I. History of the model
Ferrucio Lamborghini recognized manufacturer of agricultural equipment and great fan of sports cars, acquired many Ferraris. An argument with Enzo Ferrari led him to create his own brand. The early days of his sports car building business were difficult. Marketing began in 1964. The 350GT, 400GT and then Islero models sold only a few hundred units. The year 1966 will mark a sportier start with the Miura, which will allow Lamborghini to follow its real rival, Ferrari.
Ferrucio Lamborghini manages to maintain the autonomy of his company thanks to two models, the Miura as much desired by its lines as by the performance afforded by a 3.9-liter V12 capable of reaching a speed of 280 km / h. The Espada is also leading the activity thanks to its unusual design and its 4 seats. The Lamborghini factory is running at full speed and this young manufacturer wants to expand to a wider customer base. To do this, he then developed the Urraco in order to compete with the very buoyant Porsche 911 market in order to expand his sales on the American market, which is in great demand for these sports cars.
This model immediately stood out for having introduced very innovative technical solutions for the time, thanks to the contribution of engineer Paolo Stanzani, the technical father of the Urraco and the technical director of Lamborghini at the time. The styling of the project was entrusted to the famous designer Marcello Gandini, who at that time was the main designer of Carrozzeria Bertone.
The Urraco is a fast 2 + 2 coupé, with a mid-mounted V8 rear engine and independent suspension, with MacPherson strut system front and rear, for the first time on a production car.
Lamborghini is investing heavily in the Urraco project. The bodywork was entrusted to the Bertone company which was commissioned with at its head the star of the time, Marcello Gandini, who had worked on the Miura and the Espada. The choice was therefore quite natural. The latter creates a 2 + 2 coupé body with very drawn lines but forming a very fluid whole. This body was made of steel and then is aimed at the platform of the car, also created in steel. The engine sits in the rear center position, large plastic vents emphasize the car’s line behind the rear windows. The hood is also equipped with louvers acting as air vents of surprising dimensions, their purpose: to evacuate the heat from the radiator.
Initially presented with the 2.5-liter V8 developing 220 hp at 7800 rpm and a top speed of 245 km / h, the Urraco presented the double novelty of an 8-cylinder engine and a distribution with a single overhead camshaft by bench. The technical refinement was complemented by the use of a « Heron chamber » cylinder head with a flat inner part and the combustion chamber contained in a depression in the top of the piston. This combination of solutions made it possible to use a higher compression ratio without increasing costs. Another novelty for Lamborghini was the four Weber twin-barrel Type 40 IDF1 carburettors.
As for the engine, Lamborghini opts for a 2.5-liter V8 developing 220 hp at 7,800 rpm and a top speed of 245 km / h. This engine is chosen for economic reasons because it is easier to maintain than the Bizzarrini V12, and above all, the V8 can easily adapt to American standards. In its first version, the V8 is powered by four Weber carburettors and performance side, it announces 6.6 seconds for 0-100km / h, 230km / h at maximum speed. Something to scare the Porsche 911 2.4 S! Lamborghini is working on driveability and traction to make the Urraco a more agile car than its competitor.
The car’s production system was another innovation, intended from the early stages of the project to be much less artisanal than other Lamborghini models. The creation of the Urraco was attributed to a wish of Ferruccio Lamborghini, who was keen to expand production.
Only 4.25 meters long, the interior spaces of the Urraco were highly innovative in terms of the shape of the instrument panel, the position of the instruments and the domed steering wheel.
Introduced under the name P250 Urraco, where the « P » stood for the rear (posterior) position of the engine, and 250 for engine displacement (2.5 liters), it was produced from 1970 to 1976. The Urraco was produced from 1970 to 1976. was then offered at the Turin 1974 Motor Show in a reduced-displacement P200 version (1994 cm3, 182 hp), intended for the Italian market, from 1975 to 1977. The next P300 version (2 996 cm3, 265 hp) presented in 1974 was produced from 1975 to 1979.
The interior was also the work of designer Gandini, who signs a console with, on each side of the steering wheel, the tachometer and tachometer. The ergonomics are not the best thought, especially as the four-spoke steering wheel tends to hide the various meters behind it. The interior is extremely original and standing out from the 911, the interior of the Urraco is enough to attract a picky clientele. Cargo space is reduced to its absolute minimum: the front trunk is invaded by a spare wheel and a battery. Rear seat space is tight, but it allows you to admire the V8 through a single window.
Finally presented to the public at the Turin Motor Show in the fall of 1970, the Lamborghini Urraco knew how to be admired by the public and garnered some pre-orders which heralded a good commercial future for the model. Unfortunately, the development of the car is more complex than planned and many months are necessary, the putting into production only intervenes in 1972. In the meantime, a number of pre-orders have been canceled, and the first year of production sees around 250 units delivered, only a quarter of annual targets.
The oil crisis hits the world and wreaks havoc on the sports car industry, sales plummet and Lamborghini is on the verge of bankruptcy. In 1974, Ferrucio Lamborghini left the company he had created, leaving it to Swiss owners. The latter let the engineers in place develop the commercial potential of the Urraco and released the P250 version.
Then was born later the Urraco P300 with its engine increased to 3.0 liters of displacement, the power supply is improved so that in the end, the engine develops 265Cv, which allows to obtain some performance gains: 246km / h, 6.1 seconds for 0-100km / h. The line of the car is also slightly corrected by Bertone at the level of the positioning of the headlights. Introduced at the end of 1974, the Urraco P300 also had a difficult start, but its performance brought it up to the level of the Ferrari 308 GT4 and other Maserati Meraks. However, its finish and reliability remain below these rivals. Four years on sale, 205 copies were sold.
In the end, the Lamborghini Urraco which was supposed to allow Lamborghini to improve its cash flow will lead the brand through a difficult period, its founder left the ship and four years later the brand is still on the brink and put into receivership. To be sure, the failure of the Urraco was largely due to the oil crisis of the 1970s, but also the car was not developed on time and in a proper manner. Worse still, the V8 had been chosen because it could adapt to American standards, the practice was much worse because the depolluted version only displayed a meager 180Cv and it is only a handful of copies that were sold on the North American market.
Marketed between 1972 and 1979, the Lamborghini Urraco was produced in 776 copies. Far from the initial forecast of 1,000 copies per year … Tragic fate for a car yet endowed with qualities, but arrived at the wrong time with a few flaws that will cut the grass under its feet.
II. The model
Straderial is pleased to present this rare and attractive Lamborghini Urraco P250 in its 1973 « S » version. All mechanical parts have been revised and the car is in perfect working order. The history is atypical and the mileage of 45,338 kms seems real considering its past. It is equipped with leather seats, electric windows, air conditioning and metallic paint. The P250 S was the most luxurious version but also the most powerful with the installation of large diameter Weber 40 DCNF carburettors.
Dressed in its original ‘Rosso Granada’ colour scheme, the combination of colours with those of the interior is very impressive. Interestingly, the owner had one of the 5 Miura SVJs in this same colour! Concerning the condition of the bodywork, no deformation or accident traces are detected or even known. The paintwork is of good quality and the general presentation is nice. A few marks from use can be seen up close. The interiors of the bonnet and engine compartment are period. No rust is visible, the whole is extremely sound. A slight connection on the front side can be made. Apart from that, we recommend to keep the car like this.
The leather interior « Senape » meaning « mustard » in Italian has a beautiful patina. It remains in good condition and the leathers are very supple. The original carpets have turned orange-red over the years. A period set like this has a lot of charm. The dashboard also has its own special trim in this black-grey « Nubuck » look.
The atmosphere is retro and the design futuristic. The steering wheel is a real work of art and reminds one of the incredible Alfa Romeo Carabo. In fact, both cars are signed by the same designer, Marcello Gandini. The journey in an Urraco begins at first sight and the interior is faithful in every way to that of the period. A real pleasure for any enthusiast to sit in this work of art.
Sold new to the Lamborghini Foitek dealership in Zurich in 1973, this Urraco has spent most of its life in a very large, brand-centric collection of the finest models, in various numbers. Incredible as it may seem, it was put away in 1987 and sold 3 decades later to a world famous Swiss specialist! Indeed, this great reputation and knowledge has led him to recently publish a register of all 764 Miuras built.
Given this restful life, it would appear that the mileage shown on the odometer is the original. In these eras, we would point out that it is almost impossible to certify an exact number. The chain of ownership is exceptional and this provides real explanations for the quality and authenticity of the car.
Following this long sleep, a major mechanical overhaul was necessary. Beyond that, the car has obviously been stored in good conditions. All the parts that needed to be replaced or overhauled were done. The Urraco was even sent to Italy to the Lamborghini engine manufacturer Top Motors, which was entrusted with this important revision. We can see today that a high quality work has been done. The invoice shows all the work done. At the end of the work, the tests allowed us to see the final adjustments to be made. The work was completed by an engine manufacturer in Geneva.
During the mechanical overhaul, the power unit was removed. In particular, the sealing and the distribution were carried out. The carburetion was adjusted and synchronised and the cooling system was completely rebuilt. The hoses were of course changed. The electrical system was checked and the battery replaced. The running gear was also changed, with a new braking system. The shock absorbers have been refurbished. The 4 Michelin XWX tyres in 215/70 VR14 were replaced by new ones. A new Ansa exhaust system, available as an option at the time, has also been fitted.
A complete overhaul was carried out for the sale, including the replacement of the belt, all fluids (oil, coolant, brakes), filters, as well as a thorough check (greasing, tightening…).