1967 Lamborghini 400GT 2+2 by Touring
s/n 0622, Engine no. 0570
Red with Arancia Leather
Legends often begin with impassioned exchanges and fiery pronouncements. Whether true or simply the lore of Italian operatic embellishment, Ferruccio Lamborghini embarked on a journey to build his own sports car, enraged by a disagreement with Enzo Ferrari over the reliability of his personal Ferrari. Familiar with industry, Lamborghini was soon producing a formidable sports car that was in many ways better built, more sophisticated, and performed better than contemporary Ferraris. Technical specifications surprised the automotive press, with statistics that included a quad cam V-12, four wheel independent suspension, disc brakes, and a five-speed gearbox, first supplied by ZF, and later built in house by Lamborghini. All this served customers very well, with the added benefit of making Ferrari’s single cam engines, live rear axles, and four-speed gearboxes appear rather dated. The contemporary press lauded Lamborghini’s build quality, design, and performance revealing that the 350GT and 400GT were more luxurious and less demanding to drive than rival Ferraris. All this set Lamborghini on a path to decades of performance superlatives in the form of their offerings – and it all began with this series.
Introduced at the 1966 Geneva Auto Show, the Lamborghini 400 GT was an evolution of the company’s first model, the 350 GT. The new name signified the increased engine size to four liters, while the greater overall length accommodated four seats, resulting in the 2+2 configuration – combining performance and elegance in a highly capable road car. This example retains the matching-numbers 3,929 CC DOHC 60º alloy V-12 engine, fed by six Weber 40 DCOE carburetors, delivering a whopping 320 bhp at 6500. The 5 speed manual gearbox propelled the car to astonishing high speeds while 4 wheel Girling disc brakes performed the stopping duties.
This car (Chassis #0622) was delivered in 1967 as one of only 247 examples built prior to the end of this seminal model run. Originally finished in the stunning factory color, Grigio Saint-Vincent, the car was imported to the US and subsequently purchased by Southern California custom motorcycle builder Joe “Alphabet” Skrzyniarz. After passing through an intermediary owner for about three years, the Lamborghini was sold in the late 1980s to James Simkins of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, accumulating very few miles in the 15-year period. Noted Automotive Hall of Fame journalist, former Petersen Museum Director, and museum curator Ken Gross purchased the car in 1989, immediately retaining local Philadelphia marque expert Mike Tillson to refresh the brakes and electrical system to make the car an enjoyable weekend driver.
Mr. Gross recalls:
“When I bought the car in 1989, it had very low mileage, about 8500 miles. I drove it quite a bit and really enjoyed it a great deal. The 400GT was always very reliable, comfortable and fast. Its predecessor was a 275GTB6C and to be honest, the Lamborghini was a more comfortable Grand Tourer. You could have a conversation at 70-mph with the windows down and not yell. It was so aerodynamically perfect and drove like a dream.”
Mr. Gross sold the car in 1994 to James Mullen of Massachusetts, a former Mazda factory driver, winner of the 1983 12 Hours of Sebring, and dedicated collector of vintage cars. Mr. Mullen entrusted the 400 GT to his personal mechanic, Jay Dow, who continued to service the car fastidiously for the next 22 years, even during his more recent employment at the renowned restoration house, Paul Russell and Company. In 2011, the car was exhibited at the Saratoga Automobile Museum, Forza Italia! exhibit, Saratoga Springs, New York. In 2015 Mr. Dow upgraded several of the hardware components for improved aesthetics, and performed a comprehensive engine rebuild to a high aesthetic and mechanical standard. The suspension was also refreshed, a new stainless steel exhaust system was installed, and new Michelin tires mounted. Today, this beautifully maintained 400 GT has accrued less than 200 miles since the rebuilt engine, and currently displays 13,265 miles, a figure believed to be original, and supported by previous owners.
Today this 400GT presents handsomely, with gentle aging, reasonably good quality paint and finishes overall that hint at casual use. The chrome is nicely sorted while the glass, trim, and lighting are all in very good condition overall, save for one minor chip and crack at the bottom corner of the windscreen. All closures are nicely aligned to the sound Superleggera body. The Borrani wire wheels and near new Michelin tires are in very good condition with no significant blemishes or wear to the tread. All emblems and script are in very nice condition with nice settled patina to the various enameling. The interior is very well done with fantastic instruments exhibiting excellent color and finish, proper and beautiful wood steering wheel, a properly preserved dashpad, and correct interior trim pieces. The leather surfaces are supple, with just a hint of patina, also evident in the carpeting. The overall interior is composed and highly-appointed for a car of this period.
One of the finest features of this handsome car is the engine compartment. The engine bay is beautifully finished as one might expect from the expert artisan and technician, Jay Dow. Finishes are faithfully executed, with properly light-textured black cam covers, correctly finished factory air boxes, and of course, the satin aluminum castings of the 6 Weber carburetors. All hoses and lines are properly prepared both for accuracy and mechanical confidence. The trunk is properly lined and houses a correct Borrani spare tire. The undercarriage is nicely preserved showing no evidence of structural damage, honestly depicting low miles, revealing factory finishes with some wear as one might expect would accumulate over the past half century.
Once behind the wheel, one begins to understand the draw to this amazing upstart as Lamborghini took on the rival giant, Ferrari. The focus was clearly on building a superb road-going car, a fact they clearly accomplished, but in this specific example, the resultant excellence is even more astonishing once the engine fires up and first gear is engaged. The car eases smoothly into gear and gradually spools up with solid, tight and well-balanced acceleration. There is no looseness whatsoever through the gears and a great sense of confidence is immediately experienced both up and downshifting as one runs the rev range on this expertly balanced motor and gearbox. The wonderful carburetion and induction sounds resonate delightfully through the cabin as the engine delivers immense power through all gears. Tall drivers will be especially pleased with the ergonomics in the 400GT both in the seating position and in the expansive glass which allows for panoramic views of traffic in all areas. In addition to the acceleration, cornering and braking remind even the most ardent Ferrari enthusiasts that against its market competitor, the 330 GTC, the engine is technically more sophisticated, and overall ergonomics far surpassing the prancing horse.
Documentation from the previous owner including records and receipts for service, a workshop manual, and various magazines are included with this wonderful 400GT.
Long regarded as one of the finest among performance brands, Lamborghini will continue to shock rivals into the coming decades. But the 400GT will always remain as the very gauntlet thrown down to an astonished and delighted motorsports public. This 400GT will serve the new owner with great driving rewards, superb history, and remain an invitation for further curatorial expertise either as a preserved artifact of its history or returned to visual perfection via a future restoration. Exceptionally well-sorted, properly maintained for decades by dedicated enthusiasts and marque specialists, Lamborghini 400GT #0622 serves as a lasting reminder of the superb challenge that forced rival Ferrari and other performance brands to recognize the bull had arrived with a ferocity and intensity only Lamborghini could deliver.
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