Automobili Lamborghini is our kind of company. Born from one man’s dogged determination to do things differently, to challenge the established order, the Italian marque has always made the most interesting sports cars on earth. Not the most technically accomplished or reliable (for that you’ll need a Porsche, Sir) and not always the most elegant to look at (may we suggest a trip to Turin or Marenello if that’s crucial to you), Lamborghinis are, however, never less than thoroughly exciting. And when you know a little about the history of the company, that’s no surprise at all.
Lamborghini was founded in Italy by Ferruccio Lamborghini, the son of viticulturists (we told you this was our kind of outfit), who – after serving as a mechanic during World War II – went into business building tractors out of leftover military hardware. By the mid-1950s, Lamborghini’s tractor company had become one of the largest agricultural equipment manufacturers in the country. And that left young Lamborghini with a little money with which to indulge his passions.
He owned a number of luxury cars including Alfas, Lancias, Maseratis and a Merc. But it wasn’t until he purchased his first Ferrari – a 250GT in 1958 – that the seed of what was to become Automobili Lamborghini was sewn. You see, while Lamborghini was fond of Ferraris, he also had the chutzpah to think he could do better. He thought old Enzo hadn’t quite nailed it. Complaining that Ferraris were too noisy, rough and with shoddy interiors to be proper road cars, Lamborghini used to enjoy likening them to repurposed track cars.
When Lamborghini discovered that the clutch on his Ferrari was broken – and, in fact, was the same clutch that he used on his tractors – he went to Enzo Ferrari and asked for a better replacement. The response from Ferrari (a man who famously said “the customer is not always right”) was typical: he told Lamborghini that he was nothing more than a tractor maker, what could he know about sports cars? And so it was that Lamborghini set out to show old Enzo exactly what he knew about sports cars. Over the following 50 years, the results were never less than thrilling.
Why the automative history lesson? Because, friends, next week our favourite luxury car dealer, HR Owen, is putting on quite a show for London-based petrol-heads: a dynamic museum of Lamborghini cars that will ‘pop up’ in significant London public spaces and famous landmarks.
Venues will change daily and you’ll need to visit the dedicated website or follow the #LamborghiniUncovered hashtag on Twitter for details but it will be worth it since the event includes some pretty stunning cars. Ranging from models on loan from Lamborghini’s factory museum in Sant’ Agata to current models, the highlights include a 350 GT, a Miura SV and the last Countach to be produced: a silver 25th Anniversary model. Diablo and Murciélago models will also be on display, as will the most recent V12 flagship: the Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, launched last year and sold out worldwide by more than 18 months’ production.
The daytime displays are free and open to all. We’ll see you there.
Lamborghini Uncovered: A moving museum in London, 18-24 June
Our favourite luxury car dealer, HR Owen, is putting on quite a show for London-based petrol-heads: a dynamic museum of Lamborghini cars is all set to ‘pop up’ in significant London public space and famous landmarks next week.
Our founder and editor-in-chief, the self-proclaimed "greatest wit, raconteur and bon vivant of our age", borders on delusional. Over the years, the fool has squandered more money on fast cars, Swiss watches and electronic gadgetry of all kinds than he – or Mrs Fool – cares to remember. Come nightfall, he can invariably be found stumbling out of Dukes mumbling “just one more Martini; I could have handled just one mmmmm… [thud!]”
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