Lamborghini 350 GT

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Lamborghini 350 GT
Lamborghini 350 GT 1964.jpg
ManufacturerCarrozzeria Touring for
ProductionMay 1964–1966[2]
120 built[1]
AssemblyItaly: Sant'Agata[2]
DesignerCarrozzeria Touring
Body and chassis
ClassGrand tourer
Body style2-door coupé
LayoutFR layout
Engine3,464 cc (211.4 cu in) 60° aluminium V12 DOHC
Power output280 bhp (284 PS; 209 kW) and 325 N⋅m (240 lbf⋅ft) of torque
Transmission5-speed ZF manual[2]
Wheelbase2,550 mm (100.4 in)
Width1,730 mm (68.1 in)
Height1,220 mm (48.0 in)
Kerb weight1,450 kg (3,197 lb)
PredecessorLamborghini 350GTV
SuccessorLamborghini 400GT
1965 Lamborghini 350GT
1965 Lamborghini 350GT rear detail
1965 Lamborghini 350GT engine
1965 Lamborghini 350GT rear

The Lamborghini 350 GT was a grand tourer manufactured by Lamborghini between 1964 and 1966. It was the first production vehicle produced by Lamborghini.[1] The 350 GT was based on the earlier Lamborghini 350 GTV and was equipped with a 3.5 liter V12 engine and a 2-door coupé body by Carrozzeria Touring. The 350 GT debuted at the March 1964 Geneva Motor Show and production began the following May. The success of this model ensured the company's survival, establishing it as a viable competitor with rival manufacturer Ferrari.[3][2][4]


Initial design team[edit]

After the testing of his prototype Lamborghini engine in May 1963, then-lead engineer Giotto Bizzarrini left the company.[3] The following month Ferruccio Lamborghini tasked engineer Gian Paolo Dallara with developing a production version of Bizzarrini's 350GTV grand tourer.[4] Dallara was assisted in this project by engineer Paolo Stanzani and test driver Bob Wallace.[3]

Dallara and Stanzani quickly realized that the 350 GTV was not properly designed for mass production. They began working in parallel on two projects that would result in the production 350 GT. First, they began de-tuning the original Bizzarrini engine and redesigning the original Bizzarrini chassis for street use.[3] Second, they started readying the 350 GTV for its late-October 1963 Turin Auto Show debut, where Lamborghini hoped it would raise interest in the eventual production 350 GT.[5]

Redesigning the GTV Prototype[edit]

The 350 GT shared a number of features with the 350 GTV prototype, including a four-wheel independent suspension, the quad-cam 3.5 liter Lamborghini V12, and an aluminium body. A number of mechanical revisions and refinements were made due to the suggestions of the Neri and Bonacini racing development shop and test driver Bob Wallace. The body was redesigned by Carrozzeria Touring, retaining the original profile while cleaning up details of the design to result in a more cohesive appearance. Most noticeable was the replacement of the prototype's rotating hidden headlights with fixed headlights.[3]

As equipped to the 350 GTV, the Bizzarrini-designed 3.5 liter V12 was essentially a race motor, potentially developing 400 horsepower (300 kW) at 11,000rpm.[6] In order to fit his grand touring car with a smoother, more pleasant, longer-lasting engine that would be "good for 40,000 hard miles between services," Ferruccio had Dallara and Wallace de-tune a version of this prototype GTV motor for street use.[4][3] This included:

  • Replacing the elaborate and costly racing-style dry sump oiling system with a conventional wet sump system
  • Reducing the compression ratio from 11.0:1 or above to 9.4:1
  • Cutting back on the exotic materials specified for the crankshaft and other components to reduce cost
  • Relocating the distributors to more accessible positions on the fronts of the exhaust camshafts
  • Adoption of a single, very tall Lamborghini-made oil filter
  • Replacing the expensive 36 mm down-draft racing Weber carburetors with conventional, inexpensive side-draft 40 DCOE Webers. This resolved clearance problems seen in the GTV prototype and enabled the exceptionally low hood line Ferruccio desired.
  • Softening the cam profiles for smoother running during street driving

This first "detuned" L350 engine was tested on October 3, 1963.[7] The result—later fit in the 350 GT—was a very capable 270 bhp power plant that could reach 254 kilometres per hour (158 mph) in top form.[4][8]

While this 350 GT design work continued, the 350 GTV prototype was rushed to completion for the upcoming October 26 press meeting and the subsequent inauguration of the Turin Auto Show on the 30th.[3][5] The 350GTV was shown at the Turin Auto Show with the original Bizzarrini "racing" V-12 engine—with its downdraft webers, rear distributors, etc.—displayed alongside as it was not "adapted to the chassis."[5] The car was a static display with the suspension arms simply tack-welded in place and the engine not installed.[4][5] Lukewarm reaction to the car caused Ferruccio Lamborghini to postpone plans for immediate production and move on to introducing Dallara's new 350 GT design.[4]

In March 1964, only 5 months after the debut of the GTV in Turin, the "redesigned GTV"—now called the 350 GT—was debuted at the Geneva Auto Show.[3] It was greeted with sufficient enthusiasm that Ferruccio decided to proceed with production in May 1964.[3][4]

Manufacturing and assembly[edit]

The manufacture of the bodies was entrusted to Touring of Milan, who used their patented Superleggera method of construction to fix aluminium alloy panels directly to a tubular structure. The first 350 GT frame was fabricated by Neri and Bonacini, who continued to act as Lamborghini's chassis supplier until production of the 350 GT was underway, when the job was turned over to Marchesi.[9] Chassis and bodies were mated at Touring, which then delivered the complete assemblies—with even the bumpers in place—to the Lamborghini factory. The cars could be ordered in several colors.[10]

The first 350 GT chassis and body, delivered to the Lamborghini factory on March 9, 1964, was named No. 101 (Touring No. 17001). That same month No. 101 debuted at the Geneva show. The first customer delivery of a 350 GT was No. 104 (Touring No. 17004), delivered on July 31, 1964.[11] Production increased slowly. Despite the initial goal of building 10 cars a week, less than 25 cars were delivered to customers in 1964.[12]

Lamborghini produced one hundred-twenty 350 GTs before replacing it with the Lamborghini 400 GT in 1966.[1] Many 350 GTs were subsequently fit with the larger 4.0 litre engine used in the 400 GT, in order to take advantage of the later engine's greater power and better replacement parts availability.[12]


The 350 GT had an all-aluminium alloy V12 engine mated to a five-speed ZF manual transmission. It had an aluminium body, a Salisbury limited-slip differential, four-wheel independent suspension, and vacuum servo-assisted Girling disc brakes all round. The 350 GT was originally fitted with Pirelli Cinturato HS 205-section tyres.[3][12][2]

It had a wheelbase of 2,550 millimetres (100.4 in), with a front and rear axle track of 1,380 millimetres (54.3 in). It measured 4,640 millimetres (182.7 in) long by 1,730 millimetres (68.1 in) wide and was by 1,220 millimetres (48.0 in) high. With its kerb weight of 1,450 kilograms (3,197 lb), the 350 GT could accelerate from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour (0.0 to 62.1 mph) in 6.8 seconds, and from 0 to 100 miles per hour (0 to 161 km/h) in 16.3 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 254 kilometres per hour (158 mph).[1][2][8]


As was the case with the motor, Bizzarrini's GTV "racing" chassis design was the basis of Dallara's 350 GT "street" chassis. The GTV chassis was unsuitable for a street car due to its lightweight construction and small door openings obstructed by tubing. Dallara's redesign for the production 350 GT used larger 60 mm (2.4 in) square-section steel tubing in a central "floor", with front and rear cradles made from 50 mm (2.0 in) and 25 mm (0.98 in) tubing to support the engine, rear differential and suspension mountings. This design provided easy entry and exit through the doors, aided in the quietness of the car, and provided a solid platform on which to mount the body.[3][12][4]


The suspension was fully independent, with unequal-length wishbones and coilover shock absorbers. In the rear, the coilover assembly was located to the rear of the suspension wishbone mountings. The rear suspension wishbones were asymmetrical front-to-back, with an offset that brought the rear wheel hubs towards the spring mountings.[3] This arrangement provided increased resistance to torsion and improved stability during acceleration and braking.[12] Anti-roll bars were equipped on front and rear.[3]


Quality control of the early 3.5 L (3,464 cc) engines was very high. Each one underwent tests for 24 hours on a Schenk Walge dynamometer, being run for the first 12 hours under electric power, and then with gasoline at increasing speeds, producing 280 bhp (284 PS; 209 kW) at 6500 rpm and 325 N⋅m (240 lbf⋅ft) of torque at 4500 rpm.[13] A detailed analysis was made of its behavior before installation in the car for at least 500 kilometres of mixed-test running by Wallace.[3]

350 GTS[edit]

The Lamborghini 350 GTS was a convertible-roof spider version of the 350 GT, first shown at the November 1965 Turin Auto Show. Two were constructed by Carrozzeria Touring in 1965.[3][14] When folded down, the convertible top was designed to be concealed in the storage area behind the two seats.[12] Of the two originally built, chassis 0328 was finished in black with an emerald green interior, while chassis 0325 was painted gold with a brown interior.[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Lamborghini 350 GT - Technical Specifications - First Lamborghini Ever Built". Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Lamborghini 350, 400 & Islero". Retrieved 9 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Harvey, Chris (1982). The Lamborghinis: A Collector's Guide. London: Motor Racing. ISBN 0-900549-69-6. OCLC 59246925.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Lyons, Pete (1988). The Complete Book of Lamborghini. Foulis. ISBN 0-85429-735-9. OCLC 24752729.
  5. ^ a b c d Pasini, Stefano "Lamborghini 350 GTV." Rivista Lamborghini Review, 1991
  6. ^ Lyons, Pete (1988). "The Lamborghini V-12: A Japanese Connection?". excerpt from "The Complete Book of Lamborghini. Beekman House. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018.
  7. ^ "The First Lamborghini L350 Engine Test". Archived from the original on 14 February 2005.
  8. ^ a b LaChance, Dave (September 2008). "Riding The Bull". Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  9. ^ Dredge, Richard (18 July 2006). "The Ultimate Barn Find: 1966 Lamborghini 400GT Monza". Motor Trend. Retrieved 10 January 2010.
  10. ^ "Tonalità Originali Vettura L 350 GT". Archived from the original on 7 July 2011.
  11. ^ Smeyers, Mark (12 January 2016). "350 GT - the STORY". Retrieved 2020-04-17.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Marchet, Jean-François (1985). Lamborghini Espada & the 4-seaters : 350GT, 400GT, Islero, Jarama, Marzal, Espada. London: Osprey Pub. ISBN 0-85045-592-8. OCLC 12806744.
  13. ^ "350 GT specifications". Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  14. ^ Rive Box, Rob de la; Crump, Richard (1981). Lamborghini : the cars from Sant' Agata Bolognese. Crump, Richard. London: Osprey. ISBN 0-85045-408-5. OCLC 8431194.
  15. ^ Smeyers, Mark (11 May 2018). "350 GTS". Retrieved 2020-04-19.