Birth of a Legend
FERRUCCIO LAMBORGHINI – BIRTH OF A LEGEND
In order to understand the myth of Lamborghini cars fully, it is necessary to understand the land where they are manufactured.
Think of a tree and its roots penetrating into a land where there is a love of top class engines more than any other in the world. It is a piece of the Padana Plain, shaped like an ideal golden triangle with its three points in Sant’Agata,
Modena and Maranello, where the world’s most beautiful cars are created. It is a question of blood, experience and sensibility mixed with pure passion. It is not that here some formal and stylistical revolutions occurred but that elsewhere they couldn’t have been imagined, even in enormous companies.
Everything comes from the hot blood of these people, from this rich and fertile land, from the long roads crossing the cultivated fields. In the silence of hot summer days these engines break in the air like sirens and everybody turns around to see what’s passing.
In these long, straight roads, launched like arrows across the Emilian plains, has been designed the DNA of these wonderful engines. They seemed created just for this purpose, to push the accelerator and enjoy the sound of the most beautiful and vocal 12 cylinder engine: the Sant’Agata Bolognese.
The whole mystique of Automobili Lamborghini is related to the man who had the inspiration, the skill and the determination to turn a dream into a reality.
The father of Trattori and Automobili Lamborghini was born into a farming family in Renazzo, a small village near Bologna, on 28th April 1916. Ferruccio always had a love for state-of-the-art technology and mechanics, and attended technical studies in Bologna. He served with the Italian Air Force's mechanics corps, where he became proficient at working with engines. After the war, Italy was plagued with scarcity; one such shortage involved tractors. Sensing an opportunity, Lamborghini purchased surplus military machines and reconfigured them as tractors.
In 1948 the Lamborghini Trattori was founded in Pieve di Cento using Ferruccio’s zodiac, the bull, as logo of the new company. It was a canny move that resulted in a thriving business for the young entrepreneur, one that quickly made him a very wealthy man.
Between the 50’s and 60’s the Lamborghini Trattori became one of the most important factories building agricultural equipment.
The production of fuel oil burners and air conditioning systems followed the existing activity until 1959, when, thanks to his technical skill and to his passion, Ferruccio started to conceive his possible involvement in the helicopter industry. When the Italian government denied the permission, he turned to the production of sports cars.
He owned several top-end sports cars and was generally satisfied with them, especially with his Ferraris. However, the Ferraris' clutches could not handle the power of the engine and Ferruccio had them fixed several times without any lasting improvement. Eventually, he decided to confront Enzo Ferrari with this weakness.
When he heard Lamborghini's complaint, Ferrari uttered the legendary words that triggered the founding of Automobili Lamborghini: "You know how to drive a tractor, but you will never learn to drive a Ferrari!" Ferruccio then vowed to make his own car - a real car!
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. was founded on 7th May 1963. Business went even better than Ferruccio's expectations and Lamborghini became a strong name in the sports car world. In the late 1960's, Ferruccio employed somewhere around 4500 people.
However, Just a few years later, in 1972, he had to sell 51 percent of Automobili Lamborghini due to economic problems, the oil embargo and the general world recession.
Two years later, he sold his remaining shares and left the factory for good.
Ferruccio moved to the estate La Fiorita by Lake Trasimeno in Umbria, where he created a vineyard from nothing. He entered the wine industry with the first harvest obtained in 1975, producing the wine "Sangue di Miura" ("Blood of the Bull") with the enological supervision of Giorgio Grai, one of the best winemakers at that time.
His mind flourished again and he constructed a golf course, one that suited hydraulically powered golf caddies, and he built himself a car museum. When he was asked which car he liked the most he would always answer "Miura". Ferruccio Lamborghini died 20th February 1993 at the age of 77.
In the middle of the 90’s Patrizia Lamborghini, the daughter, succeeded in the management of the estate pursuing, and even strengthening that ambition of making quality wines that her father had in the past.
Since then the greater part of the vineyards has been replanted preferring Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grechetto.
At the present the new vineyards extend for a total area of 30 hectares but future plans of the actual ownership foresee the replanting of the entire vineyard area.
The extreme search for quality and the will to evidence the characteristics of the territory allowed the beginning of a dramatic improvement regarding both the management of the vineyards and the wine making conduction supervisioned by Riccardo Cotarella since more than 20 years. The result of these efforts brought forth very high standard modern wines.