The Automotive Hall of Fame (AHF) is a non-profit organization that honors and celebrates automotive leaders and innovators, founded in 1939, to date, The Automotive Hall of Fame has honored 757 awardees from around the world who have impacted and influenced the automotive and mobility industries, and finally, on July 21, 2022, Ferruccio Lamborghini has been recognized for his immeasurable contributions to the automotive industry with his induction in the Automotive Hall of Fame during a gathering at The Icon, a Detroit waterfront.
We all know Ferruccio Lamborghini started a few different businesses that made him a wealthy individual in the early Sixties, so much so that he founded Automobili Lamborghini SpA on May 7. 1963, after which he built a state-of-the-art factory on a 90,000 square meters green-field site on the Via Modena in Sant’Agata, Bologna … total cost at the time, was about 500,000,000 Lire, but towards the end of 1963, the factory wasn’t ready yet to build his first prototype, the modern 350 GTV with his very own, bespoke V12 engine, a car that was unveiled at the Turin Motor Show that same year already!
By 1964 Automobili Lamborghini SpA had their first actual production car ready, the two-seater 350 GT, a little less ‘futuristic-looking’ compared to the 350 GTV prototype, but a very beautiful Gran Turismo with a powerful V12 engine up front driving the rear wheels while the driver and passenger sat inside a luxurious interior, later the engine got enlarged to 4-Liter, and subsequently they added a ‘+2’ seating arrangement to create the 400 GT 2+2, and then things started to evolve quickly for Automobili Lamborghini SpA … while Ferruccio set out to build the best GT in the world, things would turn out differently in the mid-sixties.
Just two years after the world saw the first Lamborghini GT, the automotive world got blindsided by the Lamborghini Miura in 1966, a revolution in the performance car market, Lamborghini made something available to clients to be driven on the open road unlike any other car manufacturer … the Miura became the world’s first supercar. With sensually beautiful styling, a transversely mounted 4-Liter V12 engine just inches behind the occupants, and performance and speed that could frighten even the best out there, the Lamborghini Miura was a masterpiece, this was the car that made Lamborghini a household name around the world among the who’s who of society, from actors to singers, all the way up to royalty, in the late Sixties, a Lamborghini Miura was the car to have.
Other car makers now had to rush to catch up with Lamborghini, but Ferruccio had no intentions to wait it out, and in the early Seventies he once again rocked the automotive world with the Lamborghini Countach, unveiled as a prototype in 1971, it would take a few more years to get the Countach ready for production, but it was worth the wait, the Countach would become a poster car that adorned countless bedroom walls in the Eighties, the angular-styled Countach with the by now traditional ‘Lamborghini doors’, opening up instead of sideways, set the trend for every V12 flagship since the Seventies, and would remain in production until the Nineties when the Diablo took over.
Ferruccio Lamborghini passed away on February 20. 1993 in Perugia, Italy … only two months before his 77th birthday, but he did get to see the Lamborghini Diablo a few years earlier, at that time he had no financial or controlling interest in Automobili Lamborghini SpA anymore, in fact, Ferruccio had sold his entire stake in Automobili Lamborghini SpA after the oil-crisis of 1973, by the time the Countach LP400 was getting delivered to clients, the founder of Lamborghini had left the building it seems.
After that, we did see Lamborghini cars like the Diablo, the Murciélago, and the Aventador, but none of those could quite live up to the massive impact the Miura and the Countach made on the automotive world decades earlier, by the time the Aventador was unveiled, even the original Bizzarrini V12 engine design was gone, the current flagship at the time of writing was still a Lamborghini, but she’s a far cry from a Miura or a Countach, even with the Countach LPI 800-4, a limited-edition homage to the original 19761 Countach prototype, based on the Aventador drivetrain and chassis.
Andrea Baldi, CEO of Automobili Lamborghini Americas, attended the ceremony at the Automotive Hall of Fame event in Detroit to accept this great honor on behalf of Lamborghini, a black marble plaque etched with Ferruccio Lamborghini’s signature has been installed in the Hall of Honor at the Automotive Hall of Fame where visitors celebrate the men and women whose automotive innovations have changed the world and revolutionized our way of life, the AHF is located at 21400 Oakwood Blvd in Dearborn, Michigan and is open to the public Thursdays – Sundays, 10a.m. – 4p.m. You can also visit the Automotive Hall of Dame online at automotivehalloffame.org.