For some reason we have been working on more Lamborghini’s and I am very impressed with how robust and (relatively) trouble free they seem to be. I can tell a lot about a car by how it exists around the shop, does it start readily, leak oil , run on all cylinders after sitting? Is the battery always dead, sticking clutch, all the things that rear their ugly head from lack of use. With the Lambo’s that are at the shop, they seem really robust. It seems that Ferrucccio Lamborghini really did make a better sports car after frustration with Ferrari!
Keep in mind that when I refer to Lamborghini, I am talking about the parts that they actually made like the engine, transmission, axle and suspension components. Everything else was made by Bertone or Touring which is subject to lots of criticism! They had much deeper industrial roots which gave them more experience in designing rugged components and wonderful castings. They also hung it out there with super advanced designs for engine and transmission layout. The Miura is amazing with the transmission tucked into the side of the engine block. The Countach is amazing with the transmission under your elbow and a final drive located at the rear axle line so all the mass is in the middle of the car. The Urraco is amazing to have a unit body and transmission off to the side like a VW Rabbit. So smart to keep the center of gravity low and forward. Really advanced.
One of my favorite cars was the yellow P250 Urraco that came in from Italy. I drove the car all over Vermont and shipped it to Florida to be my “rental car” at Amelia Island. It was so practical, like a pickup truck with the best sounding V-8 in existence.
My appreciation grew after we did an engine out belt service and i discovered the simplicity and elegant design of the mechanical units. First off, its not a massive heavy tube chassis with insanely heavy double a-arms and hubs. This car has identical McPherson struts on both axles. Simple, Light, Effective. The wheels are incredibly light too by the way. It has a steering rack like a Porsche 911, the pinion goes into the center of the rack and its tucked into a compartment to keep it out of the weather.
The power plant is mounted to an easily removable sub frame so you don’t have to risk chipping paint or breaking a rear window to extract it from the chassis. The engine and transmission castings are very nice and layout of things like the water pump and distributor are genius and easy to access.
With some cool cam profiles and equal length headers and collectors, this small displacement V-8 sounds like an F-1 engine. This coupled with a light weight body shell and suspension makes this car very agile.
P250 Urraco Engine Subframe
Water pump and distributor drive housing Lambo Urraco P-250