Lamborghini 400 GT Spyder
Born a farmer, Ferruccio Lamborghini became a wealthy industrialist who, after reportedly being unsatisfied with the treatment he received from Ferrari, decided to create his own version of a grand touring road car. From this beginning, Lamborghini continues to produce some of the world’s greatest performance automobiles today. Flush with the success of the two-seater 350 GT, a more refined Lamborghini GT debuted at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show. In addition to the powerful 3,929 cc four-liter version of the V12 engine designed by Giotto Bizzarrini and Gian Paolo Dallara, Lamborghini also began to produce its own sophisticated gearboxes to replace the prior ZF units, while new Lamborghini-produced differentials replaced the previous Salisbury units.
Most importantly, however, a subtle reshaping of the body by Touring increased interior room, rendering the car a proper “2 + 2”, while deftly maintaining the distinctive shape of the original two-seaters. Bodies were now constructed of steel rather than aluminum and while the 400 GT 2 + 2 was 400 pounds heavier than the previous models, the additional 40 horsepower of the enlarged V12 engine more than compensated for this weight increase.
Already in receivership by the time the 400 GT 2 + 2 was introduced, Carrozzeria Touring ceased operations in 1968, making this Lamborghini the last major project of the venerable Milanese coachworks. In turn, 400 GT 2 + 2 body production continued at Carrozzeria Marazzi using the original tooling, which was owned by Lamborghini. Ultimately, production of the 400 GT ended in 1968, with just 247 examples of these very sophisticated automobiles built.
Although the stunning Miura, which debuted as a rolling chassis at Geneva alongside the 400 GT 2 + 2, stole headlines, it was the 400 GT 2 + 2 that truly met the needs of the marketplace and established Lamborghini as a constructor of fast, high-quality and well-appointed grand touring automobiles. However, there are always a number of select clients wanting something even more special, with the financial means to pay for it. As a result, a very small number of special-bodied 400 GTs, including the beautiful and highly coveted Spyder, were created outside of the factory.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona.
320 bhp, 3,929cc V12 engine with dual overhead camshafts, six Weber 40 DCOE dual-choke carburetors, five-speed manual gearbox, four-wheel independent suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 99.5".
Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel