How an Insult Created Italian Luxury Sports Car “Lamborghini”

Did you know that Lamborghini cars were only created because a tractor builder was insulted by Ferrari founder?


Ferruccio Lamborghini was a self made millionaire, he made a fortune by building tractors from army surplus left by the Allied Forces back in 1945. He started this business from a small garage but soon was able to move to larger buildings because demand for his very powerfull tractors rose. He also started manufacturing oil burners and airconditioning systems after his tractor plant started making lots of money, it turned out his second business also made big money so Ferruccio Lamborghini became one the wealthiest men in Italy. He could afford just about everything he wanted, including high speed GT cars like the Mercedes SL300 and Ferrari he owned alongside the Jaguar he liked very much. But his Ferrari started giving problems with the clutch, the local workshop couldn’t fix this problem so Ferruccio decided to drive to Modena and confront Enzo Ferrari himself. But Enzo, who was known for his arrogance, told this ‘farmer’ to take a walk.

The world may have never had the famous  Lamborghini super cars that were to follow had Enzo Ferrari not answered  Ferruccio’s complaints with “the problem is not with the car but with driver!” and went on to advise him to look after his tractors instead. For a mechanical  genius and Italian, this kind of answer was not only insulting but an open  challenge. Ferruccio was furious and at that moment decided to show Enzo how he should build GT cars. Of course this is a legend, and the truth about it could be a little different, it was obvious that Ferruccio had lots of money to spare and the GT car market was still open for new things, money could still be made by building high speed, well finished cars, so it is more likely this persuaded Lamborghini to start his own company.

With millions of liras from his successful  tractor business sitting around, Lamborghini decided to build his own car with a  V12 engine and founded an auto factory in the small town of Sant’Agata.  Lamborghini hired Ferrari’s ex-employees Giotto Bizzarini, Franco Scaglione, and  Gian Paolo Dallara. The task was very clear – to create a luxurious and powerful  GT that would reach 150 mph on the Autostrada del Sole, the famous Italian  motorway which connects Milan with Naples. The result was the Lamborghini 350GT.  The rest is history.

Lamborghini photo at

Additional Facts:

  • Ferruccio Lamborghini used his birth sign, Taurus the bull, as a symbol for  his cars. Moreover, most of the cars were named in relation to bull fighting or  the famously bred bull: Miura – after Don Eduardo Miura, who was a bullfighting  breeder; Islero – after a bull that killed the famous matador, Manolete; Espada – is a name of a sword, a weapon of a matador, etc.
  • Ferruccio Lamborghini confessed that he never actually invented anything,  rather, would simply copy and try to improve on others’ work. That is why, for  example, he used the 12-cylinder motor of Ferrari, improving it with the twin  cams from the 4-cylinder Alfa Romeo.



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