arts culture

Ferruccio's adventure: the Lamborghini story in books

Fans of the car make from Sant'Agata Bolognese will be convinced they already know everything there is to know about the Lamborghini story. But there are some must-read books to investigate this passionate affair even further

Home life lifestyle arts culture Ferruccio's adventure: the Lamborghini story in books

Word has always been that the birth of Lamborghini Automobili dates back to the ‘spark' emitted during a row (which really happened, by the way) during which the complaints raised by Ferruccio Lamborghini – at the time an established industrialist from Ferrara who built tractors, boilers and air conditioners - about a 250 GT he was disappointed in, were met by Ferrari calling him a mere ‘tractor driver' and entirely incompetent when it came to cars. Ferruccio did not let this pass and gave rise to an idea which he had been pondering for some time, to create a production of cars to supplement the world-famous tractors.

The adventure began on 7th March 1963 and the first two models were relatively successful, but then in 1966, the Miura designed by Marcello Gandini made its début. And that was that. The rest is a story which from 1972 continued without its founder, amid notable problems, up until the purchase in 1998 on the part of Audi which first gave it stability and then success with cars such as the Gallardo, Huracàn and Urus. And this story has also been covered in a number of books.

Ferruccio's adventure: the Lamborghini story in books
Ferruccio's adventure: the Lamborghini story in books

The story told by his son Tonino

One of the most curious books about the car maker from Sant'Agata Bolognese does not talk about cars, but rather tractors, and it was released in 2018 by Giovanni Musi: “Ferruccio Lamborghini. I trattori” (Minerva Edizioni) where readers will find everything, and we really mean everything, about the production which had made the make famous world-wide. The most scrupulous biography - and not just because his son Tonino wrote it - can be found in the book entitled “Ferruccio Lamborghini. La storia ufficiale”, which was released in 2016 for Minerva Edizioni, one hundred years after the founder was born. Concerning the centenary of the Make, a singular book was released in 2014, entitled “Lamborghini. 100 anni di innovazione in metà del tempo” (Skira Editore): the writers Luca Molinari and Raffaello Porro penned six chapters (The history, The technological innovation, The design, The people, The image, The future) to provide an outline of a unique industrial and cultural project, according to the founder's wishes. And it contains 200 truly eye-catching colour photographs.

Miura, the icon 

As regards the models, which are just a few but definitely extraordinary, there is an excellent volume in English called “Lamborghini Supercars 50 Years” (Motorbooks International, 2016), written by a pair of specialists, the author Stuart Codling and the photographer James Mann, which ‘tells the story' in detail of all the models by the Make, from the Miura to the Huracan. The former has remained in the hearts of sports car fans from the 1960s to the present day, so much so that in 2016 the poet Antonella Monti wrote “Miura come musa” (Minerva Edizioni), a collection of poems dedicated to the four-wheeled legend and to the man who managed to make his dreams come true through sheer tenacity.

Artistic object

Another interesting book is “Automobili Lamborghini”. Velocità e colore dal 1963 ad oggi (Artioli 1899, 2016) in which Daniele Buzzonetti celebrates the automotive art of the Bologna-based Marque, through another form of art, the paintings of Alfonso Borghi. A painter who, like Lamborghini, nurtured his creativity in Emilia. One of the most recent books was presented in November 2019, written by the expert Antonio Ghini and edited by Rizzoli: “Lamborghini - Dove. Perché. Chi. Quando. Cosa.” These 224 pages are packed with anecdotes and unprecedented facts and form a small encyclopaedia of the characters and models which have made Lamborghini history. And why did Ferruccio Lamborghini choose the bull as the symbol of the new Make? Certainly, it brings to mind strength and recalls the “soil” which had always been important to the founder, but more simply it was because Taurus was his star sign.