For a man that used to build tractors, a concept car like 350GTV was a big step forward. Ferruccio Lamborghini created Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in 1963 and the 350GTV was the first prototype he made. The concept previewed the the later 350 GT, the first car ever made by Lamborghini.
You will ask why a tractor constructor decided to move on supercar? It seems that Ferruccio - a very wealthy man at that time - had some problems with his personal Ferrari. When trying to talk with Enzo Ferrari he received an answer he really didn’t liked: "You should stick with building tractors and let me concern about the cars." You can imagine how angry Ferruccio was, so he decided to create his own dream car. And we do not want to be means, but we might say it would have been better for Enzo Ferrari to pay a little attention to him at that moment!
The 350GTV - a prototype built in only one unit - was built at the tractor factory at Cento because the one in Sant’Agatha was not ready yet. The car made its first public appearance at the 1963 Turin Auto Show.
The concept was designed by Franco Scaglione and built by Giorgio Neri and Luciano Bonacini. It was finished in a bright metallic blue and featured a black leather interior.
The 350 GTV was supposed to use a V12 engine designed by by Giotto Bizzarrini (that previously worked for Ferrari and created unique cars like Ferrari 250 GTO). We are saying "was supposed to" because the engine didn’t fit under the hood (due to the vertical carburetors) and at the Turin show it was presented next to the car, while under the hood the company placed a cradle of ceramic tiles.
At its first dino test the engine delivered 350 hp at 8000 rpm, but for the first car where it was used - the 350GT - it was detuned to "only" 270 hp. The 3.5 litre engine was fitted in a Scaglione bodied steel tubed chassis and mated to a ZF gearbox.
The only 350 GTV ever build has been recently restored and the chassis was altered to fit the engine; in the same time the blue paint was replaced by a metallic green paintjob. The car is currently on display at the official Lamborghini museum in Sant’Agatha.