Lot 225: Lamborghini 350GT Coupé
It is the stuff of legend that Ferrari-owning industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini only turned to automobile manufacture as a result of receiving off-hand treatment at Maranello, vowing to build a better car. A successful manufacturer of tractors and related machinery, Lamborghini possessed the resources to realise his dream without having to compromise. Lamborghini's first production car, the Touring-styled 350GT, debuted at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show. The work of two of Italy's most illustrious automobile designers, the 350GT featured a glorious 3.5-litre, four-cam V12 designed by Giotto Bizzarrini, housed in a chassis conceived by Gianpaolo Dallara. The 350GT's four camshafts and all-independent suspension meant that it upstaged the best that Ferrari offered at the time; but to compete with his Maranello rival's larger models, Lamborghini needed a four-seater and the 400GT 2+2 duly appeared in 1966. A development of the 350GT, the newcomer used an engine enlarged to 3,929cc. This 4.0-litre unit had first appeared in 1965, finding its way into a handful of late 350GTs, this interim model being known as the 400GT. The 400GT's claimed maximum power was 320bhp - up from the 350GT's 270 - an output sufficient to make the former capable of around 155mph (250km/h). Despite its novice status as an automobile manufacturer, Lamborghini had dispelled any lingering doubts about its ability to compete with the world's best Grand Tourers. After the four-seater's arrival the original two-seater model continued to be available with either the 3.5-litre or 4.0-litre engine, and many of these so-called 'interim' cars incorporated features of the 400GT 2+2 such as quad headlights and Lamborghini's own gearbox. The example offered here is one of these interim models. A matching numbers example, it was specially ordered by an Italian engineer and supplied with the 3.5-litre engine for tax reasons. The Lamborghini was sold in France two years later. Finished in Coral with brown leather interior, the latter fitted with new carpets, the car benefits from partial restoration in 2011 and is described by the vendor as in generally very good condition, the engine having been completely overhauled. The mechanical overhaul was undertaken by well-known specialists Edmond Ciclet and Roger Salvatore, and the car has been maintained by Armando Martin. Accompanying documentation consists of French Carte Grise and Contrôle Technique. The Lamborghini offered represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of these very desirable two seater 'interim' models.
The Monaco Sale|
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