Automobili Lamborghini is celebrating the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini, who established it in 1963 and was also the inspiration for its most iconic models, such as the Miura and Countach. When Lamborghini sold the company in 1973-1974, it had already become one of the world’s most successful and admired manufacturers.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Renazzo on 28 April 1916. Despite being the son of farmers, he was more attracted to mechanics than to the land and preferred to spend his afternoons in the farmstead workshop. As a boy, he managed to get hired by the best mechanical workshop in Bologna, where he was finally able to discover all the secrets of mechanics. At the outbreak of WWII Ferruccio, by then an experienced and highly regarded mechanic, was drafted and assigned to the 50th Autoparco Misto di Manovra (Mixed Operations Motor Fleet) stationed in Rhodes, which took care of the maintenance of all the military vehicles present on the island, including diesel trucks and tractors used to tow aircraft. He opened a small mechanical repair shop just after the end of the war.
In 1946, he returned to Italy and opened a machine shop in Cento where he repaired motor vehicles and built small utility vehicles. It was while working in the shop and observing the crisis suffered by local agriculture that he developed his idea of building inexpensive agricultural tractors using the components of old military vehicles. The first one to be transformed was a Morris truck to which he applied a fuel vaporiser of his own invention, and which he presented in the town. After selling eleven of them he decided to buy a lot of 1 000 Morris engines using everything he had as collateral – including the family farm (with his father’s approval).
But Lamborghini as we know it began in 1963, when Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to build the best grand touring cars in the world. The characteristics of innovation and technical curiosity remain the hallmark of Ferruccio Lamborghini and of the people who surrounded him. The 1966 Miura inspired the journalists who tested it to coin a new word to describe it: supercar. The Countach, created as a prototype in 1971, was so ground-breaking that it was still current in 1990 when, after 17 years of production and with 1 999 units produced, it was replaced by the Diablo.