The sonorous sound of a V-12, with minimal exhaust, is a rare treat. Lucky for us, the latest episode of Jay Leno’s Garage brings two fantastic Lamborghini engines together for our viewing—and listening—pleasure.
We got an initial taste for an exotic engine on a stand when Jay featured the Bugatti EB110 and accompanying turbocharged V-12 work of art in a previous episode. Now, two Lamborghini V-12s take the stage, and the sound of them running on the stand is spectacular. The difference between the 3.5-liter and 8.0-liter V-12s is staggering.
The first engine belongs to Andrew Romanowski, who is in the process of restoring a Lamborghini 350 GT. Romanowski finished up the six-Weber-carburetor engine before the chassis was ready to accept it, so in the meantime, he chose to build a run stand that could showcase the V-12 in all its majesty. Displacing just 3.5 liters, the dual-overhead-cam V-12 has an aluminum block with cast-iron cylinder liners. Romanowski says the 3.5-liter’s power output is “in the 300 range,” which is pretty respectable for an engine with such small displacement and no forced induction.
While the vintage V-12 is pretty, the 8.0-liter V-12 plucked from the offshore boat racing scene towers over the car engine. Even with the same aluminum construction, this 770-horsepower fuel-injected beast weighs in at nearly 900 pounds, according to the owner, Rob Cleary. Unlike its smaller road-going brother, this marinized two-valves-per-cylinder engine features fuel injection and just one distributor. It also has a sweet set of water-cooled chrome headers that shape the oh-so-sweet exhaust note.
Of course, the best of the video is hearing each fire up and rev. Any engine running on the test stand is cool, but a small-displacement Italian V-12 is a miniature symphony. Give the video a watch for some great Lamborghini history and that sweet, sweet exhaust note.