In 1964, Ferruccio Lamborghini unveiled his V12 competitor to Ferrari, the 350 GT, at the Geneva Auto Show. The car, which featured a four-cam, 3.5-liter V12 engine designed by Giotto Bizzarini, a tubular steel chassis, four-wheel independent suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and a ZF gearbox, was Lamborghini’s first serial-production GT. The automotive world loved it.
In 1966 the engine was increased to 3.9 liters and the ZF transmission was replaced with a gearbox built by Lamborghini itself. The differential was also replaced with one of Lamborghini’s own. These modifications were slipped under a Touring-designed steel body that had been slightly raised to allow three passengers to accompany the lucky driver. Similar in appearance to the 350 GT, this new car also had lowered floor pans, four round Hella headlamps and a single fuel tank instead of twin tanks. Thus was born the 400 GT 2+2.
Debuting at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show, Lamborghini’s showpiece was once again warmly received. The new model’s horsepower increased from 280 horsepower to 320, and top speed to 155 miles per hour. Zero to 60 times were in the low seven-second range. The engine, in fact, was worthy enough to be used in the Miura and Countach until 1982-a testament to its design and output.
The car is often pointed to as the one automobile closest to Ferruccio Lamborghini’s original aim: elegance, durability, practicality and performance. As such, it should come as no surprise that the 400 GT 2+2 outsold the 350 GT nearly two to one.
A superb car in every sense of the word, the 400 GT 2+2 allows for confident high-speed touring, and is a perfect example of a state-of-the-art Italian supercar of the ’60s.