Lamborghini – The Running of a Bull

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It just so happens Ferruccio Lamborghini’s birth in April of 1916 was under the zodiac sign of Taurus. The Taurus symbol is a bull. Could that be the reason the emblem has a bull on it? Perhaps coincidental, Ferrucio had an attraction to bulls and specifically the Miura family line of bull breeders designated for bullfighting. Hence the Lamborghini Miura name was adopted for this 1966-73 model years.

There remained a noticeable trend in the Lamborghini model line-up. Many are named after famed bulls, or bull-related themes. Jalpa, Diablo, Murcielago, Islero, Reventon, Huracan, Urraco, Espada, Jurama, Aventador and Gallardo are labeled examples of Lamborghini models inspired by bulls. Quite interesting!

Lamborghini was initially a tractor company founded in 1947 and it wasn’t until 1963 Lamborghini Automobili originated in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy. The story gets interesting. Ferrucio Lamborghini, a tractor mechanic, owned a 1958 Ferrari 250 and in person, met with Enzo Ferrari, giving Ferrari constructive criticism on the clutch operations of his famed car. Ferrari was insulted by his complaint and told Lamborghini to stick to tractor mechanics, which infuriated the “bull-headed” Ferrucio and sparked the creation of Lamborghini as we know it.

A few facts about Lamborghini. The 350GT was the first Lamborghini car which debuted in 1964 without an engine as the V-12 was still in design phase.

The Aventador may have had some inspiration of design from a green beetle bug; Perini, a lead Lamborghini designer said it was “those shiny green jagged-leg beetles that smell bad when you step on them” as a focal point of the design.

Chrysler’s Lee Iacocca, having just saved Chrysler from bankruptcy, purchased Lamborghini in 1987 for $25,000,000.00. This acquisition led to their “cab forward” design as was Chrysler’s big initiative for roomier and sportier sedan’s leading to the Dodge Intrepid.

The popular Lamborghini model Countach, which has no relation to bulls, means “Wow” and was a reaction of a security guard who saw the prototype made out of a wooden model and reacted by saying “Countach.”

Today, Lamborghini is owned by Audi, a subsidiary of Volkswagen since 1998.

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Jason Paynter is a classic car appraiser, collector and unabashed enthusiast. He is also author of Drop, Throttle, Oversteer: Collecting & Investing in Classic Cars, available at Amazon. He lives in Louisville, KY with his beautiful wife and three sons who are (heaven help him) almost all of driving age.

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