MYTH BUSTER

De­bunk­ing the most com­mon old wives’ tales

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Giles Chap­man

1THIS WAS THE FIRST LAM­BORGH­INI

Not quite. It was the first Lam­borgh­ini pro­duc­tion car. The very first con­cept for a Fer­rari-ri­valling su­per-GT, the 350 GTV show car, had been shown in 1963, a full year be­fore the 350 GT went on sale. But nor was that the first Lam­borgh­ini ve­hi­cle. Fer­ruc­cio Lam­borgh­ini was from a farm­ing back­ground, and he in­tro­duced his first trac­tor in 1948. It was a roar­ing suc­cess in post-war Italy, and helped him to be­come a mil­lion­aire in­dus­tri­al­ist.

2 LAM­BORGH­INI SOUGHT RE­VENGE

The story goes that Lam­borgh­ini had the au­dac­ity to com­plain about the fac­tory ser­vice he re­ceived for one of his many Fer­raris, that his con­cerns were air­ily dis­missed, and that he vowed to seek vengeance by build­ing a su­pe­rior car him­self. He cer­tainly did set out to com­pete with the likes of Fer­rari, and he knew his stuff, hav­ing driven the 1948 Mille Miglia in his own Fiat-en­gined sports car, and then owned ev­ery­thing from a Merc 300SL to a Jaguar E-type. But this was a cool and cal­cu­lated busi­ness de­ci­sion, pos­si­bly en­tered into af­ter his ap­pli­ca­tion to be­come a he­li­copter man­u­fac­turer was ve­toed by the Ital­ian Gov­ern­ment.

3 THIS WAS THE FIRST OF THE LAM­BORGH­INI SUPERCARS

The 350 GT fea­tures a fan­tas­tic, quad-cam V12 en­gine that was the work of ex-Fer­rari engi­neer Giotto Biz­zarrini, while the chas­sis with all-round in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion was cre­ated by Gian­paolo Dal­lara, an­other de­signer famed for his rac­ing car ex­per­tise. How­ever, while Fer­ruc­cio Lam­borgh­ini wanted ul­tra-high per­for­mance, he also loved his com­fort – he liked lux­ury, re­li­a­bil­ity and space in a car that re­ally was all about ‘grand tour­ing’. Af­ter just 132 350 GTs had been made, Lam­borgh­ini re­placed it with the 400 GT that was a 2+2. Later, while his team de­vised ex­treme cars like the Miura and Coun­tach, Fer­ruc­cio made sure there was some­thing us­able on of­fer, such as the Islero and Es­pada, for rich, mid­dle-aged ty­coons like him­self.

LAM­BORGH­INI 350GT

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