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The history of luxury sports manufacturer Lamborghini
Nothing says style quite like a classic Lamborghini. Anyone questioning the popularity of this highly sought-after luxury sports car just has to take into account the fact that the manufacturer comes from Italy – a nation known for its consistently exquisite craftsmanship, whether it’s expensive leather shoes or elaborate ancient architecture.
Founded in 1963 to compete with Ferrari, the first Lamborghini was the 350 GTV which, with its V12 engine and considering it was hand-built by two highly talented and innovative engineers, set the tone for a whole line of refined, powerful and comfortable cars that continues to the present day.
Following on from the 350 GTV, 1964 saw Ferrari build first the 350 GT and then the 400 GT, which had a larger engine size of four litres and featured the first gearbox designed in-house by Lamborghini. The manufacturer went on to enjoy a decade of growth, with their most notable success in 1966, when the stunning Miura sports coupe established rear wheel drive and rear mid-engine as the standard layout for high performance cars during that era. Presented at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show, the excitement that surrounded the Miura was at fever pitch, only to be raised even higher when this classic Lamborghini was brought to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix. As well as the Miura, Lamborghini produced an astonishing number of other new models between October 1965 and June 1966, including the 3500 GTZ, the 350 Spyder and the Monza 400, which were presented during the 1965 Turin Auto Show and would go on to have a profound impact on the entire automotive industry. Had Ferruccio Lamborghini not placed so much trust in his young, enthusiastic engineers with their state-of-the-art ideas, these designs may have not been so advanced and some of these classic Lamborghini models would never have existed.
Highlighting the unique prestige that was established with the creation of the Miura, the four-seater Marzal was chosen by Prince Rainier of Monaco to open the Monte Carlo Grand Prix in 1967, as well as being at the centre of many automobile shows and featuring on the covers of many international magazines – despite the fact that it wasn’t even destined for production.
Forward-thinking design has always ensured the excitement and anticipation of Lamborghini fans and with the classic models representing so much of the company’s flair for innovation, it’s no wonder they’re treasured by collectors today. Often getting together to share their appreciation for the precision engineering, expensive hand-stitched leather and numerous other classic Lamborghini qualities, car enthusiasts gather at car rallies and shows the world over, with one of the most notable events being the tho anniversary of the manufacturer which was celebrated at the Silverstone Classic historic racing festival in the summer of 2013. Organised by the Lamborghini Club UK, it was one of the largest ever gatherings of Lamborghinis in Britain, with a parade of 100 cars, including Miuras, LM002s, Espadas, Murcielagos, Diablos, Countachs, and Uraccos.