Lamborghini Giugiaro concept

If you had asked us just a few days ago if Giorgetto Giugiaro was behind the design of any production Lamborghini, we probably would have answered, Sure, he must have...right? Wrong. Because none of Lamborghini's road cars ever bore the famed designer's lines.

Bertone styled a few, but those only came years after Giugiaro left for Ghia and then went independent with ItalDesign. Over the course of his later career, he did a couple of design studies for the Raging Bull marque – like the Marco Polo of 1982 and the 1995 Cala concept. But though the latter, it could be claimed, eventually lead to the Gallardo (with a very different design), neither of these ever reached production. But this one almost did. Or at least maybe it should have.

Back in the early 1960s, Lamborghini was still making tractors. But word on the street was that old Ferruccio was bent on showing up Enzo Ferrari with a sportscar of his own. So a number of design houses started submitting proposals, unsolicited. Pininfarina, Ghia, Vignale and Michelotti were among those who vied for the contract, but Carrozzeria Touring eventually won out with the 350 GT, based on the work of former Bertone stylist Franco Scaglione.

Now, some fifty years later, an original design submitted by a young Giorgetto Giugiaro, still working at Bertone, has surfaced. And not just in renderings, either. The designer's son Fabrizio digitized his father's sketches, milled them into a model, painted it yellow, detailed the body and put it on a set of period-correct Borrani wires.

The design, as you can plainly see, was way ahead of its time. If you're thinking it reminds you of the Ferrari P3 or 250 LM, or like one of the Alfa Romeo BAT designs, think again, because none of those – nor anything like it – came along until years later. The result was presented to Giorgetto as a 70th birthday present, and is now prominently displayed at the company's design headquarters in Moncalieri, just nine miles south of Turin. But if you're not planning on visiting the area any time soon, you can check it out in our high-resolution image gallery.