- Fully restored by marque specialists in Italy
- One of only 247 examples built
- Delivered new to the U.K.
Given the success of the 350 GT, Lamborghini’s first production road car, it is unsurprising that its successor was an exercise in development rather than a radical redesign. Indeed for the 400 GT Lamborghini elected to carry over many of the best elements of the 350 GT and only make minor tweaks in others areas in order to maintain its advantage over its peers; it used the same the body shape, sculpted by Touring of Milan, as well as the same the Giampaolo Dallara designed chassis with its 60 mm square section steel tubing giving a quiet solid structure for the body to sit on. Under the bonnet remained the wondrous Bizzarrini quad-cam V-12, albeit fettled to 3.9-litres to now produce 320 bhp, an useful extra 40-50 bhp over that of its predecessor.
As suggested by the name, the most significant change, alongside the increase in displacement, was the introduction of a 2+2 layout, which was achieved by altering the roofline and boot-lid to create extra headroom in the cabin for the rear seats. Notably the gearbox was also updated, from the ZF five-speed unit in the 350 GT, to a Lamborghini design featuring sychromesh on every gear. This further improved the driving experience which had already been heralded by Car and Driver magazine as “much less demanding than a Ferrari, and what's more, it seems to steer, stop, go and corner just about as well as our last Ferrari”.
Chassis number 0817 was delivered to its first owner in England, via Mitchel and Brittani of London in 1967, built to left hand drive specifications and specified in Verde Scuro with a Senape leather interior. It is noteworthy for being one of the last Touring bodied 400 GTs, evidenced by its Carozzerria Touring production plaque, as Touring was wound up in late 1966 and production was handed to Carozzerria Marazzi from 1967 onwards. The car was exported to United States in the early 1970s and is believed to have then remained with the same Californian owner from 1973 until 2014, when it was acquired by its current German owner. By this time, the car had been repainted red and been in long term storage from 1998 to 2013 and although it was in running order, it was purchased as a restoration project and brought back to Germany in for the work to be carried out.
Four years were then spent returning the car to a condition befitting of its badge, with the work being carried out by some of the most well renowned Lamborghini specialists in Europe. Over 1,000 hours were spent on the bodywork alone by De Stefani S.p.a, taking it back to bare metal in order to expose any elements that required attention before it meticulously reconstructing in its original left hand drive form and repainting it in correct Verde Scuro. In addition, more than €30,000 was spent rebuilding engine at Top Motors, who stripped every component and rebuilt the V-12 to factory specification over the course of a year, whilst the interior was completely removed and renewed by Auto Interni. The gearbox, suspension, electrics, cooling system, brakes, exhaust and any other items that required attention were also renewed or restored, down to the ‘unattainable’ windscreen and brand new Borrani wire wheels. Dozens of photographs, detailed records and invoices amounting to hundreds of thousands of euros are present in the car’s history file and together account for the extraordinary amount of work that has been spent bringing the car up to the stunning condition in which it presents today, with just 300 km having been covered since the restoration was completed.
A stunning Touring-bodied GT in the truest sense, outfitted with one of the great V-12 engines of the 20th century and adorned with arguably its most exotic badge. Ready for its next owner to cherish and enjoy.