The story of Ferruccio Lamborghini is an interesting one, to say the least. Before he founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. back in 1963, Lamborghini cut his teeth as a mechanic in the Italian Royal Air Force. Before Lamborghini started building exotic sportscars that bared his name though, he first went into business building tractors with excess parts from military equipment not used in World War II. Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A., as his tractor company became known as, became successful and even built air conditioners and heaters.
After amassing a healthy bank account from successfully building tractors, heaters, and air conditioners, Lamborghini decided to start in on a childhood dream of building cars. Lamborghini bought a Ferrari 250GT and owned several more over the years, but he decided that the soon-to-be rival vehicles were too loud and unrefined to be known as true sports cars. After breaking a clutch on one of his Ferraris, Lamborghini discovered it was an identical part used in his tractors. When Lamborghini asked Ferrari for a better replacement, the Prancing Horse just laughed at the lowly tractor builder. And just like that, a rivalry was born.
Lamborghini went on to start his own company building cars and the rest is history. Even to this day, Ferrari and Lamborghini have taken two different paths to get to almost the same destination. At first, unlike Enzo Ferrari and his company, Lamborghini didn’t believe in entering motorsport. The results didn’t warrant the resources and time that it required to be successful. That wouldn’t last though, as Lamborghini decided it would indeed race after entering a partnership with BMW to build engines in the mid-1970′s. After some brief stints building engines for Formula One teams in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s and even racing in some different circuits in the mid-2000′s, Lamborghini began competing in the GT1 and GT3 class of FIA GT Championship until the organization folded in 2009.
Check out a brief tribute video to Lamborghini below as 2013 marks the 50 years of operation for the Italian super car maker. Do you have a favorite Lamborghini model? Sound off in the comment section below.