This beautiful Islero has been mentioned before, as the car coming from Spain in the 1980's. It is shown here at the Santa Barbara meet in California, 2002. Alan Watkins is doing a wonderful job of restoring it to mechanical and cosmetic glory. He writes of his experiences below in this issue.
First, an apology: I try to put out a new newsletter about every 6 months but this one is coming to you very late. As you can see from the above picture of #6096, I've been trying to do some owner maintenance and get my Islero back on the road. That and various other time drains have slowed me down. Thanks for your patience and bearing with me. I'll try to catch up with an update late this fall.
Alan Watkins has been kind enough to write a guest article on his experiences with his beautiful Islero pictured at the top of this page. His considerable mechanical prowess is resulting in an Islero that will be both excellent in appearance and very usable and enjoyable on the road. See his notes below.
This past "6 months" has been a time of great change. With web sites, 6-7 years ago was the dark ages. 6-7 years ago, when I started writing about Isleros, there were no other sites that featured these cars except for one. The first and only other mention of them on the Internet was Jon Steacie's picture of #6303 in its pre-restoration condition. The world has moved on, and now there are numerous Lamborghini web groups and informational sites. Many of them are very good and a real help to us owners. One of the best is Yahoo's Classic Lambo group which tries to concentrate on the issues of mechanics and keeping our cars on the road. This has forced me to redefine the goal of this web site. I believe the future of this Islero site is to be a pool of historical information and to be a beacon to point the way to other sites that focus on repair, restoration, and other Islero or Lamborghini issues.
Another issue concerns pictures and copyrights. With modern technology, nothing on a web site is safe from being pirated. I am not terribly concerned with someone using the pictures that I post, however, I am terribly concerned that the person who took them or owns them does not get proper credit. As I know that I can't prevent pictures being copied and copyrights being ignored, I've been trying to think of a good way to at least give credit where credit is due. Until I can come up with a better way, where ever possible, I'll try to print the credit across the bottom of the picture, so at least that will get copied too.
There seems to be a lot of buyer interest in Isleros, as I get many e-mails asking for information. The lists of available cars has shrunken so sales must be progressing. Perhaps this is due in part to the various Internet sites educating and creating enthusiasm among their viewers.
One more serious plug for the Yahoo Classic Lambo group: If you own a '60s Lamborghini V-12, you need to be in touch with the help available on this site.
In case you all are wondering about the origin of the name "Islero" for our cars, Bill Spohn sent a picture of the real thing from his last trip to Spain. Below is his picture of Islero the bull, (what's left of him, that is). The skin is on display in a museum there, as the most famous bull in history. He gored and killed the matador, Manuel Rodriguez, in 1947, and was of Miura stock. The name itself means islander.
As I am trying to maintain this web page for the benefit of all, please keep the info coming. E-mail me at LuigiDVM@aol.com.
P.S.-- To send pictures or information by regular mail, please send them to me at:
Note: Past issues of this web site are available for viewing on David Hanley's excellent site at:
I'm in the software business. and there's this big-deal concept "incremental development". Sounds fancy but it really isn't. It just says "when you're doing something where you really don't know exactly how its' going to go, do it a piece at a time, making sure each piece works by itself. As you do finish a piece, fit it to the other finished pieces, one by one, so you're never in the situation where all you have is a big pile of pieces, none of which fit the others."
Well, buying a Classic Lambo is an example of doing something where you don't know how it will come out, and there are certainly a lot of pieces....
When I bought my Lamborghini Islero in August 2001, I figured I had a pretty good handle on what was wrong with it. It was a long list, but not so long as to be intimidating. I knew that the rear of the car made strong growling sounds above 45 mph. I also knew it was common for something called the "drive shaft centering bearing" to be worn, and I knew that that wasn't so hard to fix, so I assumed that was the problems. No big deal, right?
I also knew from inspection that the tie rod needed replacement (three pieces each with a bad ball joint at each end) and I knew that costs several hundred in parts but was no big deal to replace. OK, sad but fixable.
And there was some funny business with the electric radiator fans not coming on when needed, but I'm an electrical engineer so that shouldn't be a big problem.
Otherwise the car started, ran, drove, stopped, and turned, had a decent interior and decent paint over no rust. What more could I want?
So I did my usual terrible job of negotiating and bought the car. Got the car home, fixed the tie rod. Steering's OK. Found a corroded fuse holder which brought one fan back. Wired the other fan to the first so that both worked. Other than the funny noises, bad stuff is fixed. Took it down to Gary Bobileff, local Lambo expert, for an evaluation. He doesn't see much wrong driving it, but points out a high-speed vibration that goes away when the clutch is disengaged. He has no specific idea about the noise. Drains the differential and bearing bits roll out. OK now we're into some surprises. But hey, I'm a car guy: getting the diff and clutch is no big deal, and the two jobs kinda go together. That's just two more things to fix. Big deal. But I'm starting to hear a whisper from a little voice somewhere....
So I trailer it back home, pull the differential (no big deal). Gary disassembles it, replaces the bad bearing, hands it back. Meanwhile I pull the drive shaft, transmission, and clutch (no problem with that centering bearing, buy the way). Ah ha! The clutch is the old-fashioned three-arm kind with coil springs. Each arm also has a hair-pin spring that helps the arms retract under high revs. Well, each arm should have that spring. But one doesn't.
OK, I'm going to start putting this story in fast-forward....
Ok, by now you see what's going on. It's not a car with 3-6 problems. It's an onion with an unknown number of leaves. Removing each layer exposes another layer too juicy not to remove and inspect. This is fun, I like doing this kind of thing, but I've learned something fundamental about owning and working on old and somewhat neglected cars. The incremental approach works best. Here's why:
You bought a limping-along car that you want to fix up to drive and enjoy. You don't want to completely disassemble the thing right now, hoping to win Pebble Beach some year. If you start that, it will be several years and major money before you even get to drive it again. It'll be great, but when? So what you're going to do is accept the interior more or less for what is, maybe fixing the really gross stuff, and the exterior condition is reasonable. You chose a car with basically good paint, right?
But on the other hand, it's a setup for disappointment to approach it the way I did and figure you're going to fix a few major things and have your toy to play with for the rest of the year. Those two or three problems you know about are really just masking some more. Some of them, unless you get proactive you won't discover until they totally self-destruct, like my half shaft would have. And you don't want to be trying to find half shafts for a 30-year old Lamborghini that they made a few hundred of.
So here's what you do. Fix the two or three big things. But for each one of those, completely disassemble the related subsystem. Replace/repair the things you find (a bearing here, some seals there, a clutch, a U-joint). But the stuff that looks essentially healthy? Leave it alone and put it back together, Don't get into the "I have it apart so I should fix it all" rationalization. Your labor's free. Even if you have to go in again, you know exactly how to do it and it will take 1/4 as long and you'll feel like a pro. In other words, if you need a brake caliper rebuild, take that corner's suspension apart, and deal with the worn out shocks, the frozen hand brake cable, etc. But put it back together and drive it. You need the continuity to keep your motivation up. Furthermore, it you stick to medium projects at a time, you don't have the problem of having so much apart that you risk forgetting how it goes back together and/or losing parts. And you're not spending buckets of money in one lump. So you never get yourself into that corner where you can't drive it and you can't afford to fix it either, and besides the whole thing looks so daunting you don't know where to start.
Take the incremental approach. Take your time. Each time you go after a mechanical section, you'll have it running in a month or two, so you can take a breather from the grease monkey bit and do the cool old car driving bit. When the next problem gets too irritating, park it for awhile and go back to monkeying.
If only the software business were so much fun....
(Editor's note: This is really great advice!)
For readers of the original 1983 Lamborghini Buyer's Guide, by Rob de la Rive Box, his chapter on the Islero included pictures of #6150 in Switzerland, in black and white format. If you were wondering what happened to this car, it is still in Switzerland and in good condition. This picture, sent by its owner, shows it today with Gotti wheels (J55B front and rear).
This Islero with German plates has been seen and photographed at several meets. Is it an "S"? No, its actually a late series 1 Islero with early series 1 side markers, and added "S" fender flares, side vents and outside fog lamps. Oh yes, and Miura SV rear wheels. Beside the serial number, the giveaway of course, is the one-piece side windows.
For Sale: Isleros that may be available for sale are included here. Prices are between you and the seller. I will try to help provide an introduction if needed. If you have an Islero for sale and would like to announce it here, please let me know. I am describing these cars only as they have been described to me and am not guaranteeing their condition or details. If you do make contact with any of these owners and cars, please send me a descriptive note and picture if possible for our Islero history archives. Thank you very much in advance and e-mail me at LuigiDVM@aol.com
Islero #6117 -- Black with brown interior, recent full restoration, Sweden, phone +46 40267974
Islero #6135 -- White with black interior. Rough. Koln, Germany. See www.atlanticauto.de
Islero #6138 -- Light green with tobacco interior. France. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Islero #6159 -- Black primer with light tan interior. California. email: email@example.com
Islero #6198 -- Yellow w mustard interior. Long USA history. e-mail Udo: firstname.lastname@example.org
Islero #6204 -- Black with cream interior. In many Lambo books. Anthony Rothray (414) 351-1521
Islero #6231 -- Red with light tan interior. For sale in Florida. Call Luciano Sanzogni (941) 756-4874
Islero #6243 -- Running car. Being restored, much work completed. Mike Finegan (513) 382-9177
Islero #6267 -- Red with tobacco interior. Contact Mike Williams at: williams@ADVANTOR.com
Islero #6273 -- Red with tan interior. Recently refurbished in England. Fax 44-1767-601986.
Islero #6354 -- Soon available in France. Contact Laurent Salet at email@example.com
Islero #6417 -- Moss Green. For sale at a dealer in Koln, Germany. See www.atlanticauto.de
Islero #6480 -- Dark Blue with tan interior. Germany. Web site is www.berlinetta-motors.de/
Islero #6507 -- Dark bronze with tan interior. Project. Belgium. Serge at firstname.lastname@example.org
Islero #6558 -- Caribbean Green with black interior. Offered by Rudy Pas. Belgium
Manuals, Wiring Diagrams, Parts Books -- Jim Kaminski, fax (727) 392-3474
Islero Sales Brochures -- Full color reproductions of original, George Clark, (805) 927-4787
Islero Sales Brochures -- New, original, sales brochures. Jim Kaminski, fax (727) 392-3474
Islero Survivors: I have been locating Isleros and updating the history on them for the past 14 years. Here's a list of 124 cars found of the 225 built. I would welcome any update or correction. Please feel free to e-mail me anytime.
|#6000 -- Germany||#6234 -- Germany||#6462 -- Scotland|
|#6015 -- Spain||#6240 -- Sweden||#6471 -- Switzerland|
|#6021 -- Virginia/USA||#6243 -- Ohio/USA||#6477 -- Colorado/USA|
|#6027 -- Holland||#6246 -- England||#6480 -- Germany|
|#6036 -- England||#6249 -- England||#6483 -- Japan|
|#6039 -- Calif./USA * (1991)||#6264 -- Portugal||#6489 -- Holland|
|#6042 -- Ohio/USA||#6267 -- Florida/USA||#6495 -- Holland|
|#6051 -- Colorado/USA||#6270 -- California/USA||#6498 -- Italy|
|#6057 -- California/USA||#6273 -- England||#6507 -- Belgium|
|#6066 -- Missouri/USA||#6279 -- Virginia/USA||#6510 -- Holland * (date unk)|
|#6069 -- Italy||#6282 -- North Carolina/USA||#6522 -- France * (1990)|
|#6075 -- Germany||#6288 -- Washington/USA||#6531 -- California/USA|
|#6078 -- Canada||#6300 -- Belgium||#6537 -- Switzerland|
|#6084 -- Denmark||#6303 -- Canada||#6543 -- Switzerland|
|#6090 -- France||#6312 -- Wisc./USA * (1988)||#6546 -- Virginia/USA * (1985)|
|#6096 -- Illinois/USA||#6315 -- Texas/USA||#6552 -- France * (1990)|
|#6102 -- Illinois/USA * (1985)||#6318 -- Wisconsin/USA||#6555 -- Sweden|
|#6105 -- Germany * (1992)||#6327 -- Mass./USA * (1988)||#6558 -- Belgium|
|#6108 -- England||#6330 -- Italy * (1991)||#6561 -- Switzerland|
|#6117 -- Sweden||#6336 -- Switzerland||#6564 -- England|
|#6126 -- Holland||#6342 -- California/USA||#6573 -- Italy * (1994)|
|#6129 -- Wisconsin/USA||#6351 -- Germany * (1993)||#6576 -- Canada|
|#6135 -- Germany||#6354 -- France||#6579a-- Italy|
|#6138 -- France||#6357 -- Germany||#6579b-- France|
|#6150 -- Switzerland||#6360 -- California/USA||#6582 -- Switzerland|
|#6156 -- England||#6366 -- Maryland/USA||#6585 -- Switzerland|
|#6159 -- California/USA||#6369 -- Calif./USA * (1991)||#6588 -- North Carolina/USA|
|#6165 -- Switzerland||#6387 -- France||#6594 -- Switzerland|
|#6177 -- Holland||#6393 -- Sweden||#6597 -- Japan|
|#6180 -- Arizona/USA||#6399 -- Switzerland||#6606 -- Holland|
|#6183 -- Florida/USA * (1993)||#6402 -- Holland||#6612 -- England|
|#6186 -- Virginia/USA * (1990)||#6408 -- Canada * (1989)||#6618 -- Switzerland * (1992)|
|#6189 -- Australia||#6411 -- N.Y./USA * (1991)||#6621 -- California/USA|
|#6192 -- Canada||#6417 -- Germany||#6628 -- Switzerland|
|#6198 -- Arizona/USA||#6429 -- Holland||#6634 -- Switzerland|
|#6201 -- Texas/USA||#6435 -- England||#6643 -- Florida/USA|
|#6204 -- Wisconsin/USA||#6438 -- Australia||#6652 -- California/USA *(1970)|
|#6207 -- N. Mex./USA * (1989)||#6441 -- Australia * (1975)||#6655 -- Switzerland|
|#6210 -- Florida/USA||#6444 -- Italy * (1969)||#6665 -- Germany|
|#6213 -- Italy * (1968)||#6447 -- Indiana/USA||#6668 -- Italy|
|#6222 -- Belgium||#6453 -- France||#6674 -- Austria * (1995)|
|#6231 -- Florida/USA|
* Some history known, but status and whereabouts unknown at the present time. (With date last seen)
* Crashed, or otherwise destroyed and lost, with presumably no remains. (With approximate date)
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.
Help! -- Can anyone identify this early series 1 Islero that was photographed at the Montlhery circuit in France in early March, 2002?
Question? -- Does anyone know the serial number or any details of the "LeMans Islero" entered by a French team in 1975? It was prepared and entered, was present at practice, but never started the race. Race # was 34. It was an early series 1 Islero campaigned by Paul Rilly from the area near Tours.
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