This is Jim Kaminski's Islero, #6210, which he has owned for about 15 years. His article on Islero experiences and managing the Lamborghini Owner's Club is included below, (see contents). The color is Gray St.Vincent.
(click on item to skip to that section)
Jim Kaminski's Lamborghini Owner's Club and Islero Experiences
The Story of Gavin Sutherland's Restoration of #6462
Tech Article on the Water Pump, Distributor Caps, and Oil Pump
Isleros For Sale
Listing of Known Isleros
Some Interesting Links
Introduction to Issue #11-----------------------------------------------------------------------Louis A. Herrin, DVM
Welcome to Issue #11. Again the Internet has produced huge changes in our hobby. Information is easier and easier to pass and to find. 15 years ago, my information collecting consisted of making phone calls.... The Lamborghini Islero Information Exchange was one of the first Lamborghini sites, established in 1996, and now may be the longest running Lamborghini site out there, including any presence from clubs or factory. The purpose of this site remains the same as always, to promote the Islero experience, share information, and keep these great cars on the road and being enjoyed.
From the boxes of information collected over the years, I will be helping to update the Islero section of the Lamborghini Registry produced by Glen Kohut. This is an excellent site for comprehensive Lamborghini information. I highly recommend it. Also the Yahoo groups are extremely helpful: LamborghiniList, Classic_Lambo, and VintageLambo. These groups are a wonderful forum and means to ask tech questions and find all sorts of other information necessary. Also the archives of David Hanley, storing useful Lamborghini information from past Lamborghini web sites and tech discussions is extremely valuable.
The Lamborghini factory is organizing a registry of cars in original condition that they have constructed. There is a sizeable form for applying for this status. There were tech sessions at the Lamborghini 40th Anniversary get together in Italy and also will be at the Concorso Italiano in Monterey, August 15th, to check and certify these cars. If interested, please check out the factory web site and contact Francesca Spagna (Registro Lamborghini Client Relations) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In this issue, there is an article about the long restoration of Gavin Sutherland's #6462. Sounds like he has encountered all the horrors that face a person doing a quality restoration. You will undoubtedly appreciate his troubles and wish him well in completion of his project. Also, Jim Kaminski of the Lamborghini Owner's Club, based in Florida, shares a bit about his Islero, which was restored at the Lamborghini factory, and shares information about his long standing and excellent club. Farther down, we have pictures and a few tips concerning the Islero oil pump, water pump, and distributor caps. These pictures were acquired while doing maintenance on my own Islero this spring. The oil pump is the "air conditioned car variety" which differs from the oil pump illustrated in the parts manual.
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:
Note: 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.
Jim Kaminski/Lamborghini Owner's Club
P.O. Box 7214
St.Petersburg, Florida 33734 USA
Fax (727) 392-3474
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Islero #6210, owned by Jim Kaminski. I asked Jim to write a bit about his experiences with his car, and also to write about his Lamborghini Owner's Club, giving it a bit of a plug in the process. Here is his letter:
-- Jim Kaminski on #6210 and the Lamborghini Owner's Club --
"I've garaged 1968 Islero #6210 since 1989. It's the 3rd home for this Islero. The first 14 years were in Milan, with a distributor of exotic plants. Then it was restored at the factory in 1982 by its next owner in the USA. All mechanicals were rebuilt, and the factory supertuning said it has 15-20 hp more than any Islero they had produced. And it is a veritable rocket-ship! I've beaten an '85 Countach 5000S 2-valve, from a rolling start, through 2nd and 3rd gears. I've turned 8,000 RPM through 4 gears and it's not even straining.
It was re-painted its original St.Vincent metallic grey, but interior did not need to be re-done, and still is 85% of new! They found a new set of carpets at the 1982 restoration in St. Agata. They used Countach brake-boosters and Countach head-light motors. It also got a rare factory updated frame cross-member.
The second owner related his track experience driving the Islero in 1986 at an SCCA track event. He was on the track with a "Bob Sharp-prepared" Datsun Z-car, a real club racer. The two wives happened to be sitting next to each other in the pits. The Z-car had radio contact, and the Islero driver's wife overheard "What are you doing? You're losing a second a lap to that Lamborghini!"
I founded the Lamborghini Owners Club in 1978, as there were no clubs around the world at that time. I have members in 21 countries at present. I publish a newsletter 3-4 times per year, but most information is via personal contact with club members. Join our support group, and you will have an information source when you need it!
Our club attends 6 Lamborghini events per year, including the all-Italian-car track event I organize in Palm Beach each February. We've had 3 Diablo GTR's and a Diablo SVR run in 2002 and 2003, the only place in the USA these cars have run at club events. Also a Formula One Ferrari last year!
I usually have most Lamborghini sales brochures for sale, along with reprint owners, parts, shop manuals, from 350GT through countach.
Consider club membership like fire insurance on your home. Virtually all of us never use it's benefits (fire!) during our life time, but we pay those premiums all of our life. Join the club, pay your dues, and you will have a place to get help when you have a catastrophe, large or small. If you don't pay your fire premiums, you get no help after a fire, If you don't pay your club dues, you don't get help after the fact.
Contact me (Jim) by mail or FAX, to get a club application mailed to you! This is the world's oldest Lamborghini club, and should be mandatory for any sensible Lamborghini owner!"
c/o Lamborghini Owners Club
P.O. Box 7214
St. Petersburg, Florida 33734
FAX (727) 392-3474
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A Short Account of a Long Restoration
--- Gavin Sutherland writes about his restoration of #6264 ---
Over the past 12 years, I've heard from Gavin Sutherland of the UK, many times. He purchased an Islero that needed help at auction in 1986. Since that time, he has been trying to restore it and make it roadworthy. This has been no small feat as you will be able to see. Included here are excerpts from his letters.
October/1991 - ".....Mine is an S model, chassis #6462, engine #50151, color Verde Aqua, built according to the factory in May 1969. It is complete (or was till I got my hands on it) with a stamp number 58 turning up regularly on the trim. I bought the car as a non-runner at auction in July/1986, but was still unprepared for just how little metal was left on the shell. The maxim that a bad repair is worse than none at all, in this case, proved correct. I have been involved in its rebuild ever since, and have reached the point where I'm struggling with all the little details. Engine, body and suspension have been completed, however much is still to be done. I was lucky in that original replacement panels were supplied by the factory. The aim, is to return the car to the condition and specification in which it left the factory....."
December/1992 - ".....My Islero, the slowest, most laborious rebuild ever! I'm finally starting to believe that I'm winning. The engine started for the first time for twelve years, probably more, on Thursday, December12, 1992. Its difficult to dismiss the many months of work still to come....."
July/2000 - ".....extremely distracted at the moment with a house move. I am waiting to hear from my father, the Islero's guardian, what 3500 revs in top gear feels like, this is top run in speed. I have only just managed to bring the car to a condition worthy of an MOT test certificate which allows the bearer to pay road tax, or not in my case, and take to the traffic jams. This is the first time TMF 29M has been roadworthy for nigh on 25 years. The next steps are to run it in , iron out any gremlins and put the interior back in, Simple! Friends are already taking bets on how long this will take. It has taken me 14 years, the flower of my youth, and high percentage of my sanity to reach this point. So much for impressing the girls!! I still have no idea what it is like to drive an Islero on the open road. Since my last letter, the roof has been removed once more to have the height adjusted, and I then managed to bash the front end, all without driving. So the paintwork has been repaired twice! The roof adjustment had to happen when I found that the door frames once fitted, overlapped the guttering edge. The front end fracas occurred whilst moving the car on a trailer just three feet so that I could close a garage door. It slipped its mooring only to get jammed on the oil cooler as the nose slid off the back resulting in a nice upward bulge across each line of the pop up lights. Had this not happened, I think the car would have disappeared backwards through a brick wall. I have to count my blessings. A hard lesson to learn about taking care and not rushing.
No aspect of car ownership has been left undisturbed, and yet I have no clue as to who first ordered the car and enjoyed the roads of Italy during its first year of existence. It was then exiled to Britain to face the abuse of , I believe it was, eleven car dealers. It was left for dead in a field in Scotland for eight years under the previous ownership of the famous motorcyclist Robert McIntyre. With seventy cars in his collection it was impossible for all to be given the attention they needed. The fateful auction took place shortly after his death ...nothing to do with the Islero,..I think!?. I also know that he bought the car with engine damage. So it has been out of action for sometime. I have tried to put it back to the condition and specification it had on leaving the factory, with the exception of the leather upholstery which gives testament to its hard life and the era from which it sprang. It will be a pristine machine with original interior.
The reason for the years of slaving, apart from it being an Islero: All body panels had suffered severe corrosion damage which had then been distorted out of all recognition by an incompetent amateur with an arc welder. According to the body specialist I employed to carry out the rebuild, there wasn't an original line left on the car to use to make replacement panels. I believe we were perhaps the last to be able to find original panels at he factory, rear, front, and all wings. If we hadn't found them the car would no longer exist. All screen and side pillars had to be replaced, as well as the roof edges where the water sat beneath the gutter trims.The sills from the doors down were completely rebuilt, again without any existing lines to use as a guide. To add insult to injury whoever had mutilated the panels with the welder had refitted all exterior trim using hammer and expletive (special adhesive that never really works). Guttering, sill strips, front grills, and decorative side vents had to be made from scratch. It was a miracle that the window frames were unscathed.
This all leaves the big question: Why? I think the answer is because I thought I could at the time. It's a bit like: Why do mountain climbers risk life and limb climbing? No really good logical reason exists. Would I do it again? Ask me again a year after its all complete and perfect!...."
May/2001 - ".....Over the following months, my father started to take it out on runs to the office or shopping, now and again. As I mentioned before I eagerly awaited news of how it performed, what the torque felt like, how stiff the suspension set up was, etc. (I live 400 miles away from the car at the moment...being rectified as I write).
As for my own experiences in my car, never having experienced a 400GT chassis before, I must say that it is not quite what I had expected. The completely uncompromising rigidity of the whole is extraordinary. There seems to be almost no movement of the body or suspension through corners, which is a novelty to say the least. And the overwhelming sound of moving engine parts. I must admit that at running temperature, it is an absolute pleasure and so very smooth. The gearbox is enjoyably firm and invites forthright treatment! I suppose the main impression is of noise, lot and lots of it. I have no interior or upholstery in it yet so everything is metal and the floor gets hot! Very exciting! There does seem to be an inexhaustible amount of power. I must remember to concentrate and finish the last bits off before getting any more carried away. Just a case of making the electric windows work, getting the interior in, finishing off detailing, oh and stopping water coming up through the wheel arches to my feet, and then there's the,..and the,....not forgetting the... Help!....."
July/2002 - ".....Latest news: The heads have now been tightened, the chains and ignition adjusted, the new synthetic 20-50 Amsoil introduced and the car tested. It goes like a rocket! I was not prepared for the performance at all. I took it up to 5000 revs in top and ran out of road very fast. I'm not sure that I would have the courage to go further with the counter. The foot to the floor push in all gears was awesome! I will hopefully get it on a circuit to find my feet with the cornering and steering. Its appearance of restrained elegance belies the beast within! Very very exciting. Now I had better get the leather in next so I can hear myself drive!!....."
December/2002 - ".....I have just moved to Spain. The Islero seems well and breezed the 600 mile drive from Bilboa to Marbella. For preparation for the trip I had to pass the year's MOT by replacing all the track rods and lower front ball joints...the work never stops. But now in Spain and benefiting from the dry climate, I can now finally get the interior in. I have managed a new headlining so now I think the carpets are the last big test...that and the myriad other little details still to be sorted....hmm!"
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- Tech Topics -
Here is an Islero water pump in more or less exploded view. A few observations and possible suggestions follow:
The rebuild kits are available through GT Car Parts, and include the 3 retaining clips, bearing, seal, rotating seal washer (A), and gaskets. The 6 mm cap nuts are also available if any replacements are needed. A good and thorough cleaning is essential, and bead blasting and refinishing the parts as needed is even better. Be sure the small drain hole on the bottom of the main casting is open and unobstructed. This keeps any leaking coolant from building up and entering the engine. Some metal work may be necessary, as in the picture above (B), note that the neck of the cover casting (upper left) has been eroded by 35 years of electrolytic activity. This will need to be filled and reshaped by welding in new aluminum, or possibly an epoxy might work if not too bad. Keep your coolant fresh so the protective additives will be there to prevent this type of damage. The thick steel washer (A) that rotates against the smooth hard surface on the actual seal may need to be smoothed to a mirror finish. Use a sheet of 2000 grit sandpaper on a very flat surface, such as a sheet of plate glass. When assembling, a smear of light grease over this surface might further help. The concave metal washer (C) that supports the back of the seal is not included in the rebuild kit. The original one you remove may be in bad shape due to corrosion. I would suggest bead blasting it, coating it with Extend rust converter, and applying a coat of Rustoleum or similar heavy paint to protect it. Lastly, the shaft may have a damaged area (D) where coolant leaked through the seal and caused rust and erosion (see area above letter"D" in picture). After masking off the rest of the shaft, bead blast this until clean, coat with Extend, and paint with Rustoleum. For reassembly, I like to use Permatex Aviation Form-A-Gasket sealant #765-1210, available from any NAPA auto parts store. Apply a very light coating and then mist lightly with isopropyl alcohol -- the gasket sealer is soluble in alcohol only, and this technique makes it as smooth and even as a baby's backside. Also use the alcohol as a clean up agent. The aircraft gasket sealer is just great for most assembly chores -- such as oil pans, distributors, tach drives, etc.
Here is the rebuilt and almost reassembled water pump. Note the repaired radiator hose nozzle. 4 sticks of aluminum were used to weld up damage and then the contours were restored with my lathe.
Shown here are distributor caps for the Islero V-12. Take good care of them as they are expensive! The one on the left is a reproduction, the one on the right is exact original from Marelli. Both are available through GT Car Parts. The cap on the left costs under $200 and is identical to the original on the right except in a few minor cosmetic details. The original costs about $500 more.
You may need to add the numbers to the reproduction unit. I used a smooth blank white adhesive label as a base, then added "rub on" numbers available at any hobby shop. Then covered this over with laminating film and punched the numbers out with a round 6mm biopsy punch. (Any other punch with a suitable footprint would work.) Peel off the backing and apply to the proper divets cast in the cap.
Islero Oil Pump -- disassembled, cleaned, and ready for each piece to be checked before reassembly. This oil pump is from an air conditioned car. The non-air cars use a different and simpler arrangement which is well illustrated in the factory parts books. Basically, the gear on the front of the crankshaft (not shown) meshes with the large gear (A) shown above at the right side of the picture that runs on the short stubby shaft (B) that anchors in the lower of the two orifices (C) on the front of the pump. This gear in turn runs the gear on the long shaft (D) pictured at the upper left which goes through the high center orifice and runs the oil pumping gears (E) and the front pulley for the air conditioning and alternator.
The oil pressure relief assembly (F) consists of a heavy spring and piston. This may be stuck. Be sure and take it apart, clean it, polish the piston and lightly hone the bore if needed so that the piston will slide smoothly. On the two large bearings (G and H), note that they are of the double row max-fill or max-type, which means they have a ball filling slot on one side so that several extra ball bearings could be added over the number in a regular bearing, which increases the load that a bearing can endure. Details such as this testify as to the overall quality of the engineering that went into our engines. Metric "O" rings are available from Metric and Multistandand Components Corporation (630) 655-9009 and other suppliers. They are available in several thicknesses as well as all IDs, so don't throw away your old ones until you have measured their thickness.
Here is a better detail of the auxiliary shaft and gear. The "O" ring goes at the base of the shaft and crushes in the chamfer shown around the orifice (A) to create an oil-tight seal. The gear assembly consists of gear, bearing, circular spacer, and retaining clip -- in that order. (Illustrated in the first oil pump picture, except for the circular spacer).
The auxiliary gear is installed in the pump. The main pump shaft is pictured with the components of the oil pumping gear assembly and the other shaft parts. All the needle bearings and ball bearings in the pump, as well as seals and fasteners are readily available from your local bearing supplier.
Almost completed Oil pump showing the beautiful machine work of the inner workings. The shaft shown goes through the front and runs the alternator and air conditioning pulley.
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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: email@example.com
Islero #6159 -- Black primer with light tan interior. California. email firstname.lastname@example.org
Islero #6198 -- Yellow w mustard interior. Long USA history. e-mail Udo. email@example.com
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 (917) 783-7453
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 #6318 -- Red with tan interior. Good condition. Mark Wesenberg. firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Please let me know if any of this information changes, cars are sold, or you have any other input.
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Islero Survivors: Ongoing research since December, 1987, has turned up the following Isleros. Since I have been locating Isleros and updating the history on them, I've found 124 cars of the 225 built, plus about 10 more that I know exist, but need serial number identification to be included on the chart here. I have forwarded pictures and history updates for many of these cars to the Lamborghini Registry. Please visit this site authored by Glen Kohut for those details. Please contact me with corrections and additions. Feel free to e-mail me anytime.
|#6000 -- Germany||#6234 -- Germany||#6462 -- Scotland|
|#6015 -- Spain||#6240 -- Sweden||#6471 -- Switzerland|
|#6021 -- Idaho/USA||#6243 -- Ohio/USA||#6477 -- Colorado/USA|
|#6027 -- Holland||#6246 -- England||#6480 -- Germany|
|#6036 -- England||#6249 -- Denmark||#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 -- Arizona/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)
Following is a partial list of other Isleros thought to exist as cars or as parts. I would love to hear any news of them.
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Your visit to our web site is number
A Few Interesting Links:
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This web site was authored and produced by Louis A. Herrin, DVM. Reproduction of any pictures, articles, or charts is prohibited without written permission of the author. Contact me at LuigiDVM@aol.com.
Copyright © Louis A. Herrin,DVM
June 15, 2003