Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Touring
*Please note that this vehicle is titled 1966.
Jack Kellam, Dallas, Texas (acquired by 1987)Andy Chan, Hong Kong (acquired from the above in 1989)Private Collector, Arizona (acquired in 2012)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
Over the past half-century, the Lamborghini marque and its factory, based in provincial Sant’Agata Bolognese, have earned their status as automotive legends.
In the early 1960s, successful industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini began to manufacture his own line of high-performance GT cars, having been disappointed by the offerings from Ferrari and Maserati. He assembled a brilliant young team that included stylist Franco Scaglione and engineers Giotto Bizzarrini, Paolo Stanzani, and Gian Paolo Dallara. Lamborghini later hired test driver Bob Wallace and enlisted the expert services of the Neri & Bonacini workshop. In fall 1962, development of the first Lamborghini automobile began in earnest.
In a matter of months, Lamborghini had designed and built its first automobile, the one-of-a-kind 350 GTV. It was the sensation of the 1963 Torino Motor Show and provided an ideal starting point from which to develop a production car.
The first production model was christened 350 GT and featured high-quality Superleggera coachwork by Touring of Milan, fashioned from lightweight alloy panels. Elegant one-piece ovoid headlamps replaced the GTV’s retractable units, and sidedraft Weber carburetors reduced the height of the engine, allowing for a lower hood line. Like the GTV, the 350 GT featured a robust square-tube chassis, utilizing a fully independent wishbone suspension, Girling disc brakes, and Borrani wire wheels. Lamborghini’s magnificent four-cam V-12 engine was carefully tuned to produce a healthy 270 bhp, with power transmitted through a German ZF five-speed gearbox and English Salisbury differential.
The 350 GT was met with great acclaim during its official debut at the Geneva Auto Show in March 1964. The first customer car was delivered that July. The 350 GT found success as a refined grand tourer, capable of 0–60 mph in under 7 seconds, with a top speed over 150 mph. Between 1964 and 1966, Lamborghini built approximately 130 examples of the 350 GT, before the model was replaced by the updated 400 GT.
The Lamborghini offered here, chassis 0253, was among a limited number of 350 GTs originally delivered to the US through official importer Jake Kaplan’s Lamborghini East of Providence, Rhode Island. According to factory records, this car was delivered in August 1965, equipped with engine no. 0220. Its Touring coachwork, carrying body no. 180010, was finished in Grigio Medio with Tabacco upholstery, a color combination perfectly suited to the exclusive Italian GT.
The first known owner of the 350 GT was Jack Kellam of Dallas. Active in the Lamborghini Registry and Club, Mr. Kellam was an avid enthusiast who also owned a Miura P400. During his ownership, 0253 was featured prominently in Road & Track magazine, pictured in Ken Gross’ article on the 350 GT, titled “Pugnacious Premiere.”
Collector Andy Chan bought the car from Mr. Kellam in 1989 and kept it in static storage for approximately two decades while living abroad in Hong Kong. In 2012, the 350 GT was sold to a knowledgeable collector in Arizona who carried out an exacting restoration, resulting in the car’s current outstanding presentation.
As presented today, 0253 is in show-quality condition, finished in its tasteful factory color scheme and retaining its original engine and Carrozzeria Touring body tag. Very rarely are these sophisticated early production 350 GTs found in such fine condition, making this seldom-seen example an ideal choice for display at selective concours d’elegance.
Extremely rare, technically advanced, and uniquely stylish, the 350 GT is widely celebrated as one of the finest Italian GT cars of the 1960s. From a collector’s perspective, it represents Ferruccio Lamborghini’s first great achievement in the automotive world; decades later, it remains an excellent candidate for both shows and touring. Retaining its original engine, beautifully restored, and finished in its attractive original color combination, 0253 represents an opportunity for the discerning collector to acquire one of the finest examples of a seminal Lamborghini model.