Lamborghinis are iconic luxury cars today. However, they have their origins in the humble tractor — and if Ferraris had worked just a little bit better, Lamborghinis might never have existed at all.
Ferruccio Lamborghini was gifted when it came to anything mechanical. After serving in the Italian army in the 1940s, he came home and opened a garage.
According to The Independent, when his father, a farmer, needed a tractor, Lamborghini decided to make him one, cobbling together whatever spare parts he could find.
Soon, his father’s friends wanted one too, and in 1949 Lamborghini opened a tractor business, repurposing spare parts from surplus military vehicles into agricultural equipment.
Eventually, he went on to also make air conditioners and gas heaters.
Lamborghini’s business made him a very rich man and, somewhat stereotypically, he bought himself several high-end sports cars since he’d always loved automobiles.
Although he enjoyed them, Lamborghini also felt that each of them had their own issues; one was too hot, another too loud, the next had brakes he didn’t particularly like.
When the clutch of his favorite car, a Ferrari 250GT, started giving him issues, he decided to fix it.
According to Motor 1, he discovered that there was no difference between the clutch in his sports car and the clutch in the tractors he built, so Lamborghini decided to meet with Enzo Ferrari.
When the industrialist suggested to Ferrari that they should use a better clutch in a high-end vehicle, he was more or less brushed off and told to stick to the farming equipment he knew best.
Lamborghini, inspired, decided to build the sports car that he wanted to own and drive.
So he established his new business, Automobili Lamborghini, on a 500,000 square foot property outside of Bologna in northern Italy. In 1963, he debuted his first car, the Lamborghini 350 GTV, at an auto show in Turin.
Although the car was missing its engine at the show because it had not been finished in time, it was well received by critics and Lamborghini continued to amend and improve, making new models regularly.