2020 has been noteworthy for plenty of reasons, but for Lamborghini fans, it also marks the 50th anniversary of the classy GT – the Jarama (pronounced ha-ra-ma). And like most Lamborghini models, the name is a Spanish one.
Jarama is a name that has plenty of significance for the Spanish people. It’s a river, but it’s also a region north of Madrid that saw some bloody battles during the Spanish Civil War.
For racing fans, it’s also the name given to the first purpose-built motor racing facility in Spain (Circuito del Jarama) – a track that has hosted both F1 (between 1968 and 1981) and Moto GP races (between 1968 and 1988) on the outskirts of Madrid.
Significantly for fans of the Raging Bull, it’s also home to a renowned breed of Spanish fighting bulls, which gave their name to the 328 sports GTs that Lamborghini built between 1970 and 1976.
The Jarama GT was shown to the public for the first time at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show and was the latest in a respected line of front-engine, V12 grand tourers that complimented the supercar offering. When Jarama first broke cover, that supercar was the Miura, and by the time it finished production, it was the Countach.
Lamborghini explained that the Jarama was, "the latest evolution of the company’s 2+2 grand touring sedan concept, with a 4.0-litre, V12 front-mounted engine."
Technical development had evolved from the 400 GT and Islero, with the same mechanical layout, but a new silhouette designed by the legendary Marcello Gandini on behalf of Carrozzeria Bertone.
The chassis had been changed, with a new braking system, a wider track and 15-inch magnesium Campagnolo wheels. The V12 was fed by no less than six Weber 40 DCOE carburettors, had double overhead camshafts per bank, and 260kW. Top speed was 260km/h.
The interior was befitting of the GT luxury expectation of the day, trimmed in sumptuous leather, featuring standard air conditioning and seating for four along with a decent boot for luggage on those cross-continent jaunts.
Production was expanded to the Jarama GT from 1972, with 272kW on tap, and subtle styling changes. There was also a redesigned dashboard, new instruments, and reshaped front seats which added to second row space.
The Jarama, while diminutive in terms of the number produced, was an important model in Lamborghini’s history. It was the last front-engine grand tourer offered for sale by the Sant Agata company. Aside from the LM SUV and the more recent Urus, Lamborghini cars have all been rear-engine.
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