Lamborghini is known for its muscular sports cars. Likewise, Lamborghini logo of a raging bull give ample idea what the cars stand for.
Automobili Lamborghini SpA Information
|Headquarters||Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy|
Born to grape farmers, Ferruccio clearly had no interest in the family business. He was more interested in mechanics and after serving in the Air Force during World War II, Lamborghini was among the first ones to identify that demand for agriculture tractors will shoot up in post-war Italy. By 1948, he had established Lamborghini Trattori, making tractors using military vehicle engines and differentials.
The tractor business boomed and pretty soon, Lamborghini was wealthy enough to afford luxury cars. As with several other successful industrialists at the time, owing luxury cars was a sign of having arrived and it helped that Lamborghini had genuine interest in cars and mechanics. By early 1950s, Lamborghini had amassed a number of Alfa Romeo and Lancia cars, even a Mercedes 300SL with gullwing doors.
Lamborghini’s love hate relationship with Ferrari
In 1958, he purchased his first Ferrari which was the top name in car engineering at the time. He purchased a few more of them over the next few years and in fact had a positive opinion about the cars.
“I had three or four of them. The Ferrari was a very good car, I must admit, the best I had so far apart from the Mercedes 300SL. After I got my first Ferrari, my other six cars – Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Mercedes, Maserati, Jaguar were always left in the garage.”
However, Lamborghini wasn’t too impressed with the after-sales service of Ferrari cars. He also had to make regular trips to Ferrari service centres to get the clutch rebuilt or renewed. Finally, he confronted Enzo Ferrari with the issue but was rubbished by the proud and successful businessman as a mere tractor manufacturer. As one can expect, this put Lamborghini on the track to create a better car than Ferrari. And thus, started the famed Lamborghini Ferrari rivalry.
Apart from the clutch, Lamborghini did not like the Spartan interiors of Ferrari cars. Quite opposite to Enzo Ferrari’s thinking, Lamborghini felt that touring cars should be well-appointed and have excellent ride quality.
Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini
Lamborghini started by modifying one of his personal Ferrari 250GTs in 1962 and after successful tests, he established Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini by May of 1963. His first cars were well-received in the market and the company would go on to cement its position in the annals of the automotive industry with its rear mid-engine, rear wheel drive configuration that was presented for the first time in the Miura sports coupe.
Lamborghini Logo – Fascination with bullfighting
Sometime in 1962, Ferruccio Lamborghini paid a visit to the ranch of Don Eduardo Miura, a famous breeder of Spanish fighting bulls and was deeply impressed with the animals he saw on the ranch. Lamborghini was himself a Taurus and had a deep interest in bullfighting. As a result, he chose a raging bull as the company’s emblem. Lamborghini logo is quite simple with the bull placed inside a shield. As a representative of power and speed, the bull was an apt choice for Lamborghini emblem. The black shield is outlined in golden colour. Lamborghini name appears on the top of the shield in black capital letters.
Lamborghini logo has several similarities with Ferrari emblem and it is not likely to be an accident as Ferruccio Lamborghini was quite candid about his rivalry with the latter. At the same time, he was quite appreciative of things which he found good at Ferrari (elsewhere as well). Both logos feature a shield and use yellow/golden and black colors. Inspired by Ferrari or not, Lamborghini logo remains a memorable and celebrated symbols of the auto industry.
Lamborghini’s interest in bullfighting and Eduardo Miura’s ranch led him to name his upcoming sports car Miura. In fact, several of the subsequent models such as Islero, Espada, Urraco, Jalpa, Gallard and Aventador have direct connotation with bullfighting.
Bankruptcy and series of ownership changes
The oil crisis and financial downturn in 1973 forced Lamborghini to sell his automotive venture to Georges-Henri Rossetti and René Leimer. It surely was a challenging time and the company went bankrupt in 1978 before being purchased by brothers Jean-Claude and Patrick Mimran in 1980 for a sum of USD3 million. Under the ownership of Mimran brothers, the automaker, now sporting a new name – Nuova Automobili Lamborghini SpA, staged a turnaround and expanded its portfolio from a single model Countach to include the Jalpa sports car and the LM002 high performance off-road vehicle.
The company’s ownership once again changed hands in 1987 as Chrysler Corporation acquired it for USD35 million. The seven-year curse returned in 1994 as Chrysler offloaded Lamborghini to MegaTech – a company jointly owned by Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Hutomo (Tommy) Mandala Putra, the youngest son of President Suharto of Indonesia. Since 1998, Lamborghini is functioning as a subsidiary of Audi AG, itself part of the Volkswagen Group.