The first production Lamborghini, the 350 GT, was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1964. It was designed by Ferruccio Lamborghini and Carlo Andeloni, the owner of Carrozzeria Touring and managed in a secret area of the Lamborghini tractor factory by Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani. Comments from the media at the time on the car’s performance were very positive, reassuring Ferruccio that his decision to become a car-maker was a sound one. In total, 120 350 GT cars were built.
Although the 350 GT was a success, Ferruccio disliked the noisiness of the differential and the imprecision of the ZF gearbox. Through Dallara and Stanzani, he commissioned new gearboxes and differentials, locally in the Bologna area, and installed a larger, 3,929 cc V12 engine into the 400 GT.
At the Geneva Motor Show in 1966, Lamborghini introduced the 400 GT 2+2. This car had a slightly raised roofline compared to the 350 GT which enabled the +2 seating to be installed in the rear. The 350 GT only had room for luggage or +1 seating. Design of the bodywork was again by Carrozzeria Touring.
A total of 224 units of the 400 GT 2+2 were built (1966-68). It was then replaced by the Islero model.
Manufactured September 1967, with an original colour of Alfa red with black interior, this car is one of five cars converted to right-hand-drive by Lamborghini for Portman Lamborghini, the then UK importers, It was registered in UK in January 1968.
First owner of this chassis was the Star Group of Companies (owned by EMI). Star owned the car for four years, and during that time it is believed that it was used by Paul McCartney, the Beatles being signed to EMI at the time. The car is shown, guarded by security, outside a Beatles rooftop gig in London on the Beatles Anthology video. By October 2012, the car was in the hands of Tom Hartley Jnr, who had the car stripped to bare metal and repainted in grey by XK Engineering. Upholstery restorer, Graham Dean, completed the retrim. Shiltech removed the engine for restoration and all of the glass was removed to restore the electrics and the chrome fittings. In July 2014, Bob Houghton further expanded on the restoration under the guidance of legendary Lamborghini test driver, Valentino Balboni. This involved all the chrome-work once again as well as other work to meet the rigorous standards of a concours inspection. Work was completed by June 2015.
The car was certified by Lamborghini Polo Storico (2019) and recently feature in Octane magazine.
Displayed courtesy of Mr Peter Read, Chairman of the Motoring Committee, from Tuesday 1st September to Sunday 13th September.
Further information can be found in the display cabinet (rotunda first floor)