Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., usually referred to as Lamborghini, is an Italian based manufacturer of supercars (high performance sports cars). Lamborghini's cars are famous for being among the worlds most powerful and exclusive serial-manufactured road cars. It comes as no surprise that they are also among the most expensive road cars in the world. Examples of the many exclusive features utilized in Lamborghinis include high-tech V10 and V12 engines and the carbon fibre constructions. The Lamborghini styling has been carried out by famous names such as Bertone, Franco Scaglione, ItalDesign, Marcello Gandini, Mario Marazzi, Touring of Milan, and Zagato. In the Italian sports car business, Lamborghini is counted as the chief counterpart of the Ferrari.
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. is based in Sant'Agata Bolognese, a small village near Bologna in Italy. Today, the company is a subsidiary of the German car manufacturer Adui AG. (Adui AG is in turn a subsidiary of Volkswagen.)
Early Lamborghini history
Lamborghini was founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, a successful businessman who owned a tractor factory called Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A. According to the most common version of the story, as told by Ferruccio's son, Ferruccio Lamborghini didn’t like the quality of the clutch in his Ferrari 250 GT and went to the Ferrari factory to tell Enzo Ferrari about it. Enzo Ferrari allegedly told him to stick to tractors because he was unable to drive cars. This caused Ferruccio Lamborghini to go back to his tractor factory and dismantle the Ferrari clutch. As he did this, he realized that the Ferrari clutch was produced by the same manufacturer as the clutch used in Lamborghini tractors. He found a suitable spare part in this warehouse, installed it, and solved the problem.
Ferruccio Lamborghini decided that he would create a car with a V12 engine and hired Giotto Bizzarrini, a gifted engineer who had previously worked on a Ferrari V12. The new engine featured 4 cams, 2 big bore valves for each cylinder, and a short stroke, and it could produce an amazing 350 horsepower (260 kW). The engine was constructed out of aluminium and its crankshaft was supported by seven main bearings. There were also forged aluminium pistons and camshafts who had their own half-engine-speed sprocket and silent chain. The Lamborghini car that would fit this astonishing engine was designed by Franco Scaglione's Scaglione-Touring. Since Ferruccio Lamborghini was born under the zodiac sign of Taurus, he decided to use the powerful bull as the badge for the Lamborghini car.
In 1963, the Lamborghini 350GTV prototype was unveiled and began to appear at public events, including the well visited Turin Auto Show. In 1964 sales of the production model, the Lamborghini 350GT, could commence and the car turned out to be much sought after. Over 130 examples of the Lamborghini 350GT were sold.
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. ownership
Throughout the years, the Lamborghini enterprise has been owned by a lot of different persons and companies. Ferruccio Lamborghini owned the company until 1972, when he sold it to Georges-Henri Rossetti and René Leimer. In 1977, the company went bankrupt, but was managed by Patrick Mimram between 1980 and 1984. In 1984, the became the owner, and retained this position until he sold the company to the Chrysler Corporation in 1987. Lamborghini was a part of the Chrysler up until 1994 when Chrysler was forced to sell Lamborghini to an Indonesian investment group headed by Tommy Suharto. The Indonesian investment group was in turn forced to sell in 1995 and Lamborghini was purchased by V'Power, Mycom. In 1998, a complex series of transactions led the German car company Audi AG to become the sole owner of Automobili Lamborghini.