When you think of Italian sports cars, what comes to mind? If you said Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, you’re not alone. These three powerhouse carmakers have been dominating the European market since they started in the early 1900s, and they’ve been bringing their innovations to America over the past several decades as well. But did you know that Lamborghini was actually founded by two brothers with no prior automotive experience? That’s right — the brand now synonymous with extreme Italian luxury didn’t start out that way at all!

 

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

If you think that bigger equals better, then you haven’t seen a Lamborghini. Their designs were different from everyone else and were engineered to perform, not necessarily look like other cars. If you consider performance as well as design, it’s easy to see why people consider these vehicles true works of art that revolutionized their industry when they were first built in Italy. For those who know little about how sports cars are designed and manufactured, it might be easier to understand by imagining building a house: Using standardized parts in combination with each other allows manufacturers to make more money at a lower cost because they aren’t developing new technology for individual pieces—they’re just assembling what they have together.

 

Think Luxury, Not Just Performance

The intention of Ferruccio Lamborghini was to offer owners a driving experience like no other. Despite Ferruccio’s obsession with speed, he kept his cars luxurious, not just fast. In fact, Ferruccio would have been happy selling tractors, if only Enzo Ferrari didn’t turn him down for buying one of his cars. Instead, he settled for making supercars and today Lamborghinis are world renowned for their luxury and class as much as they are for their performance on a race track.

 

If You Can Dream It, You Can Drive It!

For years, auto enthusiasts have dreamed of owning a high-performance sports car. However, it was only in 1963 that their dreams became reality with one simple question: If you can dream it, you can drive it. This was enough to motivate Ferruccio Lamborghini to leave his company and start an automotive revolution by creating his own sports car company: Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. Upon exiting from Innocenti (an Italian manufacturer), where he worked as an executive, Ferruccio purchased a controlling interest in Ferrari after Enzo Ferrari spurned his offer to buy out the failing business.

 

Bold Colors and Skinny Tires Are Always In Style

Despite what you might think, it wasn’t Ferruccio Lamborghini who first put an Italian car on a pedestal—that honor goes to another famous personality. In April of 1957, for example, actor James Dean was killed in his Porsche 550 Spyder after running a stop sign and colliding with another vehicle. From 1955 until their production ceased in 1959, only 1,484 Porsches were made. The event sparked a cultural interest in all things foreign and European; suddenly guys everywhere wanted to look like they drove fast cars… even if they didn’t own one. We’ll never know exactly why Dean became an icon (though there are plenty of theories) but we do know that he forever changed how we view racing culture.

 

Breathe Deep

To create power in your car, your engine must rev high and faster. The higher and faster it can rev, however, means more strain on your engine, so it’s important to do everything you can to keep that motor healthy. One of these things is by making sure you and your passengers are breathing clean air from outside through proper ventilation instead of pollution from inside through recirculation or stale air. Most people use fresh-air systems when they want their cars to smell better, but it’s also one of many preventative measures that helps keep your car running longer—and safer—overall.

 

Get Ready to Hit 60 in Less Than Three Seconds

Long before Batmobiles and pimped-out Porsche Panameras, there was Ferruccio Lamborghini. The man behind not one but two of Italy’s biggest automotive successes. One of which is a high-performance luxury car brand named after him (Lamborghini), while his other business venture produced high quality tractors that made even Ferrari envious (Trattori). There’s no denying that Ferruccio was successful, but how did he go from being an employee at Fiat to owning his own auto company? Let’s find out.

 

Skip the Race Track

The year was 1963. With a cold war still at its height, it seemed as if everything in America had reached its peak. Nothing could come close to paralleling that pinnacle of societal achievement, or so we thought. But that all changed when Ferruccio Lamborghini unveiled his car brand, Lamborghini—the first supercar ever made in Italy (and one of only a few to be built by an American company).

 

Leave Your Prayers at Home

When Enzo Ferrari founded his car company in 1929, it was an engineering-driven enterprise—but he later expanded into supercar manufacturing, a niche he was slow to jump into. A few years after establishing that business unit, Ferarri signed a deal with Chrysler to build a limited number of road-going versions of its 308 model. The public could buy these high-performance sports cars—now dubbed America’s Supercar by enthusiasts—for $25,000 apiece. In 1985, competing manufacturer Lamborghini (then owned by Chrysler) licensed its own body design from Ferarri for $4 million and began producing its own V12 sportscar at half that price using Volkswagen and Audi parts.

 

Your Car Should Have a Soul—and So Should You!

In 1957, Ferruccio Lamborghini founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini SpA as a small, boutique builder of race cars. Over time, they developed into full-fledged sports cars and supercars, beginning with their iconic Miura. The Miura wasn’t just a pretty face; it was also engineered for superior performance on-track with its rear-mounted transaxle—also known as mid-engine design. The configuration enhanced driving dynamics by shifting weight toward the rear of the car to increase traction and handling capabilities and shorten braking distances. Its design became industry standard for later sports cars from Ferrari and Porsche to Mercedes Benz, Alfa Romeo, BMW and others.

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