Ferruccio Lamborghini

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Ferruccio Lamborghini and his creations

Ferruccio Lamborghini (April 28, 1916- February 20, 1993) was an Italian car maker and the founder of the Lamborghini brand.


Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in the small village of Renazzo, commune of Cento, province of Ferrara.

Topolino tuning

After World War II Lamborghini owned a Fiat Topolino and began to modify them. He increased the engine capacity from 500 cc to 750 cc and developed a bronze "Testa d'Oro" cylinder head with overhead valves. He entered his modified Topolino in the 1948 Mille Miglia, during which he crashed into an inn near Fano, ending his race.

The founding of Lamborghini

A wealthy manufacturer of tractors and air conditioning and heating units systems after World War II, Lamborghini was an enthusiastic owner of sports cars, including Ferraris. He noticed that some of the clutch components were the same as the ones he used on his tractors, as well as suffering recurring reliability issues not unfamiliar to Ferraris. He approached Enzo Ferrari with his criticism. Ferrari insulted Lamborghini, effectively stating that a tractor manufacturer was not qualified to criticize Ferraris. Affronted by Ferrari's reaction, Lamborghini decided to "build better cars than Ferrari" and to prove that supercars did not have to be as temperamental as Ferraris.

In order to achieve his goal, he founded his own rival sports car manufacturer near the Ferrari factory, and hired ex-Ferrari engineers Gianpaolo Dallara and Bob Wallace to design and develop the cars. His first production car, the Lamborghini 350GT, was superior in every respect that Lamborghini had criticised in his Ferraris. His third model, the Miura, was a ground-breaking and legendary car that started the genre of the mid-engined supercar. He has developed many unique designs that describe the Italians best when they design cars: luxurious, smart and safe.

Lamborghini's (non-)racing policy

As a manufacturer of sports cars, Ferruccio Lamborghini was unique in his racing policy. While other sports car manufacturers sought to prove the speed, reliability, and technical superiority of their cars through participation (and hopefully victory) in motor racing, Lamborghini clearly stated that his company would not participate in or support motor racing. This was in direct contrast to Ferrari's policy, where the main purpose his production cars served was to generate revenue to fund his continued participation in racing. The "no racing" policy caused some tension between him and his ex-Ferrari engineers, who were all racing enthusiasts. Several of them started to develop a mid-engined car with racing potential in their spare time. Lamborghini discovered the project at the prototype stage. He allowed them to continue the project, but insisted that there would be no racing versions built. This project evolved into the Miura.

The bullfighting legacy

The crest of the company, a bull, was taken from Lamborghini's zodiac sign, Taurus. The Miura was named after a breeder of fighting bulls, Don Eduardo Miura. Islero was named after a Miura bull that killed famed matador Manolete (real name Manuel Laureano Rodriguez y Sanchez) on August 28, 1947. Espada means "sword", the weapon of the matador. It is also used colloquially for the matadors themselves as they are the swordsmen that can be seen on old bullfight posters. The name Lamborghini Jarama had an interesting double meaning: Jarama is an area renowned both for bullfighting and for its motor racing circuit.

It is not known if the Countach, a verbal equivalent to a wolf whistle in Italian, the last car to be developed under Lamborghini's ownership, was intended to break this tradition, as the name has no basis in bullfighting. Later owners of the company reverted to this tradition, namely with the Diablo (a famous bull), the Murciélago (after Murciélago a famous bull that contributed to the Miura breed) and the Gallardo (a caste of bull that is an element of the Miura breed).


In 1972, Lamborghini invested heavily in increasing the capacity of his tractor factory in order to meet a large order placed by a South American nation. When the order was cancelled, the losses forced Lamborghini to sell part of his share in the factory.

Also in 1972, Georges-Henri Rossetti became Lamborghini's partner in the sports car business. Lamborghini sold his share of Automobili Lamborghini to René Leimer a year later. He then retired to the life of a gentleman farmer, living in a vineyard he had purchased earlier. [1] [2]

Lamborghini died in Perugia in 1993 at age 76. His son Tonino designs a series of designer clothing and accessories under his full name


  • In an interview with English-Italian journalist Mirco Decet, Ferruccio Lamborghini revealed the favorite cars he owned were Ferraris (from 'The Great Book of Lamborghini").

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