ANNIVERSARY


A Brief Look At 50 Years Of Lamborghini

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Lamborghini celebrates its 50th anniversary of excellence and leadership in the automotive industry.


No one would ever think by looking at the current Lamborghini models that the origin of these super cars has to be found in the fields and farms of Italy. But in fact, a tractor manufacturer founded this popular brand of high performance cars in 1963: Ferruccio Lamborghini.

Fifty years have passed, and the company is celebrating this anniversary in high style. The most spectacular event of the year is the Grande Giro, a five day, 750-mile tour of the Italian regions of Lombardy, Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria and Emilia-Romagna, going through such picturesque places as Forte dei Marmi, Grosseto, Rome, San Giustino Valdarno and Bologna, and finishing in the place where it all began, Sant’Agata Bolognese. A caravan of 350 different Lamborghini models participated in this journey, forming a 3-mile convoy.

But how did it all begin? One of the world’s most popular and desired car brands had a rather anecdotal beginning. Ferruccio Lamborghini served in the Italian department of military transport during World War II; when the war ended, he decided to build a company to manufacture agricultural machinery, using surplus parts from military vehicles.

The enterprise was very successful and grew quickly, so Ferruccio allowed himself a few luxuries, such as buying a couple of Ferraris. He found that the Ferrari models of the time had many mechanical problems, and complained directly to the brand’s owner, Enzo Ferrari.

Lamborghini himself often remembered the conversation between the two men: “one day, tired of sending the cars to the workshop, I called Enzo to tell him that his cars were crap. And he answered that a tractor manufacturer could not understand his vehicles.” Embarrassed by the show of contempt, Lamborghini decided to produce sports cars that would rival and be better than those of the Cavallino Rampante.

From that moment, the history of Lamborghini has been full of successes, albeit a few failures. In fact, in 1977 the company was declared bankrupt. Between 1987 and 1994 it was in the hands of American automotive giant, Chrysler, and in 1998 it was purchased by the VAG Group (Volkswagen), which continues to own the brand to this date.

THESE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT AND REPRESENTATIVE MODELS IN THE HISTORY LAMBORGHINI.


350 GT

Lamborghini
350 GT

YEAR
1964 – 1966
ENGINE
3.5-liter 12 V
POWER
320 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
250 kmh / 155 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
120; 23 of them with 400 GT engine

The first production vehicle of the brand is a noteworthy beginning to the history of Lamborghini. The design was elegant, sporty and spectacular for the time. Manufacture began in 1964 after successful tests the year before. Produced at Milan’s Carrozzeria Touring, by the end of 1966, there were already 120 of these cars on the road; 23 of them fitted with a slightly larger engine: 4.0 liters, with the same power but more torque and more comfortable to drive. They also built two of the 350 GT Spyder.


400 GT 2+2

Lamborghini
400 GT 2+2

YEAR
1966 – 1968
ENGINE
4.0-liter V 12
POWER
320 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
270 kmh / 167 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
250

This car is an upgrade of the 350 GT. The exterior design was very similar, but its interior was completely remodeled to make it more practical, more spacious and comfortable with +2 seats in the rear. Production of the 400 GT began in 1966 with 4.0-liter, 12-cylinder engines, which had been used in the latter models of the 350 GT. The 400 GT was also built by Carrozzeria Touring.


Miura

Lamborghini
Miura

YEAR
1966 – 1971
ENGINE
4.0-liter V 12
POWER
370 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
285 kmh / 177 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
338

This legendary model will always occupy a prominent place in the history of car manufacturing. It caused a real revolution when it was released. With its central engine and the fascinating design of Marcello Gandini of Bertone, in 1969 the Lamborghini Miura redefined the notion of a super car. Despite the adoration of its many fans, Ferruccio Lamborghini still doubted that a car of this kind could have commercial success, and began producing it on a smaller scale. Between 1966 and 1969, 275 cars were produced with a force of 350 hp. From 1969 they came with a standard 370 hp engine.


Sword

Lamborghini
Sword

YEAR
1968 – 1978
ENGINE
4.0-liter V 12
POWER
Between 325 hp and 350 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
245-260 kmh / 152-161 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
1,227 in all three series

The Sword became a real best seller for Lamborghini. Carrozzeria Bertone built it. The car’s good performance and practical and comfortable features overshadowed most of the other cars from that time. It had four seats and enough space to store the luggage of all passengers. The success of the Sword became the backbone of the company during difficult financial times.


Islero

Lamborghini
Islero

YEAR
1968 – 1969
ENGINE
4.0-liter V 12
POWER
350 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
260 kmh / 161 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
ISLERO: 155 / ISLERO S: 70

It can be said that this model was one of Lamborghini’s first failures. Its design was too simple and boring compared to the spectacular Miura. Only 225 units were produced, of which the last 70 were put on the market in 1969, with some improvements in the body and the interior to try to reignite sales, which did not happen.


P 250 Urraco

Lamborghini
P 250 Urraco

YEAR
1972 – 1979
ENGINE
2.0-liter V 8, 2.5 liter and 3.0 liter
POWER
182 / 220 / 250 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
220-250 kmh / 136-155 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
780 in all three series

With the Urraco, Ferruccio Lamborghini intended to build a more economical sports car, supposedly to compete with Porsche. The 2 +2 seater design presented in 1970 was the work of Nuccio Bertone. The Italian manufacturer developed a smaller engine than the V12, which had been used in all sports cars to date. Initially Lamborghini planned annual productions of 2,000 vehicles, but only 780 units were sold.


Jarama

Lamborghini
Jarama

YEAR
1970 – 1976
ENGINE
4.0-liter V 12
POWER
350 / 365 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
260 kmh / 161 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
JARAMA: 176 / JARAMA S: 152

The Jarama is a sports coupé that emerged from the redesign of the Islero by Bertone’s Marcello Gandini. It was deigned for “gentleman” driver, with elegance and luxury, but also powerful and aggressive. Ferruccio Lamborghini appreciated its excellent combination of sportiness and comfort.


Silhouette

Lamborghini
Silhouette

YEAR
1976 – 1979
ENGINE
3.0-liter V 8
POWER
250 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
260 kmh / 161 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
55

The Silhouette was the evolution of the Urraco. The intent of this alternative version was to open and conquer the difficult American market, but it was a failure with only 55 units produced.


Countach LP 400

Lamborghini
Countach LP 400

YEAR
1974 – 1978
ENGINE
4.0-liter V 12
POWER
375 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
300 kmh / 186 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
151

The years passed and the Italian carmaker was unable to find a model that rivaled the rise of the Miura. In the late 1970s the Countach came to re-energize the brand. This model has helped forge the legend of Lamborghini. Once again, the teams of Nuccio Bertone and Marcello Gandini put their signature on a unique, groundbreaking car. Its wedge-shaped body, with a height of only 1.07 meters (3.5 feet), and doors that opened like scissors, is still felt in current models from the Italian carmaker.


Jalpa 350

Lamborghini
Jalpa 350

YEAR
1981 – 1988
ENGINE
3.5-liter V 8
POWER
250 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
248 kmh / 154 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
420

This is one of the first models to hit the market after the Mimram brothers took charge of the company in July 1980. The Jalpa is an evolution of the Silhouette. The design was more elegant and striking than its predecessor, and the comfortable ride was also far superior.


LM 002

Lamborghini
LM 002

YEAR
1986 – 1992
ENGINE
5.2-liter 12
POWER
444 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
210 kmh / 130 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
301

In the late 1970s, the U.S. Lamborghini division, MIT, commissioned the design of a military SUV. The project failed, but it was reinstated in 1981. After several prototypes the LM 002 was released in 1986. Arab billionaires and Hollywood stars favored this powerful SUV. In fact, the first unit was delivered to the King of Morocco. In 1987, a special edition was built and used to compete in the Rally of the Pharaohs, and a year later in the Paris-Dakar Rally.


Diablo

Lamborghini
Diablo

YEAR
1993 – 1996
ENGINE
5.7-liter 12 V
POWER
492 hp
MAXIMUM SPEED
325 kmh / 200 mph
NUMBER OF UNITS PRODUCED
529

In 1990, Lamborghini built a car meant to be the worthy heir of the Miura and the Countach: the Diablo was the biggest head turner in the world. Its body, once again, took shape under the authorship of Marcello Gandini. A year later, the Lamborghini Diablo VT (Visco Traction), was launched as the first sports car with four-wheel drive.


Egoista

Egoista is the latest concept launched by Lamborghini to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Its extravagant design evokes a spaceship, possibly heralding Lamborghini’s designs of the future. Its unique command post is striking and was conceived as a separate section, not unlike the cockpit of a fighter jet. This prototype has a 5.2-liter V10 engine that delivers an output of 600 hp.


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