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The story of the automaker begins with Ferruccio Lamborghini, a man from the province of Ferrara, in the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. He came from a poor grape-growing peasant family, but became a successful businessman in the wake of World War II, during which he served as a mechanic in the Italian Air Force. His first great business success was a tractor manufacturer, Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A.; he later owned a factory that produced air conditioning equipment. After the war, Ferruccio developed an interest in motoring, leading him to buy and tune several Fiat Topolinos. His increasing wealth allowed him to move into the world of Alfa Romeo and Lancia cars in the early 1950s. At one point, he had enough cars to use a different one every day of the week, adding a Mercedes-Benz 300SL, a Jaguar E-Type coupé, and two Maserati 3500GTs. Of the latter, Ferruccio said, “Adolfo Orsi, then the owner of Maserati, was a man I had a lot of respect for: he had started life as a poor boy, like myself. But I did not like his cars much. They felt heavy and did not really go very fast.” In 1958, Lamborghini traveled to Maranello to buy a Ferrari 250GT, a two-seat coupé with a body designed by coachbuilder Pininfarina. He went on to own several more over the years, including a Scaglietti-designed 250 SWB Berlinetta and a 250GT 2+2 four-seater.

While he thought the Ferraris to be good cars, Ferruccio found that their clutches weren’t up to scratch; he was continuously forced to return to Maranello for clutch rebuilds, where Ferrari technicians would secret the car away for several hours to make the repairs. Frustrated with the recurring nature of the problems, Ferruccio took the matter up with the company’s founder, “Il Commendatore”, Enzo Ferrari. What happened next is the subject of much legend and debate; according to a 1991 Thoroughbred & Classic Cars magazine interview with Ferruccio Lamborghini, he complained to his “old friend” Enzo in “a bit of an argument”, telling him that his cars were rubbish; the notoriously pride-filled Modenan was furious, telling Ferruccio, “Lamborghini, you may be able to drive a tractor, but you will never be able to handle a Ferrari properly.” Lamborghini was incensed; the two men would never speak again. It was at that point that Ferruccio decided that if he could not buy the perfect car, he would have to make it himself. In his tractor factory, he and his workers opened up one of his 250GTs and set to work. The simple single overhead camshaft cylinder heads were replaced with custom units, and six horizontally-mounted dual carburetors were mounted to the V12 engine. Lamborghini would take the upgraded car out to the motorway entrance near Modena, and wait for Ferrari’s test drivers to appear. According to Ferruccio, the modifications made his car at least 25 km/h (16 mph) faster than the factory’s own cars, and it could easily outrun the testers in their stock machines. Inspired by his success, he decided to create a grand tourer to rival Ferrari’s designs. Thus, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. was born.
(http://hicars.org/2009/07/lamborghini-logo.html) www.lamborghini.com