10-11 March 2017
1965 Lamborghini 350 GT by Touring
- Chassis no. 0232
- Engine no. 0229
$600,000 - $750,000
- Offered from the collection of Adam Carolla
- An exceptionally well-preserved and unrestored example
- Featured in a Gucci commercial directed by and starring James Franco
- Fewer than 37,300 miles from new
- One of only 120 built
Enzo Ferrari unwittingly helped Ferruccio Lamborghini with his quest to make a sports car better than Ferrari. There had been a defection (known as the palace revolt) among the top ranks of Ferrari’s employees in 1961, and some first-rate designers were now working freelance. Lamborghini assembled a veritable dream team, which included designers Giotto Bizzarrini and Gian Paolo Dallara, development driver Bob Wallace, the racing shop of Neri & Bonanci in Modena, and Franco Scaglione, who created the renowned Alfa Romeo Bertone BAT cars. Between them, they developed the Lamborghini 350 GTV concept, which was the sensation of the Geneva Auto Show in May 1963.
With sharp aerodynamic lines, a low frontal profile with pop-headlights, and skinned with an aluminum body over a steel tube frame, the 350 GTV was stunning. It was powered by Bizzarini’s 3.4-liter DOHC V-12. Basically a racing engine, it was equipped with downdraft Weber carburetors, a dry sump, and it produced up to 400 horsepower at 11,000 rpm. The 350 GTV was later shown at the October 1963 Turin Auto Show, but its bare bones racing profile alarmed some observers who were concerned with how the power plant could fit under the low-line hood.
Lamborghini was convinced that the 350 GTV was too radical to be a usable road car, and he directed Wallace and Dallara to modify the design. The engine was detuned, the dry-sump setup was replaced with a wet sump, and the side-draft carburetors were fitted for a lower hood line. Compression was reduced from 11:1 to 9.4:1, and less radical cams were fitted. The result delivered 270 horsepower through a five-speed ZF gearbox, and it featured independent suspension and four-wheel power disc brakes to accomplish suitable high-speed cruising.
Touring of Milan built the bodies with their signature superleggera construction method and created elegant oval headlights to replace the complicated pop-up lights. When the production 350 GT debuted at the March 1964 Geneva Auto Show, it was to great acclaim and the first example was delivered to its buyer on 31 July 1964.
The 350 GT was an immediate success as a grand touring machine; it was quiet at speed, beautifully finished, and a capable performer, with a 0–60 time of 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 158 mph. The engines were dynamometer-tested for 24 hours before installation, first electronically, then under their own power. They were designed to withstand 40,000 miles of enthusiastic motoring, and the resulting engine proved refined and durable. In all, only 143 examples (including 23 interim cars) were built before the body was revised by Touring into the 400 GT 2+2, in 1966.
Offered from the distinguished Adam Carolla collection, this 350 GT is an unrestored example in exceptionally well-preserved condition, with fewer than 60,000 kilometers (37,300 miles) from new. The original cognac leather interior remains in remarkable condition and has an attractive light patina consistent with its careful use and low mileage. Importantly, this 350 GT is noted to retain its original engine. It was refinished some two decades ago, but the surface of the black paint was recently lightly wet sanded and professionally detailed, bringing out its deep shine.
While part of the Adam Carolla collection, it was driven regularly and was always well maintained. In 2014, Mr. Carolla supplied the car to James Franco for a Gucci commercial, shot at the famed Chateau Marmont in Hollywood. In the commercial, which he directed and starred in, James Franco is seen at the wheel of the 350 GT, heading down Mulholland Drive with a stunning model at his side. The car is in exemplary running and driving condition, having just recently been serviced by Franco’s European Sports Cars. Franco Barbuscia has established himself as one of the foremost Italian car experts in Southern California and also services Jay Leno’s Lamborghinis.
Although never restored, this 350 GT has always been well maintained and carefully used, making it one of the most attractive preserved examples remaining today.
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