Monterey | Lot 136
1965 Lamborghini 350 GT by Touring
$742,500 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
16 August 2013
- Former Pebble Beach Concours Best in Class winner
- Elegant original colors
- The genesis of a legend: the first production Lamborghini
280 bhp, 3,464 cc dual overhead-cam V-12 engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel disc brakes. Wheelbase: 100.4 in.
Sports car production in Emilia Romagna was boldly awakened in 1963 by the advent of Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini, S.p.A. Mr. Lamborghini had set about introducing a new sports car to compete with Modena’s finest, and he had assembled a veritable dream team of talent to do so. With the work of such notables as Giotto Bizzarrini, Gian Paolo Dallara, and designer Franco Scaglione, the resulting 350 GTV prototype was introduced to wide acclaim at the Geneva Motor Show in 1962.
Lamborghini’s sports car promised outstanding performance with four-wheel independent suspension and a four-cam V-12 engine derived from Bizzarrini’s extensive racing experience. After further development and styling refinements by Carrozzeria Touring, the production 350 GT was introduced two years later. This first Lamborghini production car delivered on all of its promises, with solid construction, competitive handling, formidable performance, and, of course, sexy Italian styling. Only about 131 examples were built before the 350 GT was replaced by the 400 GT 2+2.
The car offered here was originally delivered to the Garage du Quai du Mont Blanc, in Geneva, Switzerland, finished in Blu Tiguillo (Gulf Blue) with Senape (Cream) leather upholstery. It is marked by an unusual Lamborghini shield, finished in red and white, versus the standard black ornamentation; it is believed that only a rare few 350 GTs were adorned with this special marking.
This 350 GT was originally purchased by Ernest Butler, a prominent lawyer and Ferrari collector in Detroit. Mr. Butler actually bought the car in Switzerland and brought it to the U.S. It was then acquired by Michael Collins, of California, in 1974, who treasured this 350 GT until 1983. It was then owned by another prominent collector, Tom Mittler, of South Carolina.
In the early 1990s, it was acquired by Peter Cohen and underwent a complete restoration to its original condition. Since completion, it has been lovingly maintained as part of his private collection by Ultimate Motors, of Orlando, Florida. It is one of very few Lamborghinis ever invited to and displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and it has gone one step further by winning Best in Class at the prestigious event.
The restoration has been well-maintained since, with thorough detailing, and it still presents extremely well today; the original shade of blue is exceptionally noteworthy and striking, and it is well-complemented by the neutral interior and sparkling chrome wire wheels. It is easy to imagine how striking this car must have appeared when new, against the background of the Alps.
The 350 GT is a car with importance that is rapidly being appreciated. Few Italian automobiles of its era have had so many famous names involved in their development, and fewer still offer the unique status of being the first production model from one of the legends. This well-restored, well-presented car is an excellent example to consider.