Ferruccio Lamborghini, an Italian manufacturing magnate, founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. in 1963 to compete with established marques, including Ferrari.
According to legend, Sant'Agata Bolognese tractor manufacturer Ferrucio Lamborghini went to the nearby Ferrari factory in the early 1960s to complain about the clutch in his Ferrari 250GT. Treated dismissively by company owner Enzo Ferrari, Lamborghini swore he would build a better car, and hired Giampaolo Dallara and Giotto Bizzarini to produce a V-12-engined grand touring coupe clothed in a body designed by Franco Scaglione. When the 350GT reached production in 1964, its all-aluminum 3.5-liter V-12 produced an astonishing 350 horsepower. This was enough to entice 130 customers to part with their money. Quickly succeeded by the 400GT and 400GT 2+2, the upstart Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. was on the map and ready to surprise the auto world once more.
The 1965 Turin Motor Show saw a lightweight mid-engined chassis powered by a transverse V-12 engine take center stage. Described by Dallara as his interpretation of a road-going Ford GT40 race car, the chassis would not be seen again until the following year's Geneva Motor Show when it was clothed in a sleek and sensuous Marcello Gandini-designed body and called "Miura." The car was years ahead of arch-rival Ferrari, which still clung to the traditional front-engine/rear-drive layout for its road cars. Lamborghini, a Taurus, chose a bull for his company logo, and named many of the cars--including the Miura--after different breeds.
- Founded : Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy (30 October 1963) as Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A.
- Founder : Ferruccio Lamborghini
- Headquarters : Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy
- Website : www.lamborghini.com
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The Mimram brothers of Switzerland took control of the company and continued to develop the Countach while also developing the outrageous LM002, a brutal V-12-powered SUV. In 1987, the same year it bought American Motors, Chrysler took control of Lamborghini and brought the Coutach's successor, the Diablo, to market. Seven years later, Chrysler was once again in financial trouble, and sold Lamborghini to an Indonesian investment group, Megatech. It brought in former Lotus managing director Mike Kimberley to turn things around, and by 1995, sales had quadrupled from their 1993 levels. However, the 1997 Asian financial crisis meant Megatech couldn't raise the funds necessary to underwrite Kimberley's product plans, and Lamborghini was sold to Audi, which owns it to this day. Its current lineup consists of various versions of the Murcielago and Gallardo, and a production version of the front engine/rear-drive four door Estoque concept reportedly is in the works.