Lamborghini vehicle history

Lamborghini is Ferrari’s counter to the title of ‘Maker of most exotic Italian sports cars’. The company was started in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini and is based in the small town (village really) of Sant’Agata, where it also operates its sole factory. After a succession of owners, all of whom lost money on the company, the company is now owned by Audi, which is in turn part of the Volkswagen Group. The oil crisis of the 1970’s almost killed Lamborghini, since fuel economy was not (and is still not) a trademark of its cars, but Audi’s ownership has heralded much-needed stability and increased profitability.

The tale is often told of how Ferruccio started the company. He owned a successful tractor manufacturing company, and with his wealth indulged himself by buying a Ferrari. However, he did not really like the car’s noise and handling, and sought out Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari to tell him how to better his cars. Enzo did not take this lightly, and informed Ferruccio in no uncertain terms that he should stick to making tractors and leave sportscar manufacturing to those who knew a thing or two about it. Ferruccio was himself furious at this slight; he stormed off and decided to start a rival to Ferrari, and thus was born another great Italian automobile marque. Strangely enough, Lamborghini does not take part in motorsport due to its founder’s view as racing being too expensive and a waste of company finances. This originally caused some friction between Ferruccio and some of his engineers, some of whom had come from Ferrari.

Lamborghini also has its own quirks, like the famous upward-opening doors on most of its models, and a technique, invented by their legendary test driver Valentino Balboni, in which the driver sits half-outside the car on the door sill and looks over the top of the car while reversing, owing to the poor rear visibility. The cars are named after famous animals in the dangerous sport of bullfighting. Lamborghini is famous for some of its historical models like the 1986 Countach with its crazy design, the 1966 Miura (considered by many to be the first no-compromise supercar) and the Diablo.

Lamborghini Models

In New Zealand only 2 models are on sale. First is the Gallardo, a mid-engine sports car available as the 5.0-litre V10 or the more hardcore 5.2-litre LP560-4 with 4-wheel drive. The other is the Murcielago, a larger mid-engine car with a 6.5-litre engine, available as either coupe or convertible. As expected, both cars have stratospheric prices as standard, with the cheapest being the Gallardo coupe at NZ$ 475,000.

Looking at buying a Lamborghini? Check the vehicle history of any Lamborghini by entering its number plate in the field above.