Ferruccio Lamborghini was born on April 28, 1916, into a farming family at Renazzo, near Cento in the northern Italian province of Emilia-Romagne, and many years later he was to return to the land. His stocky build and tenacity marked him out as a man of the Italian countryside. Make what you wish of his birth under the Zodiac sign of Taurus, the Bull....
His early interests were not agricultural but mechanical, and after a period of selftuition he attended a technical school in Bologna. During the Second World War he served in the Regia Aeronautica, the Italian Air Force, working in transport sections, and in 1944-46 served under the British military forces in a similar capacity.
He returned to civilian life in his own small garage, converting military vehicles into tractors and tuning small Fiats, the mainstay of most small Italian automotive boutiques. He raced one of his Fiat specials just once, crashing out of the 1948 Mille Miglia.
Developing his tractor business took all his time, and set him on the way to becoming a millionaire (in any currency). From 'bitza' machines, Lamborghini Trattrice moved on to producing original tractors at the end of the 1940s, and to a comprehensive factory. Soon this was almost self-sufficient, making its own engines and transmission units. The tractors carried a charging bull badge.
Other industrial enterprises followed primarily making central heating and air-conditioning equipment. Then Lamborghini turned to cars. He ran a succession of high-performance cars, and seemingly felt that they all lacked refinement. However, legend has it that the idea came to him after a discussion with Enzo Ferrari, when Ferruccio complained about the noisy gearbox in his new Ferrari. It seems that Ferrari’s reply was simply "You stick to tractors and let me build sports cars.", and that was the point when he decided to build a better car.
Lamborghini initially seemed to make the right moves, for example in picking his lieutenants in this venture and not putting himself in the hands of a bank, but he soon found the going tough. Supercar manufacture in itself was not enough to sustain a sophisticated factory, and in the early 1970s his other companies could no longer underspin the enterprise. Lamborghini had to sell, at first a controlling interest and then the complete car company. The tractors went to Fiat; the air conditioning company failed.
Ferruccio moved to his estate near Perugia, further south in Italy, and his name began to be associated with the making of wines. Ferrucio produced a red wine called Colli del Trasimento, and known by everyone as "Blood of the Miura". It was here, at the age of 77, where Ferruccio died on February 20, 1993. His viniculture will soon be forgotten; his cars never will be…