Farmers have been buying Lamborghinis for decades. It’s not because they want to drive sports cars through the barnyard. Ferruccio Lamborghini was originally a tractor manufacturer. Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A, was established in 1948 in Cento (Italy).
Q: Which entrepreneur made tractors before entering the sports car business?
Answer: Ferruccio Lamborghini was made tractors before entering the sports car business.
Although Lamborghini is well-known for his success as a luxury car entrepreneur it took him fifteen years to start producing sports cars. Lamborghini’s rise in the Italian automotive market is a story of success. It was colored by his feuding with Ferrari which placed both companies in the limelight as their bitter rivalry grew in size.
The Roots of Ferruccio lamborghini
Interesting enough, both World Wars marked the lives of the creator of high-end sportscars.
Ferruccio Lamborghini, a 1916-born soldier in the middle of World War I, was his name. His parents were viticulturists, and had a farm where grapes were grown for wine. Lamborghini grew up in a farming community and was exposed to agricultural machinery. His passion for mechanics and enthusiasm led him to the Fratelli Taddia technical school near Bologna. Ferruccio was an apprentice in a workshop during his studies.
World War II may have changed things. Lamborghini was eventually drafted as a mechanic into the Italian Royal Air Force. After nearly four years of war, the Italians decided they did not want to fight any more in 1943. Germany didn’t like this decision and Italy was forced to take over the military occupation. Lamborghini was captured by the British and assigned the task of working on automobiles when they finally took Rhodes’ island. His luck started to change quickly when he returned to Italy in 1946.
Lamborghini started producing and selling tractors in the beginning. Soon, however, other ventures began to follow, including the design, manufacturing, and distribution of heating and air-conditioning systems. Lamborghini finally achieved success and purchased a luxurious car. He drove his first Ferrari during this period. Although Lamborghini was a skilled mechanic, he was considered a bad driver.
Lamborghini was the owner of a Ferrari 250 GT Ferrari. He noticed that it had many technical problems and complained to Enzo Ferrari personally. This caused a dispute between the two exotic carmakers, and led to Lamborghini’s courageous decision to create his own auto company.
Lamborghini Booms on the Market
Lamborghini’s first tractor, the Carioca, was built in 1948. Although his tractors were small and cheaply built, they were strong and well-built. Because the parts of his tractor were affordable, he was able offer them at a fair price.
Because of their cost-effective access, Lamborghini tractors were able to stand out on the market. Lamborghini also benefited from the modularity of its tractors. This means that most parts of the tractor were interchangeable. This allowed farmers to reduce their costs. Lamborghini Trattori built its facility in 1951 and had more than 30 employees.
The company received a license to manufacture diesel engines in Italy within a short time. Around 400 people were employed at the company during the 1960s. Lamborghini soon was able to produce 25 tractors per hour.
As we have already mentioned, Lamborghini was a successful industrialist. He was able to afford luxury cars like the Jaguar, Maserati and, of course from Italy, Ferrari.
Valentino Balboni (Lamborghini’s long-time test driver), claims that Ferruccio kept slipping the clutch on his Ferrari 250 GT. This was ultimately the cause of the feud between Ferruccio and Enzo Ferrari.
Ferruccio replaced the clutch several times and eventually disassembled the Ferrari’s engine and transmission to discover that the clutch they used was commercial. Ferruccio was furious at this, considering that Ferraris are so expensive. Ferrari explained that the problem was not the clutch but the driver. Lamborghini was furious and promised to build the best sports car in Italy.
Automobili Lamborghini was founded
According to some reports, Lamborghini just wanted to build a dream car and never promoted his cars. The world soon began to love Lamborghini sports cars and became familiar with their style and performance.
With the motivation from his feuding with Ferrari, Lamborghini committed himself and his company towards creating Italy’s best sports car. His business was already able to produce cars and this allowed him to quickly grow it. His fascination with bullfighting led to the name of his cars after bulls.
Ferruccio sold Lamborghini Trattori after the company began experiencing financial difficulties. The company was then bought by Volkswagen in late 1990s.
The German automaker was responsible for some of the most iconic Lamborghinis, such as the Gallardo and Murcielago. The company still makes tractors today, which is quite fitting. Lamborghini Trattori is now owned and operated by Same Deutz-Fahr. However, they continue to adorn their tractors in the Lamborghini nameake.
It is an inspiring story of vision, courage and determination that transformed a tractor company into a supercar empire. Ferruccio Lamborghini, despite being 46 years old when Lamborghini Automobili was launched, made sure his life’s work was never forgotten. His legacy is etched in the automotive industry.