Lamborghini 350 GT + More Power
Lamborghini launched the first 400 GT in 1966. This car was known as either the 400 GT or the 400 GT Interim. The car was basically a version of the older Lamborghini 350 GT with a bigger and more powerful V12 engine.
The engineers at Lamborghini increased the stroke from 77 to 82 for a total displacement of 3929cc, and this brought over power from around 270 to 320 bhp at 6500 rpm. Lamborghini offered this larger 4-litre engine in the 350 GT as an option, which become the 400 GT model.
Only 23 versions of the 400 GT were made. They were clearly an interim stop gap between the 350 GT and 400 GT 2+2. As such features like the twin headlights and front bumper overriders were first fitted to this model.
The 400 GT 2+2, A True 4-Seater
In 1966 Lamborghini prepared a larger version of the 350 and 400 GT called the 2+2 that made space for a rear seat and more overall interior space. This extra room and seating space followed Lamborghini’s goal to make a user-friendly grand tourer at the highest level. He employed some of the best in the business to take on the well-established and well-raced Ferraris.
This new model accommodated a rear set of seats that couldn’t fit in the original concept designs of the 350 GTV. Touring had to pay considerable attention to increasing interior space without losing the 350 GT’s elegant proportions. To do this, they retained the exact same front windscreen, but lowered the floorpan and steched the entire body slightly taller. Extra height comes from higher beltline and the 400 GT is noticeably taller when examining the extra space from the top of the front wheel arch to the body crease. The result is a car that is 2.6 inches higher but very similar in proportion to the 350 GT.
Probably the most tell-tale difference between the 350 GT and 400 2+2 is the paired headlights that replaced the early sculpted units. These were necessary to comply with American safety regulations. Other detail differences include an extra front wiper and new, more basic dashboard gauges. Some cars have been modified to mimic the early design traits.
To save production costs and increase durability, bodies were changed from aluminum to steel. This meant that the new model was much heavier than the outgoing 350 GT.
Attached the new V12 was a Lamborghini-designed five-speed transmission. This replaced the old ZF unit and was thought to make less noise with and be easier to use with Porsche syncro rings on all five gears. The rear Salisbury differential was also replanced by a Lamborghini unit. Chassis details remained almost identical. Only the spring and shock rates were changed to cope with the increased weight of the larger steel body.
The 400 GT 2+2 was released in March at the Geneva Motor Show. It was direction competition to the Ferrari 330 GT, Jaguar E-Type 2+2 and the Maserati Sebring 3500 GTIS.
After two years of production the 400 GT out-produced the 350 by a factor of two. Just under 250 examples were made. Two specially-bodied 2+2s were made. One more-angular car called the Flying Star II by Touring and a second more outrageous car by Neri & Bonacini called the Monza 400.