The Argument Worth $1.8 Billion – The Story Of Ferrucio Lamborghini


Most exotic car makers started off with an incredibly rich artist or engineer, throwing in tonnes of money to make some awesome cars. Ferrari for instance, was carrefully brought up by a man called Enzo. Who had a passion, for what he did. And arguably, Ferrari’s beginnings were a bit predictable.

Lamborghini on the other hand, was brought up….slightly differently. Whereas Enzo was the smart A-grade student. Mr Ferruccio Lamborghini, was more of the kid, who loved to start a scrap. (But had serious knowlege)

Born on April 28th, 1916. This is the story, of how one of the most influential car founders in the world. Had joined the supercar game, almost half a decade after everyone else. 

Wartime Life-

 

 

Baptised as a Roman Catholic, Ferruccio was brought up with a huge interest in farming machinery. Fascinated by rural mechanics, he studied engineering at the Fratelli Taddia technical institute near Bologna.

This lead him on to serving as a mechanic, for the Italian Royal Airforce on the island of Rhodes during the second world war. He was also a supervisor for the vehicle maintainence unit, before being taken as prisoner, when Rhodes fell into British hands in 1945. Ferruccio wasn’t allowed to return to Italy, for another year. 

Some New Hobbies, With a Success-

 

 

After the war ended (which Britain won), Ferruccio had decided he would use his spare time to modify an old Fiat Topolino, he had laying around. He tuned up the 750cc insect, and entered it into one of the world’s most gruelling races. The Mille Miglia!

This enthusiasm was short lived, because after the 700 mile marker. Ferruccio had driven into the side of a restaurant in Turin.

So then he realised that there was a growing market, in agricultural transport. So therfore decided to use leftover military parts, to build his own tractors! His first one, had a straight six engine from a Morris truck, which was fitted by Ferruccio’s very own fuel atomiser.

​What this could do, is allow the tractor to be started with petrol (expensive in Italy at the time) and then be switched to diesel (which was cheaper).  Amazing stuff!!

And because of this success, mass production started on Lamborghini tractors. And Ferruccio made TONNES of money!  Which brings the story on, to the world’s most expensive argument.

The Ferrari/Lamborghini Fight-

 

 

Ferruccio had made so much money on his tractor success, that he commuted to work in a new or different car EVERY day. Anything from Lancias, Alfas, Mercs, a couple of Maseratis, you name it!

He even decided to treat himself to one of the most desirable cars of the time in the early ’60s, a Ferrari 250 GTE Pininfarina coupe. Which was excellent, apart from one massive detail.

Ferruccio had discovered that the clutches used on it (and other Ferraris) were WAY too weak, to handle the V12’s ferocius power. His 250’s kept on breaking, so had it sent back to Ferrari. Only to realise, that there was BARELY any difference made to his cars!

Much to his annoyance, Ferruccio complained endlessly to the company, over his dissatisfaction. But the same response kept coming back, Enzo Ferrari was fulfilled with pride and belived that each and every one of his cars, is perfect in every way!

The two rich gearheads kept on arguing, as more of Ferruccio’s Ferraris, continued to suffer clutch failiures.

 

 

So instead of pointlessly trying to convince Enzo, Ferruccio decided that he would use a simple hack, that would kick Ferrari where it hurts.

What he did, was take his 250 GTE. Take the rubbish, original clutch out, and then replace it with a stronger one, from a Lamborghini tractor. And it left Enzo a bit red-faced…

This modified 250, destroyed the original versions! Because now the clutch was strong enough to take the 3.0 litre V12’s power and torque, and use it properly! What Ferruccio had created, was a Ferrari, that worked.

So naturally, Mr Lamborghini took that improved car BACK to Enzo. Only to get a door, slammed in his face…

To prove a point, Ferruccio decided to invest a tonne of money, and wipe the smile off Ferrari’s face! 

The Birth Of The ‘Perfect Touring Automobile’-

 

 

In 1964, you no longer had to drive fast in a supercar, without worrying about the state of the clutch. No longer did you have to endure pointless arguments, and still be in the same position. Because Ferruccio had created something wonderful.

The 350GT was Lamborghini’s first production car, which used parts from the company’s tractors. Thus making this flipping GORGEOUS car, a reliable one!

Powered by a 3.5 litre 336bhp V12, this car could accelerate from 0-60 in just 5.8 seconds, and go onto a top speed of 158mph. Pretty quick now, but unmistakably rapid 50 years ago!

And that’s not all, the V12 engine was designed to last up to 40,000 miles between services, even if it was thrashed hard, up to it’s 7000rpm redline!

Bodied by Touring in Milan, it had large alluminium panels, fixed to a tubular structure. Like an Aston Martin DB4.
Not only that, you have to say. They did a pretty bloody great job of it!  I challenge you, to think of an equally beautiful car.

Once more, this was a car which was not suited to racing (unlike Ferraris) it was much more of a grand tourer. Hence why it’s got a more luxurious interior. Exactly what Ferruccio wanted from an expensive performance car. 

A Legacy, Which Lived On-

 

 

Since then, Lamborghini continued to produce some of the greatest cars, the world has ever seen. The Miura established the mid-engined hype! The Countach kicked off the mad styling game, in which they’ve been winning up until today.

Lamborghinis have always been less serious than Ferraris, instead of achieving a 2 second faster lap time. They’ve been achieving a 2 second faster jaw drop, for whenever someone sees such a thing!

However, some great things can’t stay around forever. Ferruccio Lamborghini died on February 20th 1993, aged 76 years old.

But we can take one of his most famous quotes on board, throughout our lives. Which is; “When you stop working, you start to die.”   Which makes you think, really. Lamborghini still make jaw dropping cars even today – such as this Lamborghini Urus Concept – And thenew Aventador S due to come out soon. And as a result, the car company is now worth $1.812 Billion.

And that’s the end of the article. If you have any thoughts, just drop them below!
Hope you enjoyed this article!

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And if you liked this history lesson on Ferrucio Lamborghini – Just check this awe-inspiring, tear-welling article on the sad sotry of Carroll Shelby… 

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