Date posted : May 3. 2000
In 1967, Ferruccio Lamborghini had two steady sellers on the market, the 400 GT and the P400 Miura, but what he lacked was a full four-seater. He had a body designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone. The car was put on a lengthened Miura chassis, it was designated the TP200 Marzal.
This car was powered by half a Miura engine, the V-12 was cut in half lengthwise, resulting in a two-litre, in-line six, and was mounted transversely in the rear.
All this weight in the rear probably destroyed the road holding, but that was a problem to be dealt with once the car was being tested prior to production. The body built by Bertone was too controversial for Ferruccio's taste, it used no less than 49 Sq.ft. of glass, even the lower part of the upward swinging gullwing doors were glass-filled. This glass was built in collaboration with the Belgian Glaverbel company, but it was too excessive for even the most eccentric tastes, and the late Ferruccio didn't like it at all.
However, Bertone thought it could be produced and even built the chassis in his own plant to insure himself of the rigidity to deal with all that glass.
The interior of the car was finished in a bright-silver leather upholstery, and provided space for up to four adults. Thanks to the large gullwing doors (in true Mercedes 300SL style), the entry to both the front and rear seats was very easy.
The Marzal was the epitome of the 'Hexagonitis'-period, through which Bertone was going at that time, everything that was designed at his studio's had to resemble, one way or another, with an hexagon.
Ferruccio couldn't be convinced about this car, and it remained strictly a one-off unit, that was displayed on various Auto shows on Bertone's or Lamborghini's stand.
But the Marzal really became known to the world when it was used by Rainer and Grace of Monaco to open the track at the 1967 Grand Prix of Monaco, some people even claimed this was the only use for this car, in parades.
The Marzal made a second public appearance at the 1996 Concours Italiano in Monterey, California to celebrate Carrozzeria Bertone, the Athon was also exhibited at this time.
Today the Marzal has a prominent place in Ferruccio's little museum on the shores of Lake Trasmine, although some sources state the Marzal is located in the Bertone Design Study museum.
Text © Mark Smeyers - www.lambocars.com
Printed from www.lambocars.com/prototypes/lamborghini_marzal.html on December 5. 2020