Marvel at the excellence of the Lamborghini Marzal

By topgear, 17 May 2018

Ferruccio Lamborghini liked comfortable, well-equipped four-seat GT cars. He made one in the 1960s and it might differ to what you’d expect a comfortable, well-equipped four-seat GT car to look like.

Yes, it’s time to remember the magnificently nutty Lamborghini Marzal. In 1967, ahead of the Monte Carlo GP, the Prince of Monaco took the one-off concept car for a lap of honour.

Lamborghini will return to the Monaco Historique GP this weekend, in the same car, with the same intention: a lap of honour in one of its most outlandish and recognisable concept cars.

Uncharacteristically, it was named after a particularly punchy breed of fighting bull (not repeated before or since as far as we can… oh, wait), and was treated to a transversally mounted straight-six engine. That engine was, in essence, half of a Miura’s 4.0-litre V12, and matched to a five-speed ‘box and planted behind the rear axle.

The engine wasn’t the only thing the Marzal pinched from the Miura. The chassis, too, albeit modified; the wheelbase was extended so it could fit two more humans. Still, it came with gullwing doors and a really powerful air conditioning system, necessary because it had enough glass to cover a moderately-sized conservatory. It was basically a greenhouse.

Lamborghini Marzal

Ferruccio never liked the glass in the doors - just like the McLaren Senna! - noting that it would “offer no privacy: a lady’s legs would be there for all to see”. Indeed, the glass covered 48.4 square feet of the Marzal’s surface.

Marcello Gandini said of the concept: “Basically, the Marzal was drifting towards what science-fiction writers had been promising. With these prototypes a public declaration was made of our way of seeing the cars of the future.”

Just check out that interior: a hexagonal honeycomb setup and a reflective finish for the seat trim. REFLECTIVE SEATS, people.

The Marzal would of course give rise to the production Lamborghini Espada - sans glass doors, however - which will join the much wilder concept’s lap of honour.