The Lamborghini Hot Rod - "Bob"
Its not often you hear the words Hot Rod and Lamborghini in the same sentence, but recently I came across just that with Jarama Bob. Not a dodgy bloke in the pub, it was the name affectionally given to a very special car.
Back in the early 70s, Lamborghini released the Jarama. It replaced the Islero and became the next 2+2 GT car in the Lamborghini range. Essentially a shortened Espada it promised to be more sporting but still offer the luxury that one would expect in an Italian GT Car. Anything but a Hot Rod then?
This is where Lamborghini's famous test driver Bob Wallace comes in. He wanted to take Lamborghini racing, but Mr Lamborghini himself didn't like the idea, believing that racing was financial suicide. Being a good employee, Bob ignored his boss and decided to build a race car anyway.
Wallace chose the Jarama for his pet project. Starting with a bare shell, modifications included adding welds for strength, replacing parts of the floorplan with aluminium, moving back the bulkhead, adding a roll cage and relocating the battery. The suspension was changed to Koni shocks, and adjustable spring platforms were added to allow the car's ride height to be tweaked.
All glass bar the windscreen was replaced with Plexiglass, the dashboard was redesigned and retrimmed in lightweight materials, Miura seats with 3 point harnesses were also added.
The swivelling headlights were removed and fixed to the chassis lower down, the bonnet had additional cooling ducts added and the front bumper gained a large spoiler, while the rear end lost its heavy chrome bumper. These modifications resulted in a 300kg weight loss and a near 50/50 weight distribution.
The engine received lightweight pistons and conrods whilst a lighter flywheel was added to improve response. The engine was topped with new Weber 42 carbs as well as longer trumpets to improve torque. Power was estimated to be around 385bhp, but no official figures exist.
Sadly the car was never raced. Many believe the car was built purely to scratch the itch that Wallace had for lighter, higher performance Lamborghinis. Its still a very cool part of Lamborghini's history though, who doesn't love a factory backroom hot rod?