Auctions and Brokerage
Coachwork by Touring
Ernest Butler, Bloomfield, Michigan (acquired by the early 1970s)Michael Kollins, Detroit, Michigan (acquired from the above in 1974)Tom Mittlernogan, Tennessee (acquired from the above in February 2013)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2014)
Concorso Italiano, California, 1993Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, 1993 (First in Class)Concorso Italiano, California, 2014Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance®, 2014 (Howard Darrin Automotive Excellence Award)Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, California, 2015 The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, California, 2018
This unusually well-presented example of Lamborghini’s elegant 350 GT benefits from extended attention by dedicated marque enthusiasts. An early example of the company’s first production car, it is also one of a small number of Lamborghinis ever displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®.
According to a copy of its original sale order and a confirming e-mail from Lamborghini Polo Storico, chassis 0196 was originally finished in Blu Tigullio (Gulf Blue) and upholstered with Senape (Mustard) leather, and was originally purchased by the Garage du Quai du Mont Blanc in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to a history report commissioned by the consignor from Lamborghini enthusiast Cody Hale, and done in conjunction with Lamborghini Owners Club President Jim Kaminski, the 350 GT may have been directly acquired from the Swiss agent by the first owner of record, Ernest Butler, an attorney and Italian car collector residing in Bloomfield, Michigan.
In 1974, Mr. Butler sold the 350 GT to a Mr. Kollins, who would subsequently give the Lamborghini to his son, Michael, and around this time the car was painted maroon, as shown in pictures on file. After conducting a bout of freshening, Mr. Kollins began displaying the 350 GT at local events, at which time the car entered Mr. Kaminski’s periphery as it was often displayed alongside his personal 400 GT Interim. In 1983, Mr. Kollins traded the Lamborghini to Tom Mittler, a respected collector from Three Rivers, Michigan, and the car was stored in his considerable collection.
The Lamborghini was then acquired in 1989 by Peter Cohen, the owner of Ultimate Motors, a Lamborghini dealership in Orlando, Florida. During the early 1990s, the dealership completely restored the 350 GT, addressing both mechanical and cosmetic elements of the Lamborghini. In the disassembly process, traces of the original factory color scheme were detected, and the car was subsequently treated to a bare-metal repaint in Blu Tigullio.
On the basis of this exacting work, the Lamborghini was taken to Monterey Car Week in August 1993 and exhibited at Concorso Italiano and the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. The car won First in Class at the latter event, and it is notable as one of relatively few Lamborghinis ever shown at Pebble Beach. The 350 GT was then displayed on Ultimate Motors’ showroom floor until approximately 2008, before being put into storage.
In February 2013, a group of collectors led by Kevin Cogan bought seven cars from Ultimate Motors, including the 350 GT. They only briefly maintained possession of the Lamborghini, before selling it in 2014 to the consignor, a marque collector based in Southern California.
The owner quickly commissioned the respected Fast Cars of Redondo Beach to re-core the radiator, fit a correct custom-fabricated windshield, reseal the rear differential, refinish the valve covers, rebuild the brakes, install a new ignition and spark plugs, and touch up the paint (among other measures), as demonstrated by invoices in the car’s file.
While researching his new Lamborghini, the consignor discovered the nose features a rare developmental marque badge with sections of red and gold (rather than the standard black and gold), and cabin vents on the cowl are absent, which in tandem suggest a very early car. The respected Lamborghini factory test driver Valentino Balboni also inspected the car, which the history report researched by Hale and Kaminski concluded is probably one of the first 30 examples built.
In August 2014, the 350 GT was again presented at Concorso Italiano in Monterey, scoring 97 points and participating in the marque tribute parade. A month later, the car was honored with the Howard Darrin Automotive Excellence Award at the Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance. Other notable appearances included presentation at the 2015 Greystone Mansion Concours d’Elegance, and The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering in 2018.
Still displaying the immense benefits of the 1990s restoration and fastidious care by its current owner, this early Lamborghini is one of the finest 350 GT examples offered in recent memory. It is ideal for presentation at marque events, Italian car shows, and concours d’elegance, or may be enjoyed on the road for its powerful V-12 engine and admired for its beautifully finished Touring coachwork.