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Coachwork by Touring
*Please note this vehicle is titled 1968.
While spirited discussions exploring the motivation behind the landmark establishment of Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. continue today, it is certain the company manifested – from inception – its founder’s vision for the ultimate GT car.
The 350 GTV show car’s body design was refined for production by Turin’s Carrozzeria Touring, while the 3.5-liter V-12 engine, chassis, and fully independent suspension were further developed. Just 120 were built, followed by 23 4.0-liter examples, designated “400GT” and retrospectively known as “interim” cars, while the world awaited the arrival of the even more refined and comfortable 400GT.
A wheelbase increase, lowered floors, and subtle reshaping of the bodywork increased interior room and rendered the 400GT a useful four-seater while deftly maintaining the overall lines of the original two-seat 350GT. With an eye to increased production, bodies were constructed of steel panels rather than aluminum. Despite the resultant weight increase, the additional 40 hp provided by their enlarged V-12 engine, now reaching 320 bhp, more than compensated. The 400GT also marked the debut of sophisticated Lamborghini-built gearboxes to replace the prior ZF-sourced units, while new Lamborghini-produced differentials replaced the previous Salisbury units.
Carrozzeria Touring ceased operations in 1968, making this Lamborghini model the last major project executed by the venerable Milanese coachworks. Carrozzeria Marazzi built the final examples using the original Lamborghini-owned tooling. Production of the 400GT ended in 1968, with as few as 242 of these intoxicating and sophisticated GT cars built in all. The 400GT truly met the needs of its intended market and firmly established Lamborghini as a world-renowned constructor of fast, well-appointed, and top-quality GT cars.
Accompanied by a corresponding Lamborghini Certificate of Origin, this outstanding restored 400GT was acquired by the consignor during April 2006 in sound but non-running form. Resplendent in its factory-original colors of Grigio San Vincente (Dark Grey Metallic) with a Tabacco interior, it now benefits handsomely from a thorough restoration performed over the past seven years. Marque specialist Gary Bobilef handled paint and interior duties, as well as extensive engine work completed just before the sale.
A recent Classic & Sports Car retrospective article captured the essence and lasting significance of Ferrucio Lamborghini’s automotive venture particularly well: “That he succeeded so completely, forcing Ferrari to dramatically up its game as a road car builder in the process, is a matter of simple historical fact.” A classic Italian GT, and perhaps the finest of the breed in every sense with equal measures of drivability, luxury, performance, and style, the 400GT represents one of the finest early Lamborghini models.