The Lamborghini Story

told through the cars they built


Lamborghini's 350 GT had been considered by many independent experts to be a technically superior car to the equivalent Ferraris but it still hadn't sold terribly well. Ferrari of course was an extremely well-known make and the company's popularity was bolstered by it's many racing successes. Ferruccio Lamborghini didn't want to go down that route though. Enzo Ferrari may have looked upon his car sales as being a way of subsidising his racing but Ferruccio saw it as a waste of money and resources.

He didn't want to sell racing cars disguised as road cars. He wanted to sell road cars with the performance of racing cars!

So how was he going to sell more of his cars? He decided he wanted to leave the racing models to Ferrari and concentrate on Grand Tourers. And why not start with his very excellence 350 GT?

An attempt had been made to squeeze an extra seat into this car but it hadn't really been successful. It would take one very small person or a little bit of luggage. So, at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show, Lamborghini produced their new four litre car, the 400 GT.

This looked very much like the 350 GT until a closer examination showed that on most of them the body was now in steel and it had a longer wheelbase. The enlarged engine now gave 320 brake horsepower, with a claimed maximum speed of 156 mph and it could accelerate from nought to 60 in 7.5 seconds.

After just 23 of these had been built however it was recognised that despite the longer wheelbase the rear seating was still exceedingly cramped and a larger body shape was developed that allowed it to be turned into a true 2+2; in fact for the average passengers the backseats were quite comfortable.

At the same time a home produced gearbox was fitted which provided synchromesh on all gears, which greatly improve the transmission.

In all 247 of the four litre 2+2s were sold, one of them to Beatles member Paul McCartney. Okay this was an improvement on the sales figures of the 350 still nowhere near that huge numbers that Lamborghini had originally hoped for.