The 350 GT was Lamborghini\’s first production car. It was launched in March, \’64. Touring – Italian coachbuilders extraordinaire – were tasked with styling it. Headquartered in Milan, Touring\’s brief was based on the Lamborghini 350 GTV prototype. Bodywork comprised alloy panels. They were hung on a Superleggera steel frame. The 350 GT\’s light body was key to its top speed of 152mph. The solid round-tube chassis was supported by coil spring and tubular wishbone suspension. Girling disc brakes stopped the plot.
Gian Paulo Dallara – alongside Giotto Bizzarini – engineered the GT. Power was supplied by the trusty Lamborghini V12. The crankshaft of the quad-cam 60° motor was machined from a single billet. 280bhp was duly produced. The V12 was fed by side-draught carburettors. That, in turn, led to a rakishly low bonnet line. Capacity was 3,464cc. The 5-speed transmission – and steering box – were by ZF. The rear diff\’ was by Salisbury. Fast, smooth and tractable, the 350 GT handled superbly. So – with both the form and function of their first model sorted – it seemed Lamborghini was off to a flyer!
The 350 GT was eminently user-friendly. There was, for example, a synchro-mesh reverse gear. The cabin was a chic and comfortable place to be. Just 143 cars were built. Exclusivity, then, was part of the package. Of course – in terms of sheer glamour – the 350 GT falls short of Lamborghini\’s supercars. But – as an opening sports car shot – it had all the allure and panache that would become so synonymous with the marque.