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Lamborghini

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2004 Lamborghini Gallardo
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2004 Lamborghini Gallardo
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2004 Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster


Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., commonly known as Lamborghini, is a manufacturer of high performance sports cars based in the small Italian village of Sant'Agata Bolognese, near Bologna. The company was founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini (19161993) as a spin-off from his very successful tractor factory, Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A..

Ferruccio Lamborghini was already a sucessful businessman when in 1963, he decided to find a car company. He chose Sant'Agata Bolognese as the location to do so and recruited a variety of famous and capable engineers to design his cars, including Bizzarrini, Dallara and Stanzani.His first car, the 350GT entered production in 1964 and combined a Bizzarrini developed quad-cam V12 with a Dallara developed chassis. This combination proved very effective, and it remained in production until 1968 (albeit in revised 400GT form from 1966).

Ferruccio Lamborghini was an enthusiastic owner of sports cars, including a Ferrari. The standard tale goes that he took this car back to the Ferrari factory when its clutch failed. Enzo Ferrari refused to meet him, saying that 'A tractor manufacturer could never be expected to understand high-bred sports cars'. So—after fixing the clutch with surprising ease—Lamborghini decided to go into business, building the perfect GT (Grand Touring) car. (Another version of the tale holds that Ferruccio was incensed when he found out that the bum clutch on his Ferrari was the exact same model that he used on his tractors, only far more expensive.)

Featuring bodies designed by Franco Scaglione, Touring of Milan, Zagato, Mario Marazzi, Bertone, ItalDesign, Marcello Gandini and Luc Donckerwolke, Lamborghini's cars are amongst the most expensive, and also most powerful, road-going vehicles made. As Ferruccio himself was a bullfighting aficionado (not to mention a Taurus), almost all models have a name somehow related to bullfighting.

Lamborghini's products include the 350GTV (1963), 350GT (1964), 400GT 2+2 (1966), Miura (1966), Espada (1968), Jarama (1970), Countach (1974), Silhouette (1976), Jalpa (1981), Diablo (1990) and the Murciélago (2001) as well as the Lamborghini LM002 (1986) off-road vehicle of which Road and Track magazine said, "With the 5.2 litre V-12, the LM002 can pass anything on the road—except a gas station".

The current (2005) range consists of the Murciélago, the Murciélago Roadster and the smaller, cheaper Gallardo. All are very fast, mid-engined 2-seaters with four-wheel-drive as standard. The styling is largely the work of Belgian designer Luc Donckerwolke.

Lamborghini has had a number of owners, as shown in this simplified list:

See also: List of Italian companies

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