With the advent of the great interest in the Internet by more and more people worldwide, there has been a great deal of activity and enthusiastic help with locating and finding history on the surviving Isleros. Hardly a week goes by now that I don't get an updated report on a restoration, sale, or location of an Islero. Back in the early 90s, I often went 6 months without hearing any news at all. Many thanks to all of you who have helped with this project. As I am trying to maintain this webpage for the benefit of all, please keep the info coming.
This issue's feature centers on the Islero interiors. I hope you enjoy it and appreciate the work, these owners have done to maintain such nice original appearance. Also included is an update of the whereabouts of the surviving Isleros, some interesting links, a new section of Isleros for sale, and a gorgeous Red Islero S from Switzerland that Glen Kohut sent me. Be sure to check out his Lamborghini website noted in the links below.
When rebuilding my rear suspension several years ago, I kept track of several things that were suggested to me that worked out well. This led to a tech article that is enclosed further down this page. If anyone would like to contribute any suggestions, or helpful hints on ownership or maintenance, please feel free to e-mail me.
I am especially looking for information on the Isleros of France, Spain, and Italy as I know there are unreported ones there, but few noted in our archives. Of course, any other information and/or pictures are VERY welcome. E-mail me at LuigiDVM@aol.com.
P.S.-- To send pictures or information by regular mail, please send them to me at:
This is a very well maintained and original interior for a series I Islero. Some of this series had the unique two-spoke steering wheel. The background for the gauges is leather matching the rest of the interior. Some speedometers are in kms and some in miles. Seats were very light with low rounded backs and the air vents in the sides of the console are the same as the outside vents on the hood of the 400GT before it.
This beautiful interior shows the other type of steering wheel and also has a factory clock. The air vent on the side of the console is easily viewed. You can see the grain in the tobacco pigskin on the dash between the tach and speedometer. The other colors available -- black, burgundy, mustard, and white, were made from cowhide. Visible under the dash (look under the steering wheel spokes) are the choke lever and trip-mileage reset on the right and the heater petcock knob on the left. This was the only adjustment for the heater and was a feature shared with late 50s to early 60s Alfas. The valves are available today through several Alfa restorers.
#6267 also has a very original tobacco leather interior. The two ashtrays in the interior (one in sight here) are very similar to other Italian units of that era, but differ in some minor details. The closest I have found were used in the Maserati 5000GT and were possibly the same. Note the lack of rear seat belts here. Actually most safety items we take for granted today such as outside rear view mirrors were left to the new owners to acquire if desired. If you look closely in front of the ashtray, you will see a small door over a compartment in the center console. I believe this is a unique factory feature of this particular Islero.
The "S" cars, built in 1969, had a very different interior. Many (especially the later ones) had seats that were part leather and had velour inserts. Toggle switches are replaced with rocker units and many cars had to have safety flasher switches wired in under the dash to conform with 1969 import regulations. The Lamborghini factory made 5 Islero-S cars with right hand drive layout. Three went to Australia and two went to England. One additional car in England was converted later to right hand drive (#6612).
This "S" has full leather upholstery. Also note the lack of air conditioning. Some had it and many did not. The first series cars that had air, had it hanging under the dash on the passenger side like many American cars of the 60's. Some of the units were aimed straight back at the passenger and some were angled upward to blow the cold air up toward the headliner. The "S" cars had the same units but integrated into the dash better (see the previous car). The York compressors on the engine were the same as on many other more common American cars but the interior cooling units were Italian, Borletti.
Here gray velour seat material and gray carpeting is used with burgundy leather. This Islero-S was originally given as a gift from Ferruccio Lamborghini to a friend in Italy. It then came to the USA and lived in California for many years, eventually being acquired by a museum. Today it is located in Japan. Many Isleros have had equally interesting histories and many have lived in three or more countries over their 30+ years.
Technical Tip: When rebuilding the rear suspension, there are a few items to check while this assembly is apart. The actual A-arm bushings (such as D in the picture below) can be pressed out and replaced relatively easily. They are available from GT Car Parts in Arizona (623) 780-2200 . Less easily noticed, but very important, is the condition of the lower pivot bolt where the distal lower A-arm attaches to the hub carrier (see B in the picture). If the bolt is badly worn or damaged, the bolt bushings that are pressed in the hub carrier should be replaced. They are also available from the same source. To remove this pair of bushings, very carefully insert a hack saw blade through the openings in the hub carrier and work it back and forth by hand pressure only until the bushings are cut through. This will relieve their tightness and allow you to tap them out without doing any unnecessary damage. I do not think the bolts (see C in the picture below) can be replaced, but they can be repaired by a competent machine shop that is versed in welding in new metal for other industrial repairs. They can refinish the bolts to like new condition. Once these repairs are made, a good idea is to drill and tap a hole (see A in the picture below) in the bottom of the hub carrier bolt canal and fit a grease nipple. I have found that a good pump of grease about twice a year keeps this area in good working condition.
----- photo by Marcel de Lange -----
In contrast to the 1st series Islero at the beginning, this 2nd series or "S" is noted by having decorative front louvers behind the front wheels, a quarter window in the doors instead of one large piece of glass, a larger air scoop on the hood (just visible here), and small flairs around the wheel arches. Also the fog lamps are mounted outside the front grill and the interior is more 70s than 60s as noted above. This is a 1969 car that is proudly owned by a member of the Swiss Lamborghini Club.
The Lamborghini Owner's Club is a great source of information and news. Subscribing to Jim Kaminski's newsletter will certainly increase your enjoyment of your Islero experience. This is a great source for manuals, wiring diagrams, and other Isleromobilia. Jim also has original sales brochures for the Islero and Islero S.