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FERRUCCIO LAMBORGHINI

 

Ferruccio Lamborghini was born 28 April 1916 in a small village in northern Italy called Renazzo. From childhood he had always had a big interest in motors. When he was old enough his parents arranged for him to go to an industrial college in Bologna. After a couple of years he graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and started to work at a repair workshop.

In his twenties the second world war started and he served his country by working at an Italian air force base at Rhodes repairing vehicles. At the end of World War 2, he was more or less forced to continue work on allied vehicles until 1946. When he finally got home he began to repair broken tractors in Italy using parts from military vehicles. This was how he started his tractor factory which soon made him a very successfull buisnessman. He was the first to construct a "cheap" tractor that almost everybody could afford. But there was another problem, which was the price on fuel, so he constructed the engine so it could run on diesel. Now his tractor for the people was ready.

Over the years he produced many different tractors, and he was the first to produce a 4WD tractor in Italy. As Ferruccio was very interested in design, the design of the tractors was also much improved to the regular tractors at the time, and he was the first to produce a tractor in the coulour yellow.

Over the years he started to built heating, hydralics and aircondition units, and become a very succesful buisnessman.

Ferruccio had always had a big interest in automobiles. But in the biginning when he did not have a lot of money. So in 1947 he bought a Fiat, and upgraded the engine so he could participate in "Mille Miglia", after his alterations the Fiat could go 260 km/h. On this car you can also see the first logo of Lamborghini. It had the letters "FLC" in it, "Ferruccio Lamborghini Cento", (Cento was the city where he had his tractor factory).

He also built a go-kart for his kids, not the normal type with pedals, but one with a motorcykle-engine.

His interest for cars, especially fast ones resultat in the purchase of several Ferrari's during these years. .

But back in those days the Ferrari's roadcars (like many other supercars from that time), were not build very well. Many Ferrari owners were unsatisfied with their cars but they did not dare to complain because they then might not be allowed to buy one again. The reason for the poor service was that Enzo Ferrari spent most of his energy on his racingprogram and that the roadgoing cars were primarily built to raise money for the development of his racingcars.

In the early sixties Ferruccio Lamborghini owned a Ferrari 250 GT and there was a lot of problems with the clutch. Though he had had it repaired at the Ferrari factory several times, they were never able to fix the problem. And this was where the legend of Lamborghini began.

One time when Ferruccio Lamborghini had just gotten his Ferrari back from the factory where they should repair the clutch but since they still hadn't solved the problem Ferrucio decided to fix it himself. He fixed the problem by installing a clutch from one of his tractors, and was very pleased with the new clutch which work perfectly.

He then went to pay Enzo Ferrari a visit and show him how he could fix the clutch problem on his Ferrari's. Even though he came and in a friendly tone, to explain how it could be done Enzo was not happy at all.

The got into a little discussion and at the end Enzo told Ferrucio that he was just a simple peasent with no knowledge at all about fullblood exotic sportscars and should go back and drive his tractors.

Ferruccio Lamborghini told Enzo that he would not buy any more Ferraris but from now on built his own cars.

So he found the best men he could and began his adventure of building the perfect GT car. Not only would he make them better and faster but he also wanted to listen to his customers and help them with any trouble they might have with their cars.

He started by building up hia new factory and the company "Lamborghini Automobili" only 15 km. from the Ferrari factory. He started on his new car in a corner of his tractor factory, before his car factory was ready, spending almost all his time developing his super GT car. He worked very close with his emploies because he wanted to be a part of every aspect in the development and was often the last man to turn off the lights.

Late in October 1963 he first car was ready - it was the Lamborghini 350 GTV. The first prototype was just a chassis but not a real car, which you could also see on the finish of the car, where they had used aluminum folie instead of chrome.

The second prototype was introduced in xxxx. But they did not have time to get it ready for the motorshow, so the second prototype was displayed without an engine and instead with 200 kg. of bricks to keep the front down. The engine was displayed next to the car. It was the first roadcar with indepent suspension on all 4 wheels, and the race-engine produced approx. 357 bhp.

The first productioncar did not arrive until March 1964 and was then changed into the 350 GT, and even though the engine was detuned to 270 bhp, it still showed the whole world that Ferruccio could built a high-tech GT, superior to anything else on the road.

After starting his Automotive adventure he also bought a speedboat, and since he was not wery satisfied with the american engine in the boat he decided to installe his own 4 liters V12 in the boat to increase speed. This worked very well and this was how he entered the powerboat industry, and for many years delivered engines and transmissions to the "Off Shore Race" (the Formula 1 of the sea). With his first powerboat engine from 1967 he set 2 records in december 1968.

Fastest average speed for 1 hour: 109,00 km/h.

Fastest average speed for 24 hour: 96.99 km/h.

The engines were later much improved to approx. 1000 bhp a piece and there was now 2 engines per boat, and Lamborghini won 6 World Championships.

 

The house where Ferruccio was born.
Ferruccios first Lamborghini tractor.
The first tractor with 4WD.
First yellow tractor produced.

The Fiat he raced in, in "Mille Miglia".
The gokart Ferruccio built for his son.
 
The boat of Ferruccio.
The first power-boat engine.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
     

© 2011 - Michael R. Pedersen