A look back on the history of Lamborghini
We look back on one of the most famous supercar marques
The history of Lamborghini
Here we look back at the development and dates of your favourite masterpieces, starting from the vision and drive of Ferruccio Lamborghini, where the name came from, and when it all changed.
The birth of the brand
- The start of Lamborghini Automobili in Sant’Agata Bolognese Italy.
- Ferruccio Lamborghini, a strong-willed Taurus (The famous bull on the logo) founded the company, when he decided to build a factory of luxury sports cars following WW11.
- His drive (pardon the pun) was to compete with Ferrari.
- So where did he start? With Giotto Bizzarrini of course who had designed some of Ferrari’s engines. He joined Lamborghini along with engineers Giampaolo Dallara and Giampaolo Stanzani
- The first model a V12 350 GTV was presented at the Turin Auto Show
- The 350 GT was built (120 units)
- Followed by the 400 GT (273 built) which saw the engine increased to a four-litre model and it featured the first gearbox designed in-house by Lamborghini
- Between October 1965 and June 1966, the company presented a number of new models including; 3500 GTZ (with a Zegato body); 350 Spyder by Touring and the Monza 400 by Neri and Bonacini. All were essentially prototypes.
- Lamborghini presented the Miura at the Geneva Motor Show and later took it to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix.
- Parking the orange Miura outside the Hotel de Paris in Monaco aroused interest and enthusiasm for the brand and brought in money and publicity.
- Ferruccio Lamborghini’s flair for publicity proved to be exceptional
- The Marzal model was produced for publicity purposes and not destined for production. It was the star of many auto shows and featured on the covers of magazines internationally. Prince Rainier of Monaco, with Princess Grace at his side chose this car to open the Monte Carlo Grand Prix in 1967.
- It was all about introducing a convertible. The Miura Roadster was it, and was presented at the Brussels Car Show.
- In March, the Islero GT was introduced to replace the 400 GT
- The Espada, remotely derived from the Marzal line, was a two-door model with a front-mounted engine and four very comfortable seats.
- The Miura was then modified – the outcome was the S version. It featured a 370-hp engine, electric windows, and options included air conditioning (a rare feature on the time, at least in Europe) and natural leather upholstery
- The Islero GT was boosted in terms of power and refinished, resulting in the GTS version
- The Espada was restyled and updated in a Series II that was presented at the 1970 Brussels Motor Show
- The Jarama was born using a stylistic evolution of the Islero, & elements from the Espada and launched at the 1970 Geneva Motor Show
- Followed by the P250 Urraco.
- Lamborghini expanded the Sant’Agata factory, constructing a spacious new building behind the one already being used, adding nearly 500 square metres of new factory space.
- The Jota was born, followed by the SV version which was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1971
- Followed by the LP 500, better known as the ‘Countach’.
- It all changed.
- Labour unions’ unrest in this period created a difficult situation in all factories, particularly at engineering companies in northern Italy. Owner control was openly contested and organisation became increasingly difficult. For Lamborghini the pressure was too much, he was long accustomed to the direct leadership and attentive control of his factories but this new situation became intolerable. Lamborghini sold his majority stake to Georges-Henri Rossetti.
- Production continued with the Jarama S, P250 Urraco, the 400 GT Jarama, the 400 GT Espada and the P400 Miura SV.
- Lamborghini sold his remaining shares to a friend, René Leimer, leaving the brand in new hands.
- BMW Motorsport and Lamborghini collaborated.
A full-fledged high-performance off-road vehicle offering maximum mobility on the roughest terrain, was designed and constructed, and named The Cheetah. The project, for contacts in military suppliers and particularly with ‘MTI’ (Mobility Technologies International) never got off the ground and, at the same time, the collaboration with BMW evaporated.
- 158 ‘normal’ Countach LP400s were produced between 1973 and 1977
- Production of the Espada ended, followed by the Urraco and, lastly, also the Silhouette in 1979. Only the S version of the Countach continued.
- The Athon was introduced, based on the P300, was a completely open car
- But, disaster hit … The company slid toward bankruptcy and then liquidation. By 1980, Lamborghini was considered finished… until Jean-Claude and Patrick Mimran, the wealthy owners of a sugar empire in Senegal took over.
- In March this year, Lamborghini exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show, they presented a Miura, restyled by a Swiss company, and the Countach S with a large rear wing. Also on display was the initial attempt to reinterpret the hefty off-road Cheetah which was heavily modified to avoid legal action threatened by FMC.
- The Jalpa and Coutach 5000 were launched.
- Development continued on the off-road model, which became the LM 004 it had a colossal 7-litre front-mounted V12 engine and the top speed broke the barrier of 200 km/hour.
- Pirelli collaborated with Lamborghini to develop a new top-performing tyre
- The Stand at the Geneva Motor Show presented the new version of the Countach, the Quattrovalvole
- Development work continued on the LM & early prototypes of the Tipo 132, destined to become the successor to the Countach.
- The Jalpa Spyder, also known as the Speedster was developed which had a canvas top, a new feature for Lamborghini
- The company’s twenty-fifth anniversary was commemorated with a version of the Countach.
- The Countach’s successor was presented in 1990. The 132 was dubbed the Diablo.
- American Chrysler Corporation took control.
- A two-wheel drive version of the Diablo was presented, but a four-wheel drive version was already in the wings, and from that point on this would become a distinctive feature of the top Lamborghinis. This version, named the Diablo VT for ‘Viscous Traction’
- The Bologna company was sold to a group of unknown Indonesian investors on 21 January 1994. The investment group, Mycom Setdco and Indonesian V’Power Corporation.
- SV, a lighter and more powerful model that placed a premium on driving pleasure over comfort, and the VT Roadster with a Targa-style removable roof, which was instantly a hit, particularly in the United States. Other special editions, such as the SE, Jota, Monterey, Alpine and many others, were derived from these models.
- Giorgetto Giugiaro demonstrated the Calà to the trade press, it had a V10 engine and was designed to replace the Jalpa, however, it never left the prototype stage
- A circuit version of the Diablo – the SVR – was made for the championship.
- The Diablo on-road evolution was announced (the GT an ultra-sporty road version produced in a limited series of 83 units) as well as the circuit model for the new cycle of races for this trophy GTR, with a 6-litre 590-hp engine, produced in a limited series of 32 units)
- Lamborghini turned to Audi, to request their technical collaboration for the 8-cylinder engine of the ‘A8’ flagship to power the future ‘baby Lamborghini’, but Audi’s technical staff went back to company headquarters in Germany with very positive reports on the status of the company and in June 1998 the contract for the complete and definitive transfer of all the shares from the last Indonesian shareholder (V’Power) to the German company was completed on 27 July of the same year, just 50 days later.
- The Murciélago was born, replacing the Diablo
- The ‘Barchetta’ version was presented at the 2003 Detroit Auto Show.
- At the Geneva Motor Show the Gallardo was presented. It was equipped with a 500-hp 50-valves V10 engine, permanent four-wheel drive and a top speed of well over 300 km/h.
- At the Motor Show in Frankfurt Lamborghini showed (for the first time) a race version of its highly acclaimed super sports car, the Lamborghini Murciélago. Named Murciélago R-GT
- To commemorate the 40th anniversary, the House of the Raging Bull releases special, limited edition series of its supercar Murciélago. (50 units were produced in the exclusive Verde Artemis (jade green) colour.
- The Murciélago Roadster makes its official debut at the Geneva Show
- In July the Special Edition of the Gallardo, the Gallardo SE produces 250 units
- The Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder is presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
- The House of the Raging Bull brings back a legendary name from the company’s past with the “Lamborghini Miura Concept”.
- Saw the unveiling of the Sesto Elemento concept car. Only 20 units of the new super sports car were produced, which was destined for track use only.
- Saw the debut of the new V12 model, the Aventador LP 700-4, and Three special series; – the Gallardo Bicolore; the Gallardo Tricolore, in homage to the 150th anniversary of Italian unification; and the Super Trofeo Stradale, as well as a derivative, the rear-wheel-drive Spyder LP 550-2
- The new HURACÁN LP 610-4 made its world premiere at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show
- Marked the year of the Aventador, saw two new versions unveiled: the Aventador SV, developed as the Lamborghini with the sportiest DNA, and the Aventador SV Roadster
- The year of the Huracán Avio, the special series inspired by aeronautics, but it is also the one hundredth anniversary of the birth of the founder of the iconic car manufacturer. It’s in tribute to him that Lamborghini releases the Centenario, a true masterpiece of perfection: innovative design and excellent performance in a limited-edition super sports car that has already become the object of the desire for all the collectors.
Rotate Club is so proud to own number 1 of 250 of the Lamborghini Huracan Avio. View the car here
- Lamborghini celebrate production of 10,000 Huracan models.
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