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1966 Lamborghini 350GT : Classic Cars

Enzo Ferrari’s legendary snub of Ferruccio Lamborghini may be myth, but it helps to explain why by the mid-1960s Italy’s third largest builder of farm tractors was willing to undertake the design and construction of a premier gran turismo. To effect his plans, Lamborghini assembled a dream team of talent: Giotto Bizzarrini, Gian Paolo Dallara, test/development driver Bob Wallace, the racing development shop of Neri & Bonacini in Modena and the designer of the famous Bertone BATs, Franco Scaglione. He then gave them adequate resources and enthusiastic support; their charge was to create the ultimate GT car, being at once fast, beautiful, comfortable, reliable and well built.

The prototype, called the 350 GTV, was introduced at the 1963 Geneva Auto Show and was widely acclaimed. With four-wheel independent suspension and a four-cam V-12 engine derived from Bizzarrini’s extensive racing experience, it promised outstanding performance. With further development, including the refinement of Scaglione’s styling by Touring (who built the 350 GT’s all aluminium body), the production 350 GT was introduced at Geneva in 1964.

The 350 GT delivered on all its promises but also included more of the attributes sought by Lamborghini, in particular solid construction. And thanks to Dallara and Wallace, the car’s chassis gave sound and consistent handling. This was a luxury GT as Ferruccio Lamborghini, the prototype consumer for which it was designed, felt it should be.

Only 120 were built before it was superseded by the 400 GT 2+2 in 1966. The Lamborghini presented here in Argento Silver was photographed and published in Rob de la Rive Box’s Illustrated Lamborghini Buyer’s Guide. It has been enthusiast owned and maintained by a former Lamborghini club president. Freshly painted in its original colour of silver, this aluminium-bodied car is very original and is an excellent example of a very stylish and a very well-designed GT car.

This Superleggera aluminium touring coupe was sold new to Portugal in 1966. In 1980 the car left Europe and found its way to Ontario, Canada, where it was owned by the founder of the Lamborghini Owners of Canada, Ken Browning. An avid collector, Browning was a true enthusiast, running a museum dedicated to the Lamborghini marque and writing many articles throughout the 1980s in motoring publications. In an edition of the 1986 Automobile Quarterly, Browning won a journalism award for a piece entitled, “Lamborghini, Quest for Perfection.”

Browning kept the car until his death in the 1990s, whereupon it passed onto two different subsequent owners in Canada. The car was then was sold in 2000 to attorney Terry Dunn of Lynchburg, Virginia and then to a John Gilson, of Huntington Beach, California. In 2004 the car was treated to a mechanical restoration, and the gearbox was rebuilt using new old stock original case as well as new, virtually unobtainable synchromesh gears. The exhaust system was rebuilt, rear suspension bushing replaced and fly wheel and clutch housing balanced, along with other work, for which many bills are on file. The car was also treated to a rebuilt set of Borrani wheels, new chrome bumpers, re-chromed door handles and taillights. During this restoration an original Tag Heuer dash-mounted Super Autavia clock was sourced and installed, a very stylish touch to the car’s interior.

Supported by a large history file with many invoices, including those from the Lamborghini factory dating back to 1978, as well as excellent documentation of the history and work carried out, this is a great opportunity to purchase one of the true driver’s cars of the desirable Lamborghini marque. This first Lamborghini production car delivered on all its promises with solid construction, competitive handling, formidable performance and, of course, its distinctive and sexy Italian styling. As one of only 120 built before the 350 GT was replaced by the 400 GT 2+2, this car not only presents extremely well, it is also exceptionally rare.


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Sources : 1966 Lamborghini 350GT Photo | 1966 Lamborghini 350GT Article | 1966 Lamborghini 350GT Rear Photo | 1966 Lamborghini 350GT Interior Photo | 1966 Lamborghini 350GT Photo 2

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