My Car Quest

February 23, 2024

The Lamborghini 350GTV Prototype Started It All For Lamborghini GT Cars

by Mike –

The Lamborghini 350GTV is the prototype design that led to the 350GT, Lamborghini’s first production model. The 350 GTV was introduced at the 1963 Turin Auto Show.

Lamborghini 350GTV

Lamborghini 350GTV at Pebble Beach in August 2013

The GTV was styled by Franco Scaglione and built by his firm, Carrozzeria Sargiotto of Turin, Italy. It is powered by the V12 engine originally designed by Giotto Bizzarrini but modified by Gian Paolo Dallara, I believe that Valentino Balboni told me this a couple of years ago.

The engine modification was needed because the Bizzarrini engine was a race engine and Lamborghini wanted an engine suitable for the street.

Lamborghini 350GTV

Lamborghini 350GTV

Lamborghini 350GT

Lamborghini 350GT

Lamborghini 350GT

I wonder how Lamborghini decided to use the front design of the 350GT instead of the more elegant 350GTV?

Lamborghini 350GT

Lamborghini 350GT

This then led to the special Espada. Good for Lamborghini and all exotic car lovers!

Factory photo Lamborghini Espada

Factory Photo – Lamborghini Espada



Lamborghini Miura logo

The Lamborghini 350GTV Prototype Started It All For Lamborghini GT Cars
Article Name
The Lamborghini 350GTV Prototype Started It All For Lamborghini GT Cars
The Lamborghini 350GTV prototype shown at Pebble Beach led to Lamborghini's first production car the 350GT.


  1. Herbert Putz says

    The 350GT is a stunning car but the 350GTV is even more awesome. Especially the front seems to be much more elegant than with the 350GT.

    all the best

    • The front of a car is the most important design area. IMHO the 350GTV prototype is way ahead of the 350GT.I want the 350GTV but not the 350GT it just looks wrong to me! Is everything else in the designs the same?

  2. I have a theory that the main reason that the gorgeous front-end treatment of the 350GTV didn’t make it into the production GT was simply because of the higher cost of the retractable lights. As a first model for Lamborghini, I am sure that costs were higher than expected, and to keep both the costs down and the final selling price down, the retractables were sacrificed. The Austin Healey Sprite underwent the same cost considerations with respect to the front-end treatment. Originally designed with retractable lights, the front end was gorgeous, looking similar to that of a Lotus Elan. When it came down to production, Austin believed the costs of the retractables were simply too high, and the headlights were simply mounted on the hood, transforming it into a “Bugeye” Sprite. I have no concrete proof of my theory with respect to the Lamborghini, but it would make sense, that to keep the final costs and selling price down, the retractable light system was sacrificed, resulting in a more conventional, rather than streamlined look. Both versions are gorgeous, they just give off a different aura or personality with the GTV looking elegant and sophisticated, and the GT looking tougher and more aggresive. Glenn in the Bronx, NY

  3. I read that the show car (GTV) body and engine had problems fitting together and Lamborghini wanted to show it at the Turin Auto Show so he used bricks where the engine would have been and kept the hood / bonnet shut for the show.

  4. CJM is correct. Robin Grant wanted to look under the bonnet, but Feruccio said he didn’t have the keys with him, and couldn’t open it. Robin went on to buy the very first Lambo.

  5. Paul harvey says

    I’ll have one of each please

  6. William M. Craig says

    “Islero” was a small bull but the bull that killed Manolete. In every Lamborghini is that bull but that bull will never gore “Ferrari”.

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