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With Lamborghini as successful as they are today under Audi’s careful stewardship, it’s easy to forget that before the Gallardo came along and smashed all the records (nearly half of all Lamborghinis sold since 1963 are Gallardos) it was a good year for the company when they could sell more than 250 or so cars, and many of their models had total production that numbered in the hundreds rather than in the thousands. One such model was the Jalpa. Lamborgini had been trying out various “entry level” models to sit below the Countach in their lineup since before the Countach even went on sale. The original was the Uracco, followed by the Silhouette and then finally the Jalpa. The Jalpa carried forward the classic Bertone wedge styling that had by that time become a Lamborghini hallmark. Each of the baby Lambos was powered by a transverse mid-mounted V8 engine, with the iteration in the Jalpa displacing 3.5 liters and making 255 HP. While Lamborghini claimed a 0-60 time of 6 seconds, some contemporary tests showed that to be perhaps a bit optimistic.
Whatever the performance numbers were (or weren’t), the Jalpa was a success. Over seven years in production, Lamborghini sold 410 of them, making it a fairly successful model by company standards. A Jalpa even had a cameo appearance in the Sylvester Stallone vehicle “Rocky 4,” which highlights the dogleg gearbox with open gated shifter and popup headlights. Unfortunately, when Chrysler took over the company the Jalpa was killed off, and it wouldn’t be for another 15 years that there would be a “baby Lambo” on the scene again.
Today we feature a 1987 Jalpa which is for sale via Craigslist in Wichita, KS. The 1987 model had the later round taillights and body colored plastic components (earlier models had rectangular taillights and black plastic engine cover, bumpers, and air intakes) which we feel gives the car a much more complete look. Assuming that the “run good and in good condition” bit in the ad is accurate, the price isn’t too bad either. This could be a great way in to classic Lamborghini ownership for someone who doesn’t quite want to be shouty enough to pull up in a Countach but still wants something with style and panache with the fighting bull on the hood.