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Classic Used Oil Generators: 1974 Lamborghini Espada
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By Vern Parker

Marc Trahan was only 14 years old when his parents took him on a trip to Canada. There was no shortage of things to do and sights to see when visiting Montreal but he discovered something not listed in the guide books for tourists.

On the floor of an indoor automobile showroom was a red Lamborghini. He could not take his eyes off the sleek Italian car. "It left a strong impression,” he now recalls four decades later.

Over the years Lamborghini has manufactured various models. For 10 years the Espada model was produced. From 1968 to 1978 a total of 1,217 Espadas were built.

One of the 15-foot, 6.5-inch-long Series III cars left the factory wearing a coat of silver paint. Beneath the sleek aluminum engine hood was a 3.9-liter, V-12 with two valves per cylinder. Carburetion was accomplished with six twin-throat Webers.

The condition of that particular 35-year-old car is such that demonstrates it has always received careful attention.

Somewhere along the line one of the owners stripped off the silver paint, removed all the stainless steel trim and had a new cover of white applied.

In March 2004 Trahan was in his Detroit home when he happened across the white Lamborghini Espada offered for sale on e-bay. The car was in St. Petersburg, Fla., which presented no problem because Trahan was going to be in nearby Tampa, Fla., on business in two weeks. He told the seller when he would be there to inspect the Lamborghini and was prepared to buy it if the car was as advertised.

He came, he inspected, he bought.

He undoubtedly impressed his wife, Jane, by purchasing the car on their 25th wedding anniversary.

The car had only a few minor flaws that Trahan knew he could easily correct. After becoming the fourth owner of the car he arranged to have it trucked to Detroit. At the time the odometer had recorded only 26,000 miles.

In the five years he has owned the Lamborghini Trahan has maintained his car in such condition that it can be driven anywhere anytime. He has replaced the single dry plate, hydraulically-operated clutch, cylinder head gasket and water pump. The brake servo and tie rod ends also received his attention. Despite a roofline only 46.6 inches high the 73.4-inch-wide car comfortably seats four passengers in blue luxury. Trahan says he has "refreshed” the original blue leather upholstery. The carpeting is also blue.

The designers of the car coddled the passengers but the driver, at the three-spoke, wooden steering wheel, received the most attention. All of the instrumentation is canted toward the driver so he can view the gauges at a glance, a nice feature if and when driving at the top speed of 155 mph.

The tachometer has a red line of 7,500 rpm. The emergency hand brake nestles next to the driver's right knee.

All five gears plus reverse in the transmission are synchronized for quick, effortless shifting. The speedometer is operated via a mechanical cable.

The 3,605-pound car rides on a 104.3-inch wheelbase which is supported by speed-rated 15-inch tires. "It hunkers down,” Trahan says. "It was meant for long distance, high-speed cruising.”

Passengers in the rear seat need the air conditioning to be comfortable since the quarter windows cannot be lowered for ventilation. They can, however, be pushed open at the rear.

Those rear seat passengers are seated just forward of the 20-cubic-foot cargo area which is beneath the large rear window.

A total of 14 vertical electrically heated red wires are embedded in the glass. Three sets of rooftop louvers of nine each provide circulating air in the cabin a place to exit.

The spare tire and 12-volt battery are both secreted under the floor of the luggage compartment, the tire on the left and the battery in the right rear.

On each flank of the car is a gas cap. Trahan says each tank has an 11-gallon capacity.

Trahan understands that his knock-off wheels only appear that way. He has been told that three cars, his being one of them, have the quasi wheel treatment.

In May 2008 the Trahan family moved to Purcellville, Va., and although the Lamborghini could easily have made the trip under its own power, Trahan had it make the trip in a truck.

Because of his conservation efforts the odometer now reads 29,000 miles.
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