Lamborghini Automobili , an Italian luxury sports car manufacturer, was founded in 1963 by industrialist and entrepreneur Ferruccio Lamborghini. The brand is headquartered in the small town of Sant'Agata, about 25 km from Bologna, in the region of Emilia-Romagna.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was a wealthy and successful businessman having made his fortune making agricultural equipment under the company name 'Lamborghini Trattori' as well as air conditioning and gas heating equipment for his other company 'Lamborghini Bruciatori'. Lamborghini's manufacturing experience, mechanical know-how and wealth put him in an exceptional position to begin manufacturing high end sports cars in a then state-of-the-art facility designed for efficient and high quality production.
Lamborghini likes to take their time to design and release a car to their exacting standards of luxury, speed and beauty.
Only twenty different models have been released since the famous 350GT in 1964 which is roughly 4 per decade, much less than rival Ferrari. Lamborghini's tradition of high displacement and high powered engines has never diminished with many of the models featuring excessive naturally aspirated V12 engines designed to inspire and stir the soul of anybody lucky enough to drive one.
Lamborghini was highly fascinated in Spanish bullfighting and when he visited the Seville ranch of famous fighting bull breeder Don Eduardo Miura in 1962 he was said to have adopted the 'raging bull' logo we recognise today.
Many of the Lamborghini models were named after famous fighting bulls, such as the recent Diablo, Murciélago and Reventón. Lamborghini, a Taurus himself, even named the 1960's Miura model after the Don's family and his fighting bulls.
The Lamborghini story is not steeped in motor racing history. Unlike his rival Enzo Ferrari, who saw Ferrari road cars as a fund source of his racing pursuits, Lamborghini thought of racing to be too resource hungry and draining on the company resources. Lamborghini did however take advantage of their engineering excellence and manufactured Formula One engines between 1989 and 1993 as well as producing racing cars for FIA GT and Super GT championships in the late nineties. The Lamborghini automobiles were built to be enjoyed on the road and for the public to behold the passion for luxury, engineering and motoring excellence.
Lamborghini has seen its fair share of ups and downs since the first production car rolled off the line. Financial difficulties started during the 1970's world financial crisis where Lamborghini had to sell his controlling share of the company and eventually his remaining stake in 1974 to retire and relinquish control of the company. Today the company is controlled by Audi AG, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen group.
The Lamborghini facility, still located in Sant'Agata, produces V12 engines and the finished cars of both current models; the Aventador and V10 powered Huracán.
The Lamborghini museum is located in the aptly named 'Terra dei Motori' (Motor Valley) between Bologna and Modena. It features many past treasures, the ancestors of the current production cars, in a spacious and modern facility designed to excite motoring enthusiasts from around the globe. For information on opening hours, prices and getting there click here
Written by Andrew Sestito
© Understanding Italy 2013
This article has been especially commissioned for Understanding Italy. Any reproduction of this material, all or in part, is strictly forbidden.