1967 Lamborghini 400 GT Interim
Lot 59 | Monterey Jet Center Auction | Estimate $400,000 - $500,000
Chassis No. 0481
Engine No. 0511
Ferruccio Lamborghini gave Ferrari serious new competition with the introduction of the 350 GT in March of 1964. His engineering team included stalwarts Gian Paolo Dallara, and Paolo Stanzani with the recently arrived New Zealander Bob Wallace joining the team towards the end of 1963 to contribute to the road test development of the first car.
Engine design was entrusted to Chief Engineer Giotto Bizzarrini who, having just completed his tenure at Ferrari where he led the 250 GTO project, designed a new 270 hp 3.5-liter DOHC V12 with power to spare. Dallara's chassis was an elegant tubular frame with an independent rear suspension - a market rarity. Carrozzeria Touring fabricated a sensational aluminum-alloy Superleggera body, with production contracted to Marazzi. The body style was certainly different from those of Ferrari and Maserati; its lines were sensuous and the entire package was undeniably distinctive. With a top speed in excess of 150 mph, the new car earned rave reviews for its performance and excellent handling.
Two years later the 350GT evolved into the 400 GT 2+2 with the addition of rear seating and subtle styling alterations. Virtually every panel was revised and its four headlights quickly differentiated it from its predecessor. Of the myriad changes made, the most important was enlarging the Bizzarrini V12 from 3.5 to 4.0 liters with a corresponding horsepower increase to 320. A five-speed gearbox designed by Lamborghini chief engineer Gian Paolo Dallara replaced the earlier ZF-derived gearbox. Just 242 were produced between 1966 and 1968.
This car, referred to as an “Interim”, is one of just 23 first series 400 GTs marrying the early two-seater bodywork of the 350 GT with the more powerful 4.0-liter V12. Chassis 0481 is a US-delivery example originally delivered to New York in the colors of Azzurro Fiat over Black upholstery. According to the International Lamborghini Register it appears to have been dispatched to California right away. By the late 1990s, the Interim resided with Craig Davis of Pebble Beach, California, a noted collector of postwar European sports cars. The Lamborghini would pass through a handful of subsequent owners prior to joining the Fleischman Collection in June 2010.
Upon acquisition, preeminent Lamborghini specialists Bobileff Motorcar Company of San Diego, California were commissioned to conduct a thorough inspection. It was determined that a prior restoration could be improved upon, and the decision was made to commit to a bare-metal respray and mechanical freshening. As part of this work, the interior was reupholstered in proper and sumptuous cognac leather, while the exterior was refinished in the gorgeous, understated factory color of Grigio Saint Vincent. Inside the cabin, its Jaeger gauges are clear and crisp while a beautiful wood rimmed Nardi steering wheel greets the driver. Borrani wire wheels complement the Touring body style that is so uniquely early Lamborghini.
Documentation on file between 1997 and 2019 includes photos of the body refresh along with maintenance and repair records. Most recently the file shows a 2019 invoice from Foreign Sport Technician of Santa Monica, California, who were entrusted to renew all fluids, with leak repairs made to transmission and the coolant tank. This expertly restored V12 thoroughbred from the Fleischman Collection offers its driver exclusivity in Lamborghini enthusiast circles as one of only 23 Interim 400 GT examples, and represents the pinnacle of 1960s Italian style.