Lamborghinis to Light up London Concours this Summer
London Concours, presented by Montres Breguet, has announced that its 2023 event will celebrate the 60th anniversary of arguably the most exotic and evocative brand of all: Lamborghini. This Summer’s show will pick out the rarest and most significant V12-engined examples from the Sant’Agata-based marque’s illustrious back catalogue. It will be a jaw-dropping celebration of consistently avantgarde supercar design and fearsome performance. Running from June 6th – 8th at the Honourable Artillery Company, the event will again bring the world’s most spectacular supercars and classics together for the capital’s ultimate automotive summer garden party.
The fabulous Lamborghini display will include cars such as the model that started it all for Lamborghini, its first production car: the supremely elegant 350 GT. Introduced at the 1964 Geneva motor show, the 350 GT was created to take the fight to the glamorous Grand Touring cars being produced by Ferrari. The 350 GT was up to the task, with a streamlined body by Touring and a sweet, Bizzarrini designed all-aluminium 3.5-litre V12 – essentially a de-tuned race motor – sending a healthy 280 bhp through a 5-speed ZF manual transmission to the rear wheels. Each creation was tested over hundreds of miles before delivery, often at high speeds on the autostrada, where the test drivers would thoroughly ‘exercise’ the 158 mph machines. Just 120 350 GTs were built before production ceased in 1966. An exceptionally rare motor car, and one of real significance in the story of this great automotive brand.
For many the first supercar, and certainly one of the most impactful, the revolutionary Miura was introduced in 1966, shocking the world with its futuristic, impossibly low-slung, mid-engined shape. Designed by Marcello Gandini at Bertone, the sub-1300kg Miura featured a transverse, mid-mounted 3.9-litre V12, with 345bhp in its standard ‘P400’ guise, giving the slippery machine an impressive top speed of 174mph. A more sporting car than the longer-legged 350 GT, the Miura was designed by Lamborghini’s engineers to be as at home on the road as it was on the circuit. Development continued over the 764-car production run, culminating in the wild, high-performance Jota models, which produced 440bhp at a giddy 8,800rpm – quite something for the early ‘70s. With jaw-dropping style and enthralling performance the Miura seduced the great and the good, bought in period by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, and the Shah of Iran – owners’ club meets would have been colourful affairs. A wild, evocative supercar that continues to astound nearly 60 years on from its launch.
Another star to look out for is arguably the ultimate poster car: the Lamborghini Countach, which took pride of place of bedroom walls around the world with its outlandish wedge design and scissor doors. Introduced in 1974 as the futuristic, almost dainty LP400, the Countach was again the work of the visionary designers at Bertone. It remained in production for 16 years, gaining wings and other aerodynamic adornments along the way, culminating in the ‘25th Anniversary’ model, a 25th Birthday present from Lamborghini to itself. The run out-special was designed by a certain Horacio Pagani, and with a 5.2-litre V12, was capable of 183mph flat out. Already a legend when the last of the 1,983 examples rolled off the production line in 1990, the Countach’s standing has only grown in recent years.
The Countach was replaced that same year by a car that would see Lamborghini through into a new, modern era: the Diablo – Spanish for ‘Devil’. The legendary Gandini – who penned the Miura – again played a role in the styling of the car, which was introduced with a 5.7-litre, 485 bhp V12, driving through an open-gated 5-speed manual ‘box. The Diablo, as with its predecessors, was honed and evolved over the course of its model life, with revered performance iterations including the SV and stripped out, fearsome 595 bhp SE30 Jota. Following Audi’s acquisition of the company in 1998, the Diablo’s rough edges were smoothed over, to create the more modern 6.0 VT and 6.0 VT SE, with a comprehensive re-design led by Luc Donckerwolke. A last hurrah for 20th Century Lamborghinis, cars dripping with character and laced with menace.
The decidedly old-school Diablo was replaced in 2002 by the Murciélago, the first new model introduced under the ownership of Audi: the car to take the storied brand into the 21st century. Marking the start of a new design chapter, the Murciélago was more curvaceous than the Diablo and Countach that preceded it, but retained the distinct, Lamborghini cab-forward, wedge-like silhouette. A mighty mid-mounted V12 sent power to all four wheels, via either a six-speed manual or six-speed ‘e-gear’ paddle-shift ‘box – the latter a first for the brand. The Murciélago’s development culminated in the wing adorned LP670 SV. 100kg lighter than the ‘conventional’ LP640, and with 30 additional horsepower from its howling V12, it offered pure supercar theatre – a fitting final flourish for a model that’s increasingly sought-after by collectors.
This is just a taste of what to expect from this June’s event, which will feature a spectacular range of machinery from a range of exotic marques. Further class announcements will follow in the coming weeks and months, as we build towards the 7th edition of this unmissable event.