54 years of asphalt cracking speed-demons, an insult which formed one of the biggest supercar manufacturers in the world, today we look at the Italian giants, Lamborghini.
Ferruccio Lamborghini came from a family of grape farmers. So, as things were back in the day, he was all set to be a grape farmer himself. But his interest in mechanics and innovation opened up a secret passage to immortality. Ferruccio took advantage of the post-war agricultural necessities and started manufacturing tractors. Soon enough, he could afford his dream car, Ferrari. Being an enthusiast himself, Ferruccio noticed some refinement issues which he felt needed addressing. He took the matter to Enzo Ferrari himself but Ferrari didn’t want to take a young tractor manufacturer’s advice. Ferruccio felt disrespected and went on to challenge the king in his own den. And in just 4 months he unveiled the 350 GT at the Turin auto show.
Lamborghini’s aim was to combine luxury and thrill which none of the top companies provided. Their first vehicle was powered by a V12 engine which was raining supreme at the time. By the end of 1964, Lamborghini sold their first 13 vehicles although at a loss. But the message was delivered, loud and clear. Ferrari weren’t the undisputed kings anymore, a new challenger had arrived.
After 350’s success, Lamborghini made some tweaks and came up with the more powerful and practical 400 GT. 400 GT turned a few heads, but it was through the mid-engined Miura that Lamborghini made a significant mark on the automotive map. Miura also was the first vehicle which affirmed Ferruccio’s undying love for bullfighting. In 1963, Ferruccio took a trip to Spain to meet with a famous bullfighter breeder, Eduardo Miura. He was so mesmerised by Miura’s work that he permanently adopted the bull symbol as the company emblem. And after two alphanumeric models, he decided to pay homage to the man himself, Don Miura, by naming a vehicle after him. He broke tradition with his next car, Countach, a Piedmontese exclamation. Diablo and Murcielago followed and Lamborghini established themselves as one of the hottest car manufacturers on the market. Their current models are the V12 Aventador and the V10 Huracan.
Best of the Bull
Lamborghini has produced some gems over the years and even though each car has its significance, we still had to pick the best of the best.
We don’t see 4 seaters from Lambo these days. But back in the 70s, Espada was THE sedan to own. Powered by a 4.0 litre V12, it churned out 325 bhp, leaving its competitors in the dust.
Lamborghini has changed ownership 3 times over the course of its history and is currently owned by Volkswagen through its subsidiary, Audi. Murcielago was the first car to come out of Audi’s umbrella. The build quality and mechanics improved but the soul of the bull was kept intact. This was also powered by a 6.5 Lt V12 and was one of the fastest vehicles around.
Gallardo was Lamborghini’s best-selling model(14,022 sold). Arguably one of the peppiest cars ever built, the V10 powered beast gave the power back to the driver. Lambo always pairs its more expensive V12 models with more affordable V10s and Gallardo complimented Murcielago and later Aventador brilliantly over the years. On November 25th, 2013, the last Gallardo rolled off the production line.
If you are a 90s kid, chances are you had one of its posters on your bedroom wall. Its retractable headlamps were a thing out of the sci-fi novels for kids like me. It looked like a spaceship and handled like a bull; exquisite and erratic. Powered by a 5.7L V12 provided ample power and some more.
90s kids had the Diablo and 80s kids had its predecessor, Countach. Countach made its way out of the production line back in 1973 and ruled the market for more than one and a half decade before paving way for Diablo(1990). Through the course of its history, it went through many aerodynamic upgrades which made the car look and feel ‘awesomer’ than ever. It fought against Ferrari Testarossa and ended its supremacy in the auto market.
It’s no surprise that Miura takes the top spot. The car on which this giant of a company is built on, the first mid-engined supercar was even a legend in its time. The low nose, superb handling and sheer driving pleasure made this the car of every enthusiast’s dream. It was beautiful, it was fast, it was comfortable, it was everything Ferruccio had hoped for. The car which announced Lamborghini to the world and more so, to Ferrari.
Spirit of the Bull
Lamborghini’s changing ownership and bankruptcy couldn’t hamper what Lamborghini stood for, what Ferruccio set out to do. Their production doesn’t match Ferrari’s but Lambo has a cult following these days. Every enthusiast wants to own a Lamborghini and not just because of how jaw-dropping they look or how well they’re built, they want to buy it because they are the best damned cars in their segment. This type of passionate following goes a long way in the exotic market, the type most brands would kill for. In the end, I think most of us would like to thank Enzo Ferrari for not taking Ferruccio seriously that day. How else would’ve we gotten our favourite raging bull?