Off radar

The Fallen Stars
Lamborghini Bravo

An angel who fell in mid-flight

Photo credit: Lamborghini, Wheelsage

To prepare the model that should have replaced the Urraco, Bertone presented a prototype at the 1974 Turin Motor Show that had already been secretly tested in Sant Agata, based on the same mechanics and the V8 of the Urraco: the Bravo. It was an authentic masterpiece of style, the result of the great creativity of Marcello Gandini who focused on clean and simple lines, where it’s the proportions that give it its breath-taking beauty. 

This rear view highlights the geometries of the design with flat surfaces and the slats on the hood

Among the many details that stand out, the horizontal line that cuts it in two, giving it momentum, as well as the very geometric slats that pierced both front and rear bonnets, transforming the air intakes into a harmonious design that lightens the whole, and the rigorously flush-mounted glass panels that give it a wrap-around look, all of which come together to make it an authentic object of desire. Unfortunately, however, for Lamborghini, those were difficult years due to the exit of the founder Ferruccio, and the subsequent oil crisis that dealt a harsh blow to the international car market. Not only that, but a period of union turmoil also put the new owners in the unhappy position of having to make painful choices, and the Bravo, despite being warmly welcomed by the market, remained the prototype that still exists today. 

The Bravo was ready to go to market, but it never made it into production, dashing the hopes the company had for the model and the many who wanted one

Like many other show cars of the time, the Bravo was repainted at the beginning of its life. The original light metallic yellow gave way to a darker shade of green. It was subsequently finished in its current pearlescent white. For years, it remained in Bertone’s private museum and was sold to its current owner, the Swiss collector Albert Spiess for €588,000 ($665,500) at the RM Sotheby’s auction at Villa d’Este in 2011.

The fascinating modularity of the air intakes on the hood that also include the retractable headlights
The geometries of the exterior are repeated in the decidedly minimal design of the horizontal dashboard
The complex, transversely mounted V8 engine came straight from the Urraco, which would later find its way into the Silhouette and Jalpa
The Bravo was fully functional as shown by this photo shoot made at the time of its presentation