A Brief History of the Lamborghini
We’ve all heard of the Lamborghini, an exotic car manufacturer known for their sharp, angular designs and hefty price tag.
But did you know Ferruccio Lamborghini began his business by building tractors? Or that a Lamborghini Huracan was donated to the pope in 2018?
Lamborghini has a fascinating history from the very start, so keep reading for a brief history of the Lamborghini.
History of the Lamborghini
Lamborghini was officially started in 1963 in Sant’Agata Bolognese, which is about 25 kilometers from Bologna in Italy.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was a fascinating man, and we don’t say this lightly. Originally stationed on an island as a vehicle maintenance supervisor for the Italian Royal Air Force, Ferruccio quickly learned how to use everything available to him. Being on an island forced him to adapt to new mechanical issues, and granted him the title of master mechanic.
When he got home, he quickly used his mechanical genius to create tractors. His business and others quickly grew into a fortune.
By the early 1960’s, his new goal was to create a supercar that would surpass Ferrari. In 1963, he officially opened Lamborghini.
The First Lambo
The first Lamborghini was the 350 GTV, but the real showstopper was the Miura. First shown in 1966 Geneva Motor Show, the Miura quickly captured the fascination of everyone who saw it. In the late 1960’s, it became one of the most sought-after cars on the market.
The company continued to manufacture cars that defied normal aesthetic and speed expectations. Cars were being manufactured with unique designs and ever-increasing horsepower. The Jota was able to go from 0 to 100 km/h in only 3.6 seconds, and it was roofless!
1972-1973: Social and Economic Obstacles
In 1972, labor unions in Italy grew restless. Factories faced problems during negotiations with labor unions, especially within engineering companies in northern Italy. That year, Ferruccio sold his majority stake within the company to Swiss Georges-Henri Rossetti, and he sold his remaining shares to his friend Ren? Leimer in 1973.
1973 included another major hit to the car manufacturer, as the oil crisis sparked by the 1973 Arab-Israeli War began to reach consumers. Fear of dwindling gasoline supplies quickly turned consumers away from the large, fuel-guzzling super sports cars. Lamborghini was hit especially hard during this time as sales plummeted and their cars became a luxury.
Lamborghini continued to manufacture and sell cars, but by 1978, only the Countach S was still in production.
Lamborghini was ultimately unable to recover from the economic setback in 1973 and was forced into bankruptcy. By 1980, the company was considered finished and was soon liquidated.
Due to Lamborghini’s prestige and popularity, it had several admirers during liquidation proceeding in 1980. The judge ultimately entrusted the manufacturing company to brothers Jean-Claude and Patrick Mimran. The two lovers of sports cars were the wealthy owners of a sugar empire in Senegal and quickly began to restructure the company to attempt to keep it afloat.
In 1981, the ‘Nuova Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini SpA’ company was started.
1981 Geneva Motor Show
Lamborghini showed up to the 1981 Geneva Motor Show in style, featuring a redesigned Miura, Countach S, and off-road Cheetah. The Mimran brothers continued to experiment with the brand, also focusing on the manufacturing of large high-performance off-road vehicles, which was certainly innovation for the time. The Jalpa sports car was also released this year.
In 1982, the Mimran brothers took it one step further by moving the engine in front of the cockpit. This created the prototype known as the LMA, an acronym that may mean “Lamborghini Motore Anteriore” or “Lamborghini Militare Anteriore.”
They also continued work on their revolutionary off-road models, despite high costs during development. This effort yielded the LM 004, a vehicle with a 7-liter V12 engine whose top speed broke the barrier of 200 km/hour.
Pirelli collaborated with the company to develop a tire that could be used on any terrain from asphalt to sandy environments. This would then become the Pirelli Scorpion.
During the 1985 Geneva Motor Show, the new version of the Countach was called the Quattrovalvole and boasted 455 HP.
In 1986, they unveiled the off-road LM 002 with a V12 engine.
1987 saw great sales of their Countach and Jalpa models, while orders for the LM started to come in.
In April 1987, the ‘Nuova Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini SpA’ was taken over by the US car manufacturer Chrysler. The new American leaders quickly settled into their roles.
During the end of 1987, the French Formula 1 team Larrousse was looking for help to design a new engine. They eventually asked Mauro Forghieri, who was the celebrated designer of some of Ferrari’s famous models. Forghieri enlisted the help of his friends at Lamborghini, hoping to work on the endeavor together. With Chrysler’s approval, Forghieri designed a V12 engine with a 3.5-liter capacity.
In 1988, production of the Quattrovalvole was stopped, and the new V12 engine was demonstrated to the public.
In 1990, Lamborghini engines dominated the race tracks, with an engine winning third place during the Grand Prix in Japan.
Although 1991 was not a great year for Lamborghini on the race track, their road models fared much better. For the company’s 25th anniversary, they produced a commemorative version of the Countach and sold over 650 units to enthused customers. During this time, the Diablo was unveiled, with a 492 HP, 5.7-liter, V12 engine.
In January 1994, Chrysler sold Lamborghini to Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V’Power Corporation. 1995 saw the release of the SV and VT Roadster.
In 1998, Lamborghini was sold again, but this time to Volkswagon’s Audi division.
In 2001, the popular Murci?lago was released with 580 HP, while the Gallardo was released in 2003.
In 2010, the carbon fiber-clad Sesto Elemento concept car was unveiled, with only 20 being made for track purposes.
2010 to Current
2011 saw the unveiling of the Aventador LP 700-4, with a top speed of over 217 mph.
In 2014, the popular Huracan model was released, while 2015 saw the release of the Aventador SV and SV Roadster.
In 2016, to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Lamborghini’s founder, theCentenario was released.
From its inception in 1963, Lamborghini was designed with speed, sleekness, and ingenuity in mind. The history of the Lamborghini proves the company has faced both trials and triumphs to make it the sports car leader of today.
If you’d like to take one out for a drive in the Miami area without the hefty price tag, feel free to visit our contact page.