The legendary Miura’s sibling – 400GT, was presented at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. The success was inevitable, as the model was the epitome of Ferruccio Lamborghini’s ultimate Gran Turismo concept – powerful, fast, comfortable, and easy to drive.
The first production vehicle of the famous Italian brand, the 350GT with an unusual body, was the masterpiece of the legendary Carrozzeria Touring studio, presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1964. Ferruccio decided to entrust the design of his first vehicles to this iconic studio. In 1966, the model underwent significant technical improvements, getting a more powerful engine with a capacity of 4000 ccs. The new car was named 400GT. Moreover, the additional two rear seats made the roadster’s interior more comfortable. It also got dual headlights, which replaced the oval headlights – the hallmark of the previous 350th.
The history of the legendary sports vehicle brand began when Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to produce his automobiles after buying Ferrari. He found it uncomfortable enough for long travels, eventually deciding to make a perfect Gran Turismo vehicle. So, the idea of building his automaking company was born. Ferruccio financed it with the money earned from making tractors. By the beginning of 1965, his first model had already gained considerable popularity. With the advent of this vehicle, the victorious march of the newly born brand and its fruitful history began. The brand entered the market with the Carrozzeria Touring studio-built 350GT model, and the 400GT followed it two years later. The 350GT was built by Touring using Superleggera’s patented aluminum bodies. However, the new roadster used heavier sheet metal and had a completely different design. The result matched Ferruccio’s wishes.
In 1966, the first 350GT model was replaced and equipped with a 320 hp V12 engine with a displacement of 3929 cm3 and a 5-speed manual transmission. The body, as the first one, was made by Carrozzeria Touring. Externally, the new automobile was distinguished from the 350GT by a smoother roofline with a smaller rear window and twin round headlights instead of single oval ones. The first series in 1965-1966, known as the Interim, was a two-seater, and the second, presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1966, already had a 2 + 2 layout with the same wheelbase (2550 mm). A total of 23 two-seaters and 224 four-seaters were sold. The Lamborghini’s new model looked and felt like a long-haul vehicle with a true Lamborghini spirit. By upsizing the V12 engine and the compression ratio the automobile got an additional 40 hp over the 350GT. The roadster developed a top speed of 270 km/h and accelerated to 100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds! Thus, it became faster than a Ferrari! Its 5-speed manual transmission with a synchromesh replaced the old Salisbury. It was a gearbox designed by Gian Paolo Dallara, chief engineer at Lamborghini, who was responsible for the differential. The V12 was powerful and quiet, reliable, and pliable, at the same time. The rear suspension was increased to handle the potential weight of two extra passengers, but the car’s agility was not affected. The 400GT was a great GT of its time – a fast, graceful, and elegant one that cemented Lamborghini’s reputation by captivating European and American buyers alike.
Source: RM Sotheby’s
The model served as a base for two remarkable roadsters – Monza and the Flying Star II. The first was a racing coupe built by Neri & Bonacini studio for an American racer who intended to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. However, Monza did not pass homologation, and the order was canceled. Interestingly, the car was sold after its debut at the Barcelona Motor Show in 1967.
Contact us if you have this or another classic car to sell.