Lamborghini 350 Gt
The Lamborghini 350 GT is the first sports car manufactured by Lamborghini in 1964 and produced less exclusively. The first model was revealed in March 1964 at the Geneva Auto Show and was well received by the public. Because of its success Lamborghini gained a well deserved place on the sports car market becoming a fierce competitor of all the Ferrari cars.
The prototype of this Lamborghini’s engine was designed by Giotto Bizzarini and it was a 3.5 liters V12 engine producing 400 horsepower. It was perfect for racing. But after testing the prototype, Bizzarini left the Lamborghini team. That’s why Ferruccio Lamborghini assigned Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani to develop a production version of the Lamborghini 350 GT.
To face this challenge, the engineers redesigned the original chassis for street use by making some changes on the original engine. These changes included the replacing of the expensive and sophisticated dry sump oiling system with a more conventional wet sump oil pan and the remounting of the distributors in more accessible positions. The engineers also chose to use a single oil filter and more conventional materials.
The car suffered some changes when it came to the exterior design and the engineering components as well. For this purpose, the new car rounded off the angular body lines and replaced the hidden headlamps with exposed and “frogeye” oval lights. The engine used on this car was a V12 equipped with six horizontal Weber carburetors and could produce 280 horsepower being able to reach 100 km in only 6.8 seconds. The Lamborghini 350 GT was equipped with a four wheel independent suspension, a five speed ZF manual transmission and vacuum servo-assisted Girling disc brakes. The result was the successful reveal at the Geneva show.
Over the years, the Lamborghini 350GT suffered a lot of revisions and interior redesigns. The car received new fixed headlights that replaced the pop-up versions of the first model and twin-barrel side-draught carburetors (the Weber 40 DCOE 2) that reduced the engine’s height. The chassis was improved by Dallara getting stronger by using square-section tubing. As a result entering and exiting in/out of the car became easier while inside the car the level of noise was reduced. Along with the chassis, the platform used for the Lamborghini 350GT was modified as well, becoming much solid, a little similar with the one equipping the Aston Martin DB4.
The new suspension was entirely independent with wishbones of unequal length and concentric coil spring dumpers. To improve the handling and to make sure the car will endure the braking torque, Lamborghini used a combination of offset rear suspension wishbones and spring mountings. The body was manufactured by the Touring of Milan which fixed the aluminum alloy panels directly on the tubular structure and later even the chassis was made there. After the manufacture of the body and the chassis, these components were sent to the Lamborghini factory which completed the assemblies.
In 1964 Lamborghini manufactured only 13 units of this Lamborghini 350GT, but the demand increased rapidly as the people found out about the incredible engine of the 350GT and its high performance. In only two years the production reached 120 units.
The 350GT car was replaced in 1966 by the Lamborghini 400GT, a larger model. In that time frame a Lamborghini 350 GT was retailed for $15,600 (around $111,905 today).
That’s truly a good start for any car manufacturer. The Lamborghini 350 GT can be considered without a doubt the beginning of a great era for the Lamborghini Company that addresses its products to buyers interested in sports car.
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