Lamborghini built sport cars for a reason
Ferruccio Lamborghini became a millionaire thanks to vehicles. He made his fortune building tractors quite successfully after World War II. He also started manufacturing oil burners and air conditioning systems after his tractor plant started making lots of money. It turned out his second business also made big money so Ferruccio Lamborghini became one the wealthiest men in Italy. He could afford just about everything he wanted, at one point he had a different car for everyday of the week: the list included Alfa Romeos, Lancias, a Mercedes SL300, some Ferrari 250 GT, a Jaguar e-type, 2 Maserati 3500 GT. Not bad right?
He never really liked the Ferrari, though, he thought the quality was not exceptional in some areas of the car (like the clutch or the Spartan interior) and he thought a proper GT car should excel in those areas. He was clearly a big connoisseur of fast cars as he had any he fancied !! So I guess he was a good critic of them.
The legend started when one of his Ferrari started giving problems with the clutch, the local workshop couldn’t fix this problem so Ferruccio decided to drive to Modena and confront Enzo Ferrari himself. But Enzo, who was known for his arrogance, told this ‘farmer’: “The problem is not with the car but with the driver!” and went on advicing him to look after his tractors instead. We were not there to hear the accuracy of the words, but we are certain something like this happened, so for a mechanical genius like Mr Lamborghini, this kind of answer was not only insulting but an open challenge. Ferruccio should have been really furious when leaving Manarello premises and probably in the next few days he decided to show Enzo he could build GT cars better than him.
Ferrari 250 GTO above
Lamborghini GT cars
With millions of liras ready to invest, Lamborghini decided to build his own car with a V12 engine and founded an auto factory in the small town of Sant’Agata Bolognese (in Emilia Romagna). Lamborghini hired Ferrari’s ex-employees Giotto Bizzarrini, Franco Scaglione, and Gianpaolo Dallara (nice threesome!). The task was very clear – to create a luxurious and powerful GT that would reach 150 mph on the Autostrada del Sole, the famous Italian motorway that connects Milan with Naples (quite scenery and beautiful too). The result was the Lamborghini 350GT, released in 1964. And all the rest is history.
It is also remarkable Ferrucio’s understanding of cars and his taste for them. You can read more about them here.
Thank you Enzo and thank you Ferruccio, much appreciated your effort in this story.
Pictures thanks to Drivetribe.com