It won’t be long before Lamborghini launches the Urus, but it’ll sure take some getting used to. We’ve become accustomed to high-performance supercars from the Italians but, as you’ll know, it used to make bigger models such as the LM002 aka, the ‘Rambo Lambo’ along with roomier GTs, like the Jarama.
This front-engined exotic was penned by Bertone designer Marcello Gandini in 1971 and it replaced the aging Islero. Built on a redesigned chassis from the Espada, it packed about the same punch as the outgoing model; it had a 350bhp, 3.9-litre DOHC V12, mated to a five-speed manual that gave the Jarama a top speed of 260kph (an optional three-speed automatic came later and power went up to 365 when the Jarama S was launched later in the decade).
With a fully independent suspension using double wishbones and coil springs, it could handle very well too, but it wasn’t the lightest, tipping the scales at just under 1,600kg. It was, however, the perfect grand tourer; the boxy styling sure went down well with enthusiasts, and it was practical, what with space for four adults in the 2+2 configuration. Its standout features were the half-hidden headlights (they created a sleepy-looking and rounded front ) and the large wheelarches — which would get even bigger by Lamborghini standards when the Countach made its debut. The long greenhouse gave rear-seat passengers ample headroom and stretched out to a fastback rear end housing square taillights and a chrome bumper.
The cabin was decked out with leather seats, a wooden steering wheel and full instrumentation in an ergonomic-looking dashboard. It had everything going for it — apart from one thing, a favourable economic climate. The Seventies are remembered in the automotive industry for the oil crisis and this hit the Jarama hard.
During its six years of production, only 328 were built, which makes them very rare today. If you get lucky enough and find one in pristine condition, it’ll set you back around Dh750,000.