Italian industrialist Ferruccio Lamborghini had amassed considerable wealth by the early 1950s. As an automotive connoisseur and a skilled mechanic, Lamborghini naturally sought out the finest cars available with his newfound fortune. In the early 1950s, Lamborghini owned a variety of top-notch automobiles, including Maseratis, Alfa Romeos, Mercedes Benz’s and Jaguars. Although fine cars, they were not up to Lamborghini’s high standards, which led him to Maranello to pay Enzo Ferrari a visit.
Lamborghini purchased several Ferraris in the late 1950s, and although he found them to be good cars, he was displeased with various weaknesses in their engineering and design. He considered them to be excessively noisy, lacking in interior luxury, and they consistently required service due to poorly made clutches. He was also displeased with Ferrari’s service department, considering it inadequate for a high-end brand such as Ferrari. Lamborghini brought these concerns to Ferrari head Enzo Ferrari, and Ferrari disrespected Lamborghini, dismissing his concerns. This inspired Lamborghini to outdo Ferrari, and led to the beginnings of the Lamborghini brand.
Lamborghini had worked as a mechanic and vehicle maintenance supervisor for the Italian military, and tooled up Fiats from his garage in Pieve di Cento in the late 1940s. He took his mechanical prowess and retooled one of his factory model Ferrari 250GTs for superior performance. Upon successfully modifying his Ferrari, he was moved to start his own brand of automobiles, with the goal of refining the touring car to its pinnacle of excellence. To this end Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. was born in 1963.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was driven, and he took an extremely hands-on approach in establishing Lamborghini as a firm competitor of Ferrari and other top brands. He would often put in hard work on the production floor, toiling side by side with his employees, inspiring solidarity and a commitment to quality at the Lamborghini factory. By 1968 he had certainly achieved his goal of producing equal if not superior cars to Ferrari. Ferruccio Lamborghini sold his remaining stake in Lamborghini in 1974, and retired from the automotive business. Despite Lamborghini’s departure, the Lamborghini brand continues to this day as a top maker of high-end automobiles, and a main competitor of Ferrari.
Contributed by Fossil Cars Staff Writer