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  • Writer's pictureElior By Tekapp

Lamborghini Silhouette: history, review and specs of an icon

The Countach may have always stolen the show, but it was the Silhouette that helped save Lamborghini


Being completely overshadowed by the more outlandish V12 Countach, the Lamborghini Silhouette was never able to turn heads like its big brother, but that doesn’t mean it was any less crucial to the survival of the Italian supercar maker.

Lamborghini's shortlived V8 lineage is certainly a lesser known branch of the brand's history, and it may not have been as influential in the development of the Lamborghini legend, but it is what kept the company afloat before Chrysler purchased it outright in the 1987. As such, the Lamborghini Silhouette is a car that's well worth revisiting.

History


The mid-’70s were not the happiest of times for Lamborghini, and indeed 1977, when this car rolled out of Sant’Agata, was a time of distinct unrest for the whole of Italy. The Left were revolting and there were riots as close to home as Bologna, where one man was shot. Perhaps more pertinent to a manufacturer of supercars (although the genre was still in its infancy) was the oil crisis that had hit sales hard.

With all his companies struggling, Ferruccio Lamborghini had sold his final shares in Automobili Lamborghini in 1974, giving control to Georges-Henri Rossetti and René Leimer. Bob Wallace, Lamborghini’s famous test driver, had also left in 1975. The product line-up consisted of the Countach and the Urraco (of which more in a moment), neither of which was homologated for the huge US market. In short, Lamborghini was a small independent company with something of a cash-flow problem.


The board of directors looked at the lucrative targa market being exploited by Porsche and Ferrari in America and decided that they needed to add Lamborghini’s first open-top car to the line-up. The obvious car to convert was the Urraco, a 2+2 coupe that had debuted at the Turin motor show in 1970. The Urraco’s shape was created by Lamborghini’s go-to designer, Marcello Gandini at Bertone, while its sheet-steel platform chassis was built in Modena by Marchesi.


Fonte. "Evo"

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