Although having much more angular and modern bodywork, the Islero was the ultimate evolution of Lamborghini’s first model, the 350 GT. Since Lamborghini’s regular coachbuilder, Carrozzeria Touring, went bankrupt, Ferruccio Lamborghini commissioned Mario Marazzi to design and build a new model. As was Lamborghini tradition, the Islero was named after a famous bull that killed the matador Manuel Rodriquez in 1947.
Powered by the famous Lamborghini V-12 engine mated to a five-speed transmission, the car had performance capabilities that far exceeded most other cars of its era and class. With six Weber dual-choke carburetors feeding its 320 horsepower engine, it had a top speed of over 150 miles per hour, with acceleration, handling, and braking to match. Aesthetically, the Islero’s clean styling was much more subtle in execution than Bertone’s Espada. It is widely believed that Ferruccio Lamborghini himself greatly influenced the car’s styling, and it was generally considered one of his personal favorites. Production began in 1968 and continued through 1970, but with only 225 examples built, they were and continue to be very rare and sought after by enthusiasts.