Graded: ’70s and ’80s Lamborghini’s

Welcome to Graded. Here we discuss legendary marques, models, or trim packages and affix a letter grade to a selection of vehicles falling under that topic. The grades mean nothing and are completely arbitrary. I fully encourage you to tell me what I got wrong and how you would grade them instead. Have some fun with it.

Before the days of Diablos, Gallardos, Huracáns, Murciélagos and Aventadors, Lamborghini had a large lineup of vehicles that included front-engine 2+2 coupes, lightweight sports cars and even at one time a hardcore off-road pick-up truck.

For this installment of Graded we are going to focus on Lamborghinis from the 1970s and 1980s. Joining me once again as a special guest Judge is Tamerlane. Please read on and let us know what you think of our selections.

1972 Lamborghini Miura P400SV

AutoLobotomy Grade: A+

This is one of the most beautiful cars ever made, bar none. The P400SV is the ultimate version of the car (minus a few super rare special editions). This is automotive perfection.

Tamerlane Grade: A

This machine/work of art deserves all the accolades.

1973 Lamborghini Espada Series III

AutoLobotomy Grade: B-

This front engine 2+2 coupe was powered by a V12 engine and was less about all-out performance than some other Lamborghini models. Refinements continued throughout its model run and the final Series III was the most refined. An exclamation on the car’s purpose in life is highlighted by the fact it could be had with a 3-speed automatic transmission.

Tamerlane Grade: A-

I’m such a sucker for front-engine Italian V12 2+2s. The Espada is fugly but so charming.

1973 Lamborghini Jarama GTS

AutoLobotomy Grade: B

Basically, an Espada restyled to meet the North American market. The car succeeded in that aspect as I prefer the looks of this car over the Espada.

Tamerlane Grade: B

Bertone admitted that the Jarama’s design was deliberately unspectacular. But somehow, the simple straight-edge design works. 

1974 Lamborghini Countach LP400

AutoLobotomy Grade: A-

This is where the legend started. Although it was yet to be on the poster in every child’s bedroom, the original Countach LP400 was still a great performer. I love the look of the clean body lines and high sidewall, chunky tires.  

Tamerlane Grade: A-

I’m a huge Countach fan but the early version was too artsy. I guess I’m just an 80s kid because the asymmetrical rear wheel arch and the lack of an ironing board rear spoiler are demerits. Matt Farah’s 1988 5000 QV, in my opinion, was the pinnacle of Countach-hood.

1975 Lamborghini Urraco P300

AutoLobotomy Grade: C+

The Urraco was a lower tier sports car released in 1972. Instead of the usual V12 engine, the car came with a choice of small displacement V8s. It was a good-looking car with decent performer, but was missing some of that Lamborghini prestige.

Tamerlane Grade: C+

Its only redeeming value was being driven by James May in that budget 1970s supercar comparo.

1977 Lamborghini Silhouette P300

AutoLobotomy Grade: B-

The Silhouette was essentially a Urraco with a removable targa roof panel. The overall styling and coolness factor of the removable top buts it ahead of the Urraco in my books.

Tamerlane Grade: D

So uninspired.

1985 Lamborghini Jalpa

AutoLobotomy Grade: B

The Jalpa was a successor to the Silhouette and used a 3.5-liter V8 engine. With more angular ‘80s styling and the optional Countach wing later in the model run, I quite like the looks of this car. It wasn’t exactly a performance monster, but it was fairly quick for its time.

Tamerlane Grade: D

See Silhouette.

1987 Lamborghini LM002

AutoLobotomy Grade: A

A purpose-built off-road truck with a Lamborghini V12. What’s not to love? Well, maybe the fuel bills.

Tamerlane Grade: A+

This might be my favorite Lamborghini. The 350GT comes close, but it’s of a different era and a different genre. The LM002 is big, brash, loud, and makes no sense. That this almost became Saudi Arabia’s Humvee totally makes sense. It looks like a 1980s Autobot commissioned by a petrostate sheik.

1988 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary Edition

AutoLobotomy Grade: A

A true icon. Do I really need to get into why this car is special? The Countach made Lamborghini a household name around the world.

Tamerlane Grade: B

There is such a thing as too much, even for a Countach. I’m sorry, Mr Pagani, but it looks like a JC Whitney catalog-inspired kit car.

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