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by Jay Traugott
V8 power? Check. Gandini styling? Check. Reliability issues? Oh yeah; a true classic Lamborghini in every way.
For those who aren't devoted followers of Lamborghini, there are a few models that came out in the 1970s that you may not be aware of. Without question, the Miura and Countach were the star attractions, with the latter being in production for 16 years. Not only did these two firmly establish Lamborghini as a true supercar builder, but they also paved the way forward in terms of outrageous styling never seen before on four wheels. Ferrari's suddenly looked (to some) somewhat bland.
Along with other classic 70s era Lambo's such as the Islero, Espada and Jarama, the Urraco was another classic Lambo that's often been forgotten in the pages of automotive history. First introduced to the public at the 1970 Turin Auto Show, the Marcello Gandini-designed coupe was not a true supercar like the Miura. Instead it was meant to be a direct competitor to the likes of the Ferrari Dino and Maserati MerakThese so-called "more affordable" exotics allowed entry to these brands for many people who never thought it'd be possible.
Still, the cars weren't exactly cheap and their general maintenance bills and other mechanical issues (there were plenty) soon proved that all Italian-made exotics came with a steep price, both up front and later on. The Urraco didn't begin production until 1973. Power originally came from a 2.0-liter V8 with 180 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. Going from 0 to 62 mph in 7.2 seconds and a recorded top speed of 134 mph, the P200 model Urraco definitely came up short in terms of performance. However the second-gen model, the P250, was a solid improvement due to its larger 2.5-liter V8 with 217hp and 162lb-ft.
As expected, it also had a faster 0 to 62 mph time of 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 149 mph. For comparison, the Countach at the time had a 4.0-liter V12 with 370 hp and 266lb-ft and a 0 to 62 mph time of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 192 mph. Lamborghini did update the Urraco one last time before it ceased production in 1979. The P300 had a larger V8, now a 3.0-liter unit, and final top speed of 162 mph. Clearly this wasn't anything close to the Countach's abilities, but the idea of a cheaper Lambo was definitely appealing despite the Urraco's many flaws.
For example, "Top Gear
" fans will recognize the car as James May's choice from the 2005 episode when the fab three were given £10,000 for the purpose of buying a supercar. Captain Slow's Urraco arrived on a flatbed truck due to some electrical problems, issues quite common with old Italian cars. This particular 1976 Urraco P300 that's currently up grabs on eBay is quite rare because it's just one of six made specifically for the French market. It's been fully restored and has just over 37,500 miles on the clock. Its black exterior is in excellent condition as is the blue leather interior.