Derived from the V8 powered Lamborghini Urraco, the Silhouette is one of the most rare Lamborghinis ever produced, with 54 examples having the left the factory between 1976 and 1979. Only 31 examples are known to still exist. Improvements over the Urraco include increased horsepower (260) from the 3.0 liter V8 and a targa roof, making this the first production Lamborghini to have a removable roof. While they were never sold new in the US, this 1978 Silhouette for sale in Wisconsin was sold new to an Arab prince and was subsequently brought to the US in pieces and rebuilt to fly under the DoT radar.
This rare and stunning 1978 Lamborghini Silhouette P300 is one of the estimated 31 remaining of only 52 ever built between 1976 and 1979. The Silhouette is the lowest number of production Lamborghinis made on a year to year basis except for the 400GT and Reventon. This Silhouette is well known among the Lamborghini community and has been featured in the book The Complete Book of Lamborghini by Peter Lyons and has a great history. It sold new to an Arab prince in the Middle East and later sold to a gentleman in Los Angeles who disassembled and imported it into America as a parts car (hence the rebuilt title) as the Silhouette was never produced for the U.S. market and thus was not EPA/DOT approved at the time. Upon arriving in the U.S., the mechanic-owner reassembled the car, got it running in top condition, and owned the car for approximately 7 years before selling it to another gentleman who owned it 20 years until 2012. The current owner has decided to change the focus of is collection, which creates a rare opportunity for a Lamborghini enthusiast. With only 15,738 miles, this is likely not only one of the lower mileage examples in existence, but also likely one of the most pristine cosmetically in existence. Below is a detailed description illustrating how pristine this Silhouette is in all aspects:
Exterior: The previous owner subjected the body to a top-quality complete Glasurit repaint approximately 15 years ago. The paint remains in the concourse condition it was in when it won its class at Concourso Italiano as it has been carefully preserved and driven approximately only 2,000 miles since that time. The exterior trim is also in pristine condition and there is no rust. The original Campagnolo magnesium Bravo wheels are also pristine and feature correct decals. An online portfolio of 88 photos that illustrate how spectacular the condition is available to interested parties who provide me with their email address.
Interior: The carpet, headliner, leather seats, mouse-hair dash, instrumentation, interior trim, seatbelts, switchgear, and period-correct Alpine am/fm cassette stereo are in such a pristine state that entering the car makes one feel as though they are back in 1978. The air conditioning, power windows, and all electrical items are fully functional.
Engine/Transmission: The original transversely mounted 3.0 liter all aluminum-alloy Lamborghini engine idles exceptionally steady and pulls aggressively and smoothly throughout the entire RPM range during acceleration. The engine has been fastidiously detailed and leaks no fluids. The transmission is very tight and shifts smoothly into all gears.
Valuable Extras: The long-term owner’s obsession with preserving this Silhouette is evidenced by the large number of original NOS and spare parts he accumulated and saved with the car to ensure there would have replacements available if ever needed. Included is an original pair of Pirelli P7 285/40/15 rear tires, an a/c compressor, a window regulator, several carburetor parts, gaskets, ignition parts, oil filters, and many other items (see photo). These items are not only handy to have, but also very valuable.
Summary: This 1978 Lamborghini Silhouette P300 is the ideal example for the Lamborghini enthusiast who demands the best and understands the it is financially prudent to purchase a vintage Lamborghini that is in top-condition as one can spend two to three times the purchase price of a “driver” or “project car” to bring it up to the standard this example is in, yet still have a high mileage car. This Lamborghini should easily pass any rational pre-purchase inspection with flying colors.
The Urraco is one of the most affordable Lamborghinis, with prices spanning the $30,000 to $50,000 territory. Since the Silhouette is essentially an updated, more exclusive version of the Urraco, the values are naturally a bit higher. A Silhouette in similar condition with a little over 20,000 more miles sold at RM Auctions in August 2010 for just over $60,000. Given the lower mileage and passage in time, the asking price here doesn't seem that much out of line.