In the early 1970s Ferrari, Maserati, and Lamborghini all brought out new, smaller cars both to compete with each other and to deal with the nemesis Porsche 911.
Lamborghini’s first was the Uracco P250 produced in 1972. Later, the Targa-roofed Silhouette debuted at Geneva in 1976. Five years later, both Uracco and Silhouette were supplanted by the Targa-roofed Jalpa, with a fine 3,485cc 4-cam V-8 that produced 250hp—even in smog-limited US form. More importantly for US drivers, it put out some 235lbs-ft of torque. Road & Track magazine called it “one of the most exciting cars to drive we’ve come across in recent years” and commended its Marcelo Gandini designed Bertone coachwork and the interior.
This striking 1988 Lamborghini Jalpa was completed in the rare model’s final production year and was delivered new to the US market. The car’s first owner was a doctor, who took delivery through Motor Coach Lamborghini of Baltimore, Maryland. She used the car sparingly and sold it in the early 1990s, with very few miles recorded on the odometer, to an enthusiast from Michigan, who would keep the car until 1999. During this period, the car was looked after by a Michigan-based specialist shop, Rallye Imports. The most recent owner has taken equally good care of the rare Italian sports car, as is evident when inspecting the car today.
The largely original black exterior paint and inviting light tan leather interior suits the Bertone-designed Lamborghini very well. The era-evoking, O.Z. alloy wheels—made specially for Lamborghini—show incredibly well. Showing just over 25,000 kilometers (less than 16,000 miles) on the odometer since new, this well-kept and largely original Lamborghini Jalpa is a fine example of the rare breed. A superb machine to show at the popular RADwood events around the country, this is a name-brand sportscar from an era which is prone to gain in popularity in coming years.