Ferruccio Lamborghini, In His Son’s Words

An intimate take on the man behind Italy's wildest supercar company.

Lamborghini

The great essayist G.K. Chesterton knew how to turn a phrase, and nothing beats his saw on the value of mythos. “Fact tells us about one man,” he said. “Fable tells us about a million men.” That’s the fundamental appeal of Ferruccio Lamborghini. Did he really start building cars to spite Enzo Ferrari after a confrontation in Maranello? Maybe. Maybe not. But the Ferruccio archetype—the spurned genius with the gall to challenge the established order and build something earth-shattering—that’s more important than the accuracy of its origin story.

And nobody tells that story like his son, Tonino. He was only 16-years old when he started collecting relics of his father’s legacy—at first just the tractors, but then the prototypes and memorabilia and cars. Miura. Countach. Everything. Initially, the old man wasn’t too hot on the idea, but his son insisted. The collection would become the bones for the modern Lamborghini museum.

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Mechanics building up the first prototype P400 Miura at the Lamborghini workshop in Sant'Agata, October 1965.

Here, Tonino recounts the company’s history, in extraordinary detail, from the beginning. The spat with Ferrari, the making of Lamborghini’s engineering dream team, the truth behind that bull logo. At points during the story, you get these wonderfully romantic, crystal clear images of life inside a supercar upstart in Old World Italy. How they’d squabble over ideas or designs, then reconcile over salami and Lambrusco. Or, later, how an elderly Ferruccio would stand in the warehouse some mornings, smoking his cigarette and staring at the mighty things he’d build, quietly reminiscing. It’s almost too perfect, like some kind of Lamborghini hyperbole. But it’s true. And the man’s own son tells it all perfectly.

Early word on the upcoming Ferruccio biopic is that Tonino is heavily involved, that he’ll be guiding the story. If that’s true, and this video is any indicator, the feature film will be as epic as the Lamborghini mythos itself.