The origin of the Lamborghini 400 GT Monza
In 1963, the 350-GTV was introduced as the 1st prototype by a new Italian company, Lamborghini. Giotto Bizzarrini designed a race-type tubular frame chassis and a V-12 engine for it which was built by Neri & Bonacini. Established by Giorgio Neri & Luciano Bonacini in Modena, and known as Nembo, it was a coachbuilding and mechanic workshop generally working on race cars for Maserati and Ferrari, also accepting orders from private clients.
They continued their cooperation with Lamborghini, making the chassis for the 1st production model, the 350-GT, but gave it up later due to the increase in the orders for production. This was not the end.
This exotic one-off was hand-built on a 350-GT chassis, no. 01030, and equipped with the stronger engine of the later model, 400-GT; guess by who, Neri & Bonacini. In a recent interview with Octane magazine, Giorgio Neri mentioned that the car was built earlier in 1963 or 4, for an American commissioner, probably to race at Le Mans, but it never happened due to the homologation rules. What we know is that the very car we see today was finished by June 1966.
Back to the Barcelona Motor Show, a wealthy Spanish sportsman and race driver falls in love with the Lamborghini 400 GT Monza and succeeds in the negotiations to buy it.
The car, then badged as Jarama after its new home by the owner, had covered just 7136 km by 1970, when it was left in his garage and maybe forgotten.
For a long time after, many journalists and enthusiasts had been looking for the Lamborghini 400 GT Monza and there have been some rumors about its whereabouts. It was missing until 1996, when Bonhams, which was known as Brooks then, announced that they have found the missing gem in its totally original condition. The owner had passed away a short while before and it took 9 years until his family decided to sell it.
It was auctioned at Bonhams’ London Olympia sale on December 5, 2005 and sold at for $315,000 buyer’s premium included.
As mentioned, the Lamborghini 400 GT Monza was built on a 350-GT chassis which was a redesigned production format of the 350-GTV’s race chassis.
Designed by Gian Paolo Dallara and Paolo Stanzani, it had a tubular steel frame structure with square tubing for the central floor and round tube for its superstructure. For the suspension, it used all-independent, double wishbones with coil springs over telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bar both in the front and rear. It also used 4 wheel Girling disk brakes.
It was powered by a front-mounted 400-GT model engine which was a naturally aspirated all-aluminum block V-12 @ 60°, wet-sump DOHC with 2valves/cyl, with a bore/stroke ratio of 82/62mm, a compression ratio of 10.2:1 and a total displacement of 3929cc. Fed by 6 twin-choke Weber 40 DCOE 2 carburetors, it was able to produce 320 bhp @ 6500 rpm and 375 Nm @ 4500 rpm of power & torque respectively which was delivered through a 5-speed ZF manual gearbox and a Salisburry limited slip differential to the rear wheels and able to propel the car to a top speed of around 250 km/h.