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Home Built Rods No Rules
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October 30

1963 The First Lamborghini

Sports car maker Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Renazzo di Cento, Italy, on April 28, 1916. After studying mechanical engineering in Bologna, Lamborghini served as a mechanic for the Italian Army's Central Vehicle Division in Rhodes during World War II. Upon his return to Italy, he worked on converting military vehicles into agricultural machines, and, in 1948, began building and designing his own tractors. His well-designed agricultural machinery proved a success, and with this prosperity Lamborghini developed an addiction for luxury sports cars. In the early 1960s, he purchased a Ferrari 250 GT, made just a few miles away in Enzo Ferrari's factory. After encountering problems with the car, Ferruccio reportedly paid Enzo a visit, complaining to him about his new Ferrari's noisy gearbox. Legend has it that the great racing car manufacturer Ferrari responded in a patronizing manner to the tractor-maker Lamborghini, inspiring the latter to begin development of his own line of luxury sports cars--automobiles that could out perform any mass-produced Ferrari. On this day in 1963, the Lamborghini 350GTV debuted at the Turin auto show. But Lamborghini had not completed the prototype in time for the deadline, and the 350GTV was presented with a crate of ceramic tiles in place of an engine. With or without the engine, Lamborghini's first car was not particularly well received, and only one GTV was ever completed. But the former tractor-maker was not discouraged, and in 1964 the drastically redesigned 350GT went into production, and Lamborghini managed to sell over 100 of the expensive cars. The GT was a quiet and sophisticated high-performance vehicle, capable of achieving 155mph with a maximum 320hp. The elegant Lamborghini 350GT indeed provided a smoother ride than most of its Ferrari counterparts, and Ferruccio's old tractor factory, located just a few miles from the Ferrari factory, began constructing some of the most exotic cars the world had ever seen, such as the Miura, the Espada, and the legendary Countach.
 
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