1968 Lamborghini 400GT 2+2

Legend has it that Ferruccio Lamborghini began building cars because he felt insulted by Enzo Ferrari’s treatment of him as a customer. Whether true or not, Lamborghini was not one to do things by half, investing in a brand new factory and recruiting the best available engineers – amongst them Giatto Bizzarrini, designer of the Ferrari 250GTO, and Gaimpaolo Dallara. The resultant 350GT, its Scaglione styling considerably refined by Touring of Milan, debuted at the 1964 Geneva Salon and was a huge success; beneath the alloy body lay a V12 engine boasting four camshafts, six Weber carburetors, a ZF five speed gearbox, the finest Girting disc brakes and racing style all round coil spring/double wishbone suspension. All factors – combined with 152 mph performance, fine roadholding and an unrivalled panoramic cockpit view – that drew many takers from both Ferrari and Maserati customers, despite Lamborghini’s total lack of racing heritage. It was at the 1966 Geneva Salon that the 350GT was replaced by the 400GT. The styling was identical but the now steel body panels – the bonnet and bootlid remained in alloy – were all new, as were a higher roofline to accommodate the occasional rear seats and twin rather than single headlamps. The V12 under the curvaceous bonnet, now mated to Lamborghini’s own five speed gearbox also boasted 3,929 cc against the 350GT’s 3,464 cc (the former had already been an option on the 350GT in 1965) while power was up from 280 bhp to 320 bhp at 6,500 rpm, allied to 267 lb.ft at 4,700 rpm – sufficient to propel the distinctive Italian to 60 mph in just 7.5 seconds and onto a 156 mph maximum. The 400GT 2+2 was to prove the most successful of the 3,250/400 line, 250 examples being sold before the model was replaced by the Islero in 1968. Finished in pale metallic green with pigskin interior, this 400GT was exported new to Holland, thereafter being used by its architect owner for holidays in Switzerland; it then passed via a Dutch lawyer to a Lamborghini collector in Holland from whom the current owner purchased the car in 1986. The subject of a respray in the original color in 1987, but otherwise unrestored with only some 62,000 miles recorded, this highly desirable Italian thoroughbred is described as in very good condition and said to drive like new.