The company was a spin-off from the very successful tractor maker, Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A.. Its owner Ferruccio Lamborghini (1916-1993) was an enthusiastic owner of sports carss, including a Ferrari. The standard tale goes that he took this car back to the Ferrari factory when its clutch failed. Enzo Ferrari refused to meet him. So - after fixing the clutch with surprising ease - he decided to go into business building his own exotic sports cars.
Featuring bodies designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and Marcello Gandini, Lamborghini's products are amongst the most expensive, and also most powerful, road-going vehicles made.
Lamborghini's products included the Miura (1966), Countach (1974), Jalpa (1981), and Diablo (1990) as well as the LM002 (1986) off-road vehicle of which Road and Track magazine said, "With the 5.2 liter V-12, the LM002 can pass anything on the road - except a gas station".
The current (2003) range consists of the flagship Murcielago and the smaller, cheaper Gallardo. Both are very fast, mid-engined 2-seaters with four-wheel-drive as standard. Styling for both cars is largely the work of Belgian designer Luc Donckerwolcke.
Lamborghini has had a number of owners, as shown in this simplified list:
- Ferruccio Lamborghini 1963-1970
- Georges-Henri Rossetti & René Leimer 1970-1977
- bankrupt 1977-1984
- Patrick Mimran (managed 1980-1984) 1984-1987
- Chrysler 1987-1994
- Megatech 1994-1998
- Volkswagen group since 1998