Lamborghini Cars: The Story
Few people realize one of the most luxurious cars in the world owes its existence to the dreams of a tractor builder named Ferruccio Lamborghini. Following World War II service where his duties were in vehicle repair and maintenance, Lamborghini began his first business venture by turning wartime salvage parts into farm tractors at the rate of one per month. By 1960, Lamborghini had increased his production ability to 400 tractors per month.
Before this venture, in 1958, Lamborghini purchased a Farrari but didn’t like the performance and overall appearance of the vehicle. It is interesting to note that a mechanical problem sent him back to the dealer where he experienced not only a poor repair but a negative interest on the part of the dealer as well. At this point, Lamborghini decided he could make a better car simply by putting the ideas he had garnered while driving his Farrari into acttion.
In keeping with his love of all things agricultural, a visit to a bull breeding operation gave Lamborghini the idea to name future car models for various bulls and bullfighters and to use a bull as the signature emblem for his cars.
In 1963, Ferruccio Lamborghini set out to fulfill his dreams by acquiring space in Bolognese, Italy to produce a luxury car that would not only compete with but surpass Farrari’ The first Lamborghini car was displayed at the Turin Motor Show. The 350GTV model appeared with just the body on display since the motor housing area was filled with bricks under a tightly-closed hood. Though only 2 of this model were ever produced, its initial display met with resounding success.
Aside from car production, around 1969 Lamborghini became an enthusiast of speed boats. After he purchased a Riva Aquarama for his private pleasure, he installed the same V-12 engine created for his first car into his speedboat.
Little is known regarding how or when Lamborghini came up with his unique door opening idea which continues to be synonymous with the mere mention of the word ‘Lamborghini’ in the world of automobiles. At the 1973 Geneva Motor Show, the LP400 Countbach appeared with doors opening on virtical upward swing rather than outward as is the case with all other automobile doors. This unique model featured bright red paint accompanied by a rich black suede interior.
In addition to the up-swing doors, the first LP400 Countach that rolled out of the factory door on April 11, 1974 featured one large windshield wiper rather than the traditional 2 smaller wiper style. Another signature Lamborghini feature to appear was headlights with covers built into the bumper. This first car, purchased by a customer from Milan, Italy is considered to be the most valuable car believed to still be in existence. In the realm of scale-model cars, the LP400 Countbach is the most highly valued and sought-after model car for collectors around the world.
The current Lamborghini models are the Gallardo and Murcielago coupes and roadsters. The year 2005 saw the production of 978 Gallardo and 468 Murcielargo models. Following the total production of 4000 Lamborghini Murcielargo models, production was halted in 2010. The newest Lamborghini, The Aventador is expected to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. The Aventador manufactured to reach speeds of 217mph (349km/h).