The Lamborghini story – A legend now

The Lamborghini
The Lamborghini

The Lamborghini

Lamborghini is known  as one of the best supercar manufacturers in the world. Designed to look like fighter jets and built for nothing less than complete decimation on or off the track, Lamborghini has produced cars fit for anyone with enough money and more importantly guts to be able to drive one.  The story of origin of this company and the cars it makes is equally amazing.

History of Lamborghini

Founder Ferruccio Lamborghini had been fascinated by engines ever since he was a kid. He joined the army during the Second World War and was stationed on the island of Rhodes. Since there wasn’t much action otherwise, Lamborghini spent time and energy repairing any cars, trucks or motorcycles that broke down,  with reused parts. He eventually came to be known as a wizard at mechanical improvisation.

Post war, he returned to his hometown Modena and setup a small car and motorcycle repair shop. He realized and understood that tractors were a desperate need of the hour and day, in the agriculture industry. Lamborghini started building tractors from derelict military vehicles, producing one tractor a month. Italy’s growing economy and the increase in demand for good quality tractors, allowed him to commence building his own tractor engines. The tractor business boomed and Lamborghini achieved an output rate of building over 400 tractors a month by the year 1960. He also looked at expanding his business into manufacturing of heaters and air conditioning units for buildings well in hand with running the tractor business.

With a steady business and generous inflow of cash, Lamborghini decided it was time to celebrate and bought himself a Ferrari. And having bought one, he realized to his dismay that there were a lot of faults with it specially in the gearbox and transmission. He decided to take the matter to Enzo Ferrari himself. He told Enzo how much he loved the Ferrari and how there were numerous issues which if fixed would make the car even better.  To his surprise and slight dismay, Enzo retorted saying that Lamborghini should stick to making tractors and leave the sportscar business to Ferrari. This incident strengthened Ferruccio’s resolve and he decided to jump into the realm of building supercars. He resolved to build his own performance car company and show Enzo Ferrari and others like him what their cars were missing out on and what, it took to build a car like none other.

Having driven a Ferrari and knowing it inside out, Ferruccio knew there was nothing that Ferrari was doing that he could not do better. He decided on building a car with a V12 engine. He sought out a talented engineer named Giampaolo Dallara who had the experience of previously having worked with Ferrari on a V12. This new engine would have 4 cams, a short stroke and 4 big bore valves per cylinder. The engine developed a massive 350 horsepower. The engine was constructed from aluminium and had a crankshaft that was supported by seven main bearings and machined from a high grade steel. The connecting rods were forged from a similar quality of steel. The pistons were forged aluminium. This engine was pretty much the base prototype for all the future Lamborghini engines to come. The body work was designed by Scaglione Touring.

For the badge, Lamborghini wanted a strong and a powerful character – stronger than Ferrari’s prancing horse and other company mascots.  His love for bull fighting and the fact that he was a Taurean himself, led to the raging bull becoming the identity of what the world would one day know as the greatest supercar manufacturers of all time.

What made Lamborghini legendary?

The Lamborghini 350 GTV prototype was first displayed in public at the Turin Auto Show in the year 1963. Sales commenced the following year and the car was renamed the “350 GT”. Lamborghini sold 130 of the GT and it was a raving success. Automobili Lamborghini had a promising future ahead. The 350 GT was succeeded by the 400 GT and then the 400 GT 2+2. The 350 GT and the 400 2+2 brought world fame to the company, and with money flowing in, Ferruccio decided to have a new car designed and built. This one was to drop the jaws of not only enthusiasts and car lovers, but also Ferrari and Maserati. The Lamborghini Miura – as it was called, was way ahead of its time in terms of both design and technology and driving style and comfort. It is what made the company, legendary.

First showcased, again, at the Turin Auto show only as a chassis and a transversely mid mounted engine – something only seen on formula cars in those days, the Miura was designed by Marcello Gandini and displayed again, as a complete car at the Geneva motor show in 1966. It was aggressively styled and the name Miura was taken from the formidable spanish fighting bulls. The car, doubtlessly was a raving success and with it began the era of the company that would eventually make the competition shiver in their shoes.