More than 500 cars produced, Urraco P 300, Bravo, Countach (production planned)
Ferruccio Lamborghini is born on the 26th April, 1916 as a son of a poor small farmer close to Bologna where he also successfully rounds off his study of engineering. The date of birth is important because of the star sign of the bull, which he uses later on as company logo and model name. After the Second World War he founds a company which deals at first with the rebuilding of military vehicles to tractors, consequently very quickly stepping into the market of building new tractors himself (see picture 4, example). The enterprise quickly grows to being the biggest manufacturer of Italy. In 1961 he occupies more than 4000 people in two factories.
The automobile history of Lamborghini starts with the Fiat Topolino. He owns several of them and tries quite early to change the side-controlled cylinder head into one with overhead valves and accordingly more performance. He also participates in racing (e.g., the Mille Miglia), indeed, without success.
He gathers a large amount of experience with various Italian sports coupes and a little later with German (300 SL) and English (Jaguar E) ones. His interest is not limited to a special efficiency of the engine, but also to a well-balanced handling characteristic of the vehicle.
Thus he comes to appreciate Ferrari vehicles. Unfortunately, several of his Ferraris experience problems with the clutch. His complaint to Enzo Ferrari is not taken into consideration. He decides himself to improve the vehicle and to increase at the same time the performance of the engine by installing two instead of one camshaft. The duels challenging Ferrari drivers are successfully for him, but he does not succeed in meeting with Enzo Ferrari.
This is the result of Lamborghinis approx. ten-years of sports car manufacturing. In 1972 he has to sell the majority rights of his company to the Swiss businessman Rossetti and in 1974 the rest to his friend Rene Leimer. From now on he resides at the wonderful Lago Trasimeno as a winegrower, 350 km of Sant' Agata Bolognese. His character is described as charming and kind. His financial position as a producer of tractors, air-conditionings and hydraulics improves.
Meanwhile, the company Lamborghini is not doing well. The crude oil-prize crisis provides for a bad market situation especially for super-sports cars. Management errors as for example the investment in a cross-country vehicle and acceptance and non-fulfillment of a BMW order to produce the M 1 lead to bankruptcy. Only new investors from the food branch in combination with an improving economic situation animate the business activity again.
The suffering and hoping of the staff probably reaches a climax in the year 1987, shortly before finally Chrysler takes over the company, a large player in the automobile business. The successful Diablo shows clear American design influences.
However, the next recession is on its way. The company Chrysler is in difficulties. With V'Power and MyCorn the next investor's group - this time Indonesian-Malaysian - is ready to take over. For Lamborghini the activities in drives for boats/yachts pay off when they win for the first time the Off-Shore world championship.
Investor number six is VW or actually its noble subsidiary Audi taking over in 1998. It is interesting to notice that Lamborghini's competitor Porsche owns half of VW and with it also Lamborghini, in the meantime (2007). They do not have much influence on the Diablo. However, their influence grows with the appearance of the Murcielago and becomes finally fully apparent with the introduction of the Gallardo (see picture). Ferruccio Lamborghini was not able to celebrate the 30-year company jubilee and did not know Lamborghini's last three investors. He dies in the beginning of 1993. 01/08