In 1966, the Lamborghini Islero made its debut at the 1968 Geneva Auto Show. As one vehicle in a storied line of “2+2” grand tourers, the Islero represented the ideals of Ferruccio Lamborghini who himself initially dedicated the Italian sports car manufacturer to producing reliable, powerful and exquisitely styled grand touring cars. In that respect, the 1969 Lamborghini Islero S Coupe definitely lived up to those ideals.
In 1969, the Lamborghini introduced an improved variant of the Islero known as the Islero S. The new S model featured plenty of external and internal differences from its previous incarnation. On the outside, stylists gave the car’s fenders a bit more flaring and added brightwork blind slots along the front fenders. The hood scoop was enlarged to provide better fresh air flow to the cabin area. Other small changes included a change from teardrop-shaped side-marker lights to round ones, tinted windows and the addition of a fixed section in the door windows.
The same 4.0-liter twelve-cylinder engine remained, but not without a few improvements. The burly V12 borrowed a hotter cam and an increased compression ratio from the Muria S. The end result was an engine that now had up to 350 horsepower on tap. With a five-speed manual transmission, drivers could reach 60 mph in approximately 6.2 seconds, a stunning feat at those times.
Underneath, the S model received larger brake discs for improved braking and an improved rear suspension. To accommodate wider Campagnolo wheels, the track was increased by a small amount. Power steering and air conditioning made their way to many Islero S models. Inside the 1969 Lamborghini Islero S Coupe, the new dashboard eschewed a bit of impractical fashion for functionality with flat surfaces and the addition of a glove box and rocker switchgear. At least the leather interior was left untouched.
Today, the Lamborghini Islero S Coupe remains a relatively rare grand tourer, as only 100 examples were built. Aficionados of the timeless 2+2 grand tourer consider this bold yet quietly striking vehicle one of the truest to Ferruccio Lamborghini’s own heart.
In the late 1960s, the Camaro Z28 and SS were the go-to trims for top-shelf performance, or so most people thought. However, buried within GM’s Central Office Production Order catalog were all the ingredients needed to make a spicy road-going dish, the 1969 Camaro ZL1. With a monstrous engine derived from the legendary L88 Corvette and plenty of other enhancements, this Camaro encapsulated speed, power and thanks to its low production numbers, exclusivity.
On the outside, the Camaro ZL1, also known as COPO 9560, doesn’t look like much. In fact, it looks about as plain as any base Camaro of the time, despite using the SS 396 body as a starting point. There are no snazzy badges or special features that help it stand out, aside from the curiously large “power dome” on the hood. Inside, the ZL1 is equally Spartan; unlike the SS or Z28, its interior is devoid of any special trim.
The difference between the ZL1 and other Camaros lies underneath the hood. Under the “power dome” lurks a 427 cubic-inch “L88” eight-cylinder engine, conservatively rated at 430 horsepower yet capable of producing over 500 horsepower. Buyers could choose from several heavy-duty four-speed manual transmissions or a three-speed Turbo Hydra-matic, backed by a 4:10.1 positraction differential. Ordering the ZL1 through COPO meant getting around Chevrolet’s restrictions on offering engines larger than 400 cubic-inches.
The ZL1 was the brainchild of Chevy dealer Fred Gibb, who wanted a more powerful option for competition in NHRA drag racing. Gibb bought a mandatory minimum of 50 ZL1s, but the all-aluminum L88 represented a steep $4,160 premium, pushing the price of this powerful contender to an eye-watering $7,200. Nevertheless, 69 examples were built, with 50 being sold to Gibb’s dealership. Of those 50, Gibb managed to sell 13 while the remainder were bought back and resold at other Chevy dealerships.
The RCR Series 3 Camaro was a joint venture between RCR and Total Performance Incorporated of Wìchita, Kansas. The “Intimidator” serial number 3 of the 5 which were produced and the only car of the series to carry the “Intimidator” name is equipped with the actual engine block and other engine components that powered Earnhardt and the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Service Plus Chevrolet Monte Carlo at several NASCAR tracks. The inspiration for RCR Series 3 Camaro came from the famous No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet race cars. Most significantly, the RCR Series 3 Camaro includes two engines, one of which is a Chevrolet SB2 block race engine built and tuned at RCR engine shop especially for this project. The other engine is an all-aluminum 427cid small block Chevy. RCR opted for Dynacorn’s beautiful body shells, licensed by GM. Beyond the body shell is an array of ZFX aircraft composite/carbon fiber body panels, including a special one-piece hood, other extreme pieces include special rocker panels, a front fascia with an integral spoiler, shaved drip rails and door locks, a rear rolled pan, custom bumpers and a NASCAR Car of Tomorrow (COT) rear wing.
Add to this flush mounted glass in back, a matching windshield with a custom logo and black Planet Color paint accented with red outlines around silver panels laid down by TPI. Other features include, Chassis Works G-Machine bolt-in frame clip with sub-frame connectors that tie to the mini-tubbed rear frame rails. This greatly improves rigidity to the unibody structure, allowing the triangulated 4-link, Hypercoil springs and Bilstein shocks to maintain the Chassis Works FAB 9 Direct Fit 9″ axle with Eaton Detroit’s Truetrac 3.55:1 gearing. Rear wheels are huge 18×12″ HRE competition wheels and BFGoodrich g-Force T/A’s, up front 18×10″ rims. As for braking, Baer’s Track System with PBR 2-piston calipers and 13×1.1″ rotors. A spectacular tribute to the Legend of Dale Earnhardt.