell us who the owner was?

Speaking of the number plate, one of the commenters on YouTube researched the tag and indicated the DVLA shows it as being registered to a 1973 Porsche 911. That car has also been off the road since 1973, so there’s a story here. The engine bay is complete with no signs of parts missing or any unwelcome modifications. The chain-driven, quad-cam V12 featured six carbs, which will certainly require rebuilding and tuning when this Espada inevitably goes to a specialist for restoration. Even more incredible is that the hood insulation pads all still remain intact; those items are usually completely disintegrated by now, and even the tires still hold air.

The interior is likewise in amazing condition for a car that has been sitting so long in an old barn. The odometer indicates just over 4,000 miles are on the clock, and while readings on older cars can always be slightly wonky, the condition certainly seems to speak to it being a low mileage specimen. As the video shows, the blue leather is in excellent condition as is the trunk carpeting, and when lifted up, it reveals a rust-free spare tire well. Heck, even the hatch struts still work when the rear glass is lifted up! It’s an incredible discovery and the story behind it is the stuff of legends – it just goes to show you we haven’t found every barn find yet, and they’re still hiding out there with incredible tales to tell.


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  1. alphasud Member

    I too watched the video and Jonny Smith is one of the few journalists that knows it out of the park. A somewhat geeky quirky individual who loves all aspects of automobiles from exotic to mundane like his Austin Allegro. I’m not sure if the Lamborghini has been auctioned off as of this writing but given the clues one must assume the person who parked it in the barn might not have been in good legal standing. It will probably end up getting restored and be another exotic with a colorful past like the buried Ferrari Dino.

    Like 6
    • CVPanther Member

      I agree, Alpha, the video was excellent. Jonny is far less annoying than he was on 5th Gear.
      And that Espada is in amazingly good shape for something that sat in a barn for 30 years.
      Maybe the Owls they mention in that barn kept the rodent population to a minimum. thus very little rodent damage.

      Really neat find, Jeff.

      Like 4
  2. Howard A Member

    Lambo? “Forgotten”? “Parked by a passer by, in a remote barn,,,,then barn owner dies”? Mmm-hmm, sounds like the making of a Hollywood hack to me. That or ceeement overshoes, either way, the story stinks more than the interior, I bet. What? Oh, come on, doesn’t take ol’ Sherlock to figure it out. Shenanigans happen all over, we just only hear of the good old USA ones. Can you imagine the horrors awaiting the next owner/restorer, or better yet, the glee of some Lambo mechanic, who can close the deal on their new house after this.

    Like 4
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    History notwithstanding, there aren’t too many engines in the world that sound any better at around 10K rpm than the ones in the Espadas. They don’t even have a red line on the tachometer.

    Like 11
    • Dave Peterson

      Are you telling me a production car from 1968 will rev to 10k rpm? I know as we age we tend to hyperbole but that seems absurd to me. Please clarify.

      • Mark Robinson

        The Honda S600 wasn’t far off it.

        Like 1
      • GeneB

        But the Honda S600 was a motorcycle engine, not a big chain drive 4 cam engine

  4. Steve Clinton

    That would have been a nice surprise on ‘Storage Wars’.

    Like 1
  5. CCFisher

    “By all appearances, Joe was a successful stock broker. Designer clothes, a luxurious flat, and exotic cars were an everyday part of his life. What nobody knew, however, was that Joe achieved his success by embezzling his clients’ funds. Joe knew that investigators were closing in, so he swapped the plates on his Espada and his 911 and stashed them away, far from the government agents and receivers who would soon be looking for them. Circumstances would prevent Joe from ever retrieving the hidden treasures.”

    I wonder where he stashed the Porsche?

    Like 9
  6. Raymond L Saunders

    Insurance job….its hot

    Like 3
  7. Wayne

    I always liked these, however never had a chance to drive one, much less hear one run. Another chance missed, as I can not currently afford to”cross the pond”.
    Good luck to the next owner.

  8. Leigh Goddard

    Just a side note really… the U.K. was in no way like the USA at that time… it was a poor, broken country still striving for foreign reserves… and torn up by strikes. The kind of money that would afford you a car like that with the astronomical taxes on foreign goods was either old money or more likely criminal. Either way be an interesting one too follow.thanks👍🌻 ( maybe the plates were a way to avoid these?)

    Like 2
  9. douglas hunt

    surely at some point someone would run the VIN to determine it’s actual history?

    Like 3
  10. Solosolo Solosolo Member

    I had two on my sales floor a the same time. One was stick and the other was auto. Can’t remember which was which but the one didn’t have power steering and was a bitch to steer while the other had PS, but once on the move both of them were a delight to drive, and the beautiful sound coming out of the exhaust was unbelievable..

    Like 2
  11. Campbell L Usher

    I saw a RHD Espada parked up outside an old service station in Virginia , Northern Territory , Australia , looked like it’d been there a long time , under some trees with a ’70s Rolls next to it , I have a photo somewhere

    Like 4
  12. Gary

    Stolen car most likely, plate from a 911, going to a farm away from the city. Pretty fishy

    Like 2
  13. Laurence

    So exactly WHO is the owner now? The farmer’s offspring, as the rent cheques stopped coming in and the car was kept for thirty years?… Her Majesty’s Government–due to fraudulent activities?… Who will pay for the restoration…and will it be WORTH IT? (Espadas certainly don’t command Miura prices). Inquiring minds want to know…

    Like 1
    • Leigh Goddard

      England law has a peculiarity dating back too the years after the plague, adverse possession, possession is literally 9/10ths of the law… but this takes a decade and a half too be enacted I think… I’d guess an insurance company will get this too sell on.

  14. bog

    The best memory I have of an Espada was in ’73 or ’74. I was sent to Michael Butler’s farm in Oak Brook to negotiate for my promoter having Jesse Collin Young and the Youngbloods perform an outdoor concert on his property. Michael and me discussed many things and he took me over to his polo grounds to watch part of a match. While in the parking lot, a young attractive woman drove up in a white Series II. The sound was wonderful. She got out and assisted her two blonde children from the back seats and took them to the grandstands. I went and looked at the car. Pretty impressive for a 4-seater. All around great day, chatting about horses etc. The village killed the concert as apparently there was a mention of marijuana in one of the band’s songs….

    Like 2

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