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The Quail Auction / 1965 Lamborghini 350 GT Coupe Chassis no. 0205 Engine no. 0151

Lot 30
1965 Lamborghini 350 GT Coupe
19 August 2022, 11:00 PDT
Carmel, Quail Lodge & Golf Club

US$550,000 - US$750,000

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1965 Lamborghini 350 GT Coupe
Coachwork and Design by Touring

Chassis no. 0205
Engine no. 0151

3,464cc DOHC All-alloy V12 Engine
6 Weber Twin-choke Carburetors
270bhp at 6,500rpm
5-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Hydraulic Disc Brakes

*Superb, factory-correct restoration performed by noted Italian car restorer FAI
*Retaining its matching-numbers engine and aluminum Touring 'Superleggera' bodywork
*Ready for Concours d'Elegance judging or entering tour and driving events
*The very first Lamborghini sports car model in its purest form



THE LAMBORGHINI 350 GT

'With 270bhp at 6,500rpm the V12 engine was made very flexible at all speeds. Furthermore its quietness was little short of amazing. The car was credited with a maximum speed of 250km/h...' - Jean-Marc Borel, 'Lamborghini', 1982.

It is the stuff of legend that Ferrari-owning industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini only turned to automobile manufacture as a result of receiving off-hand treatment at Maranello, vowing to build a better car. A successful manufacturer of tractors and related machinery, Lamborghini possessed the resources to realize his dream without having to compromise.

Lamborghini's first production car, the Touring-styled two-seater 350 GT debuted at the 1964 Geneva Motor Show following the successful reception given to a non-running prototype - the 350 GTV - displayed at Turin the previous November. The work of two of Italy's most illustrious automobile designers, the 350 GT featured a glorious 3.5-litre, four-cam V12 designed by ex-Ferrari engineer Giotto Bizzarrini (formerly project leader on the 250 GTO), which was housed in a chassis conceived by Gianpaolo Dallara, whose formative years after graduating from Milan's Technical Institute had been spent with both Ferrari and Maserati. Touring's Franco Scaglione had styled the 350 GTV prototype, and his basic design, albeit considerably refined, was retained for the production 350 GT.

As originally conceived, the Lamborghini V12 had downdraft carburetors and dry sump lubrication, features more appropriate for a competition engine than that of a road car. For the production 350 GT, more readily available horizontal carburetors were adopted, their installation facilitated by Bizzarrini's location of the inlet ports between the two camshafts. These horizontal carburetors made it possible to maintain a low bonnet line after the less complex wet sump lubrication had been decided upon.

The 350 GT's four camshafts and all-independent suspension meant that it up-staged the best which Ferrari offered at the time, though Maranello quickly responded with the 275 GTB announced the following year. Although de-tuned from its original, prototype incarnation, the Lamborghini V12 delivered 270bhp in production form, an output sufficient to propel the 350 GT to 150mph. Faster and more refined than any contemporary production Ferrari, the 350 GT also had excellent road manners, and this combination of virtues ensured that the fledgling marque enjoyed a reputation for excellence right from the start. Despite its novice status as an automobile manufacturer, Lamborghini soon dispelled any lingering doubts about its ability to compete with the world's best Grand Tourers.

Only a handful of cars had been completed by the end of 1964 but production soon picked up, and by the time of the replacement four-seater, 4.0-litre 400 GT's arrival in 1966, a total of approximately 120 (estimates differ) 350 GTs had left the factory at Sant'Agata Bolognese. After the four-seater's arrival, the original two-seater model continued to be available with either the 3.5-litre or 4.0-litre engine, and many of these so-called 'interim' cars incorporated features of the 400 GT 2+2 such as quad headlights and Lamborghini's own gearbox.

The first car to carry Ferrucio Lamborgini's 'charging bull' emblem was universally praised by the motoring press on both sides of the Atlantic: 'We were immediately astonished by the car's utter lack of temperament,' declared Car & Driver. 'It's much less demanding to drive than a Ferrari and, what's more, it seems to steer, stop, go and corner just about as well as our last Ferrari test car (275 GTS) but it's so smooth and so quiet!

'... we belted around the racetrack, lugged along in Sunday traffic, and went both fast and slow on all kinds of back country roads without experiencing any of the road shocks, harshness, steering deflections, or structural noises we'd have felt in a Ferrari or an Aston Martin.' Clearly, Ferrucio Lamborghini and his team had got it right first time.


THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This superbly restored Lamborghini 350 GT of the original and purest iteration of the now-legendary model was assembled by hand at Lamborghini's Sant'Agata Bolognese-based plant during the Spring of 1965 and delivered new to official Milanese Lamborghini agency 'Lamborcar' on the 3rd of June that year. One of the approximately 120 350 GT examples made, chassis no. 0205 featured Touring body number 17041 and engine number 0151, just as it appears today. Like many exotic Italian sports and GT cars of the era, 0205 made its way to the United States, where it is known to have been owned by a Mr. Chad Bolles of Leesville, South Carolina by the early 2000s. The Lamborghini later moved West to California, where Italian car enthusiasts Brian and Julie Gladish of Dana Point owned the car later that decade. In need of restoration, 0205 was entrusted with Costa Mesa, California-based noted Italian car restorer, Rod Drew and his specialists at Francorchamps of America, Inc (FAI), to undergo a full mechanical and cosmetic restoration.

Finished in 2013, FAI's high quality of work performed is evident on the 350 GT today, with the delicate aluminum Touring bodywork finished in the wonderful 'Grigio Metallizzato' fine grey metallic exterior color, and the cabin trimmed in 'Rosso' red leather over matching red carpets and black dashboard. The stunning chrome and brightwork remains in excellent condition, and Borrani wire wheels mounted with 3-eared knockoffs are shod on Pirelli tires. A period-correct ANSA exhaust is fitted, ensuring the right symphony out of the powerful, DOHC 3.5-Liter V12 engine. A tool roll is offered with the car. Inside the luxurious cabin, power windows are fitted, along with the classic Jaeger gauges featuring the green silk-screening and orange Lamborghini bull on the faces.
The engine compartment is stunningly detailed and trimmed with all the right decals, FIAMM air cleaners and yellow fuel hoses. The consignor - an esteemed collector of notable vintage Lamborghinis - has owned this outstanding 350 GT for nearly a decade and treated the superbly restored car to expert service and maintenance work by Driven Exotics of Gilroy, California. This Lamborghini-jewel was exhibited at the Quail Motorsports Gathering in 2013, at the 'Retrospect of Automobili Lamborghini Celebrating 50 Years' event, where it was featured as the oldest production example of Ferruccio Lamborghini's dream incarnated into one of the era's premier GT cars.

With so few made, the first-of-the-line 350 GT in the purest form today enjoys 'Holy Grail' status among Lamborghini aficionados. This superb, factory-correct restored example retains its
matching-numbers engine and innovative 'Superleggera' Touring bodywork, beautifully finished 'Grigio Metallizzato'. This must be among the best examples available anywhere and would complement any collection of sports or GT cars.




Footnotes

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