Debunking the most common old wives’ tales
1THIS WAS THE FIRST LAMBORGHINI
Not quite. It was the first Lamborghini production car. The very first concept for a Ferrari-rivalling super-GT, the 350 GTV show car, had been shown in 1963, a full year before the 350 GT went on sale. But nor was that the first Lamborghini vehicle. Ferruccio Lamborghini was from a farming background, and he introduced his first tractor in 1948. It was a roaring success in post-war Italy, and helped him to become a millionaire industrialist.
2 LAMBORGHINI SOUGHT REVENGE
The story goes that Lamborghini had the audacity to complain about the factory service he received for one of his many Ferraris, that his concerns were airily dismissed, and that he vowed to seek vengeance by building a superior car himself. He certainly did set out to compete with the likes of Ferrari, and he knew his stuff, having driven the 1948 Mille Miglia in his own Fiat-engined sports car, and then owned everything from a Merc 300SL to a Jaguar E-type. But this was a cool and calculated business decision, possibly entered into after his application to become a helicopter manufacturer was vetoed by the Italian Government.
3 THIS WAS THE FIRST OF THE LAMBORGHINI SUPERCARS
The 350 GT features a fantastic, quad-cam V12 engine that was the work of ex-Ferrari engineer Giotto Bizzarrini, while the chassis with all-round independent suspension was created by Gianpaolo Dallara, another designer famed for his racing car expertise. However, while Ferruccio Lamborghini wanted ultra-high performance, he also loved his comfort – he liked luxury, reliability and space in a car that really was all about ‘grand touring’. After just 132 350 GTs had been made, Lamborghini replaced it with the 400 GT that was a 2+2. Later, while his team devised extreme cars like the Miura and Countach, Ferruccio made sure there was something usable on offer, such as the Islero and Espada, for rich, middle-aged tycoons like himself.