Exactly 100 years ago to this date Ferruccio Elio Arturo Lamborghini was born, on April 28 1916 in a family of farmers, but Ferruccio wanted to do something with mechanics instead … after World War II he started building tractors. First from surplus material left after the war, but soon he founded his own company to build tractors from scratch … the company grew very large and so did Ferruccio’s personal fortune, so he diversified into building air-conditioning and central heating equipment … Ferruccio Lamborghini gathered a vast fortune from his businesses, so he could indulge himself with some of the best cars on the market in the late Fifties and early Sixties … naturally a Ferrari was included in his garage.
The story goes he ran into some trouble with his Ferrari and wanted to confront Enzo with his issues … that meeting didn’t go down smoothly and Ferruccio decided to start building his own cars … he bought a large section of land in the industrial part of Sant’Agata and had a brand new factory built to his specifications … so he could build the best GT cars the world had ever seen … and so the history of Automobili Lamborghini SpA started in 1963 … at the age of 47 Ferruccio entered the automotive arena.
The first production car to leave the gates in Sant’Agata was the Lamborghini 350 GT, a very nice two seater GT with a large V12 engine in the front … that car was years ahead of anything the competition offered back in 1964, but the car that really made the Lamborghini name known in the entire automotive world was the sensually beautiful Muira from 1966 … and the milestones just kept coming from Automobili Lamborghini SpA.
Initially Ferruccio Lamborghini intended to build high speed, luxurious Gran Turismo cars like the 400 GT 2+2, the Islero, Jarama and Espada … but it would be the more extreme, exotic cars like the Miura that would really make the Lamborghini brand famous … in 1971 the Lamborghini Countach was introduced as a replacement for the Miura SV, but things started to go downhill from then on, in 1972 Ferruccio sold 51% of Automobili Lamborghini SpA to Georges-Henri Rossetti … by the time the production version of the Countach was introduced in 1973 the remaining 49% of the company was sold to Rene Leimer and Ferruccio Lamborghini, age 57, retired to his estate La Fiorita near Lake Trasimeno and started a state of the art winemaking facility producing over 800,000 bottles of wine each year.
The Lamborghini Countach was kept in production for almost 20 years before the Diablo would take over the reign as the V12 flagship from Sant’Agata, by that time Automobili Lamborghini SpA was owned by Chrysler … Ferruccio was given the opportunity to drive the new Diablo in the early Nineties before he passed away on February 20 1993 … two months before he would turn 77.
In 1995 his son Tonino Lamborghini created a museum as a tribute to his father in Dosso di Ferrara, on the grounds of the Lamborghini Calor factory, the Centro Polifunzionale Ferruccio Lamborghini housed a large collection of items related to the late Ferruccio, including a helicopter and a Formula One off shore powerboat … in 2014 the collection became so large it had to be moved to the Museo Ferruccio Lamborghini in Funo di Argelato.
If Ferruccio Lamborghini would still be alive today he would be celebrating his 100th anniversary, instead Automobili Lamborghini SpA celebrates this special occasion with the release of the Lamborghini Centenario LP770-4 in a very limited production run, only 20 Coupé and 20 Roadster are available worldwide … and all of them have been sold already.