Produced between 1982 and 1990 the Lamborghini Jalpa was the' junior' Lamborghini of the 1980s, and was designed to rejoin the battle with Ferrari's similarly sized 308 series. Major changes involved the quad-cam V8 engine with a capacity increase to 3.5 litres, and somewhat more aggressive styling, mainly in the side treatment of the body, which was again conceived and executed by Bertone. Maximum power was 255bhp at 7000rpm, good enough to give the aerodynamic Jalpa a top speed of around 155mph. Production was both limited and sporadic, with a mere 419 examples manufactured over eight years.
A single Jalpa prototype was constructed based on Silhouette 40058. Shown at Geneva in 1981, that became CLA12001. Subsequently there were two pre-production cars, CLA12002 which was destroyed by fire in 2003, and CLA12003 which was offered as a raffle prize by Loews Hotel at Monaco 1982 and is now in Canada. Production cars commenced with CLA12010. The first five had some individual features, the most obvious being the use of instruments from the 'Uracco'. All early production cars, those with Urraco tail lights, have a matching body no and VIN, ie. the last two digits of the VIN always matches the body number. Later cars, those with the later Jalpa tail lights, had a separate body number stamped on the left rear suspension turret, allowing VINs to be allocated independently of the body number.
This LHD car is earlier than the VIN might suggest. CLA12067 has body 14, ie. the 5th production body, and the engine number is 008. It has Urraco instruments and a single exterior mirror was previously fitted to the front wing. Although CLA12067 is stamped on a plate on the right rear strut tower, underneath this plate, CLA12014 is stamped directly on the strut tower itself as per factory specification, demonstrating that this car was renumbered at the factory. Images of this are depicted in the cars history file. The records show that CLA12014 in Nero/Rosso was completed on 25/09/82 but there are no consignment details. This is typical of an entry where a car was retained by the factory. Consignment details for CLA12067 are recorded as 10/05/83 to Emilian Auto Bologna. Intriguingly the CLA year code was retained even though the DLA series was introduced at the start of 1983 with DLA12017. The other four trial production cars were all consigned during 1982 but CLA12014/67 was retained by the factory for eight months. It is strongly believed that the car was used by Patrick Mimram (The Swiss Playboy owner of the Lamborghini factory at the time) or his immediate family. A year later ELA12014 was allocated to a new Argento/ Rosso car with body 118 consigned on 24/05/84 to Patrick Mimran. The VIN had been re-allocated but with an ELA prefix year code of course as the car was built in 1984. But why had it not been used previously? And why was it used on a car consigned to Mimran? It is strongly believed that Mimram used both cars and the VIN was kept for him.
The car then moved from Italy to Germany and was imported to California in 1985, by a fastidious gentleman who kept precise records on the cars entry into the USA and subsequently was owned by a very competent Lamborghini enthusiast who kept many bills and receipts for work carried out on the car.
Imported into the UK in 2015, the car has been in the ownership of a Lamborghini aficionado, who since importing it, has had the paintwork professionally freshened, the wheels refurbished and it has only just been serviced. Thanks to the previous owner the car has been well maintained and with the recent detailed attention to the cosmetics, this sparkling little black Lamborghini now looks its best. The powerful 3.5 litre V8 has the added benefit of a thunderous stainless steel exhaust system for an added smile factor whilst enjoying open top motoring.
Accompanied by an excellent history file, this Jalpa is worthy of serious consideration for any shrewd collector. When we consider the steep rate of incline in the 70's/80's Ferrari, Porsche and Aston Martin market in recent years, 2016 must surely be the year of the Bull.