Ferruccio Lamborghini, founder of the high performance luxury super sports cars that bear his name, was born on April 28, 1916 to grape farmers in the village of Renazzo di Cento in the Emilia-Romagna region. His Zodiac sign, Taurus the bull, is the company logo and several of the stylish car models bear names to bulls or bullfighting. Like the significant bull of the zodiac sign, Lamborghini was a man of strong willpower, practical nature and determination and once he put his mind to something, he devoted all his energy to accomplishing his goals.
Post-WWII, Lamborghini manufactured tractors for the farming industry. He also opened an oil heater factory and later produced air conditioning equipment. Ferrucio was a power boat enthusiast utilizing specially crafted Lamborghini engines. Along the way, he increased his wealth and owned cars such as Alfa Romeos, Lancias, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati, and Ferrari. When he experienced mechanical problems with one of his Ferraris he decided to start his own company.
He hired one of Ferrari’s former top engineers and in 1963 established Automobili Lamborghini in Sant’Agata Bolognese, a town southeast of Bologna. In the mid-1960s, his Lamborghini was the rage of the roadways for supercar enthusiasts.
During the 1970s, Ferruccio developed money problems. He sold off his tractor company and soon after the Automobili company was in financial trouble; Lamborghini went bankrupt in 1978. The company eventually wound up in the hands of Volkswagen’s Audi Division where it remains. The raging bull is still its logo and the workforce builds about 1,700 legendary and extraordinary vehicles a year, showcasing the V 12-powered Aventador (starting price is $400-500 thousand) and the V10 Huracan. High performance cars, including the Murcielago are capable of 250 mph. A limited edition of the Centenario was released as a tribute to the company’s 100th anniversary in 2016; 40 models, 20 coupes and 20 roadsters, priced out at about $1 million each went to market.
Ferruccio left the scene by the late 1970s, retiring to his 740-acre estate in Umbria where he dabbled and delighted in winemaking and hunting. Lamborghini died February 20, 1993. He was 76.