Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
A chronological day-by-day history of Lamborghini.
The 350 GTV, Lamborghini's first prototype design and forerunner of the later 350GT, the marque's first production model, was unveiled at the Turin Auto Show. Lamborghini had not completed the prototype in time for the deadline, and the 350 GTV was presented with a crate of ceramic tiles in place of an engine. Lamborghini's first car was not particularly well received, and only one GTV was ever completed. In 1964 a drastically redesigned 350GT capable of achieving 155mph with a maximum 320hp went into production, and Lamborghini managed to sell over 100 of the expensive cars. The elegant Lamborghini 350GT provided a smoother ride than most of its Ferrari counterparts, and Lamborghini’s old tractor factory, located just a few miles from the Ferrari factory, began constructing some of the most desirable cars the world had ever seen, such as the Miura, the Espada, and the legendary Countach. The Maserati ‘Tip 107’ Quattroporte was also unveiled at the Turin Motor Show joining two other notable grand tourers, the Facel Vega and the Lagonda Rapide, which could comfortably do 200 km/h (124 mph) on the new motorways of Europe. However, the Quattroporte was the first car specifically designed for this purpose.
Lamborghini 350GTVShow Article
The first production Lamborghini, the 350GT, debuted at the Geneva Motor Show as a statement of Lamborghini's intent to be a true player in the sports car market. The vehicle featured a four-cam V12 a fully synchronised five speed transmission, limited slip differential, four wheel independent suspension and four wheel disc brakes. An enthusiastic public reaction prompts production to begin. In 1966, Lamborghini extended the 350GT to create the 400GT 2+2. Touring devised an all-new (and some say better looking) body based on a lengthened wheelbase-version of the 350's that managed to incorporate a pair of snug-fitting rear seats. The 400GT may have looked almost identical to the smaller car, but every panel was changed. The new 4.0-litre version of Bizzarni’s V12 was installed, bringing an additional slug of torque, and improving the driving experience even more.
Lamborghini 350GTShow Article
Inspired by the Ford GT40, the Lamborghini Miura astonished showgoers at the 1965 Turin Motor Show where only the chassis was shown, with multiple orders being placed despite the lack of an actual body. Later, Marcello Gandini from Bertone, who would later go on to design almost all of Lamborghini's cars, was chosen to design the body. Both body and chassis were launched five months later at the 1966 Geneva Motor Show. It was a sensation, with its flamboyant bodywork and unusual engine and clam-shell opening hoods on both the front and rear of the car. There was a small trunk located in the very rear of the tail behind the engine.
Lamborghini Miura (1967)Show Article
The Fiat 124 was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show and won "Car of the Year" in 1967. It superseded the Fiat 1300 and Fiat 1500 and spawned variants including an estate (with stiffened springs and a revised final drive ratio), four-seater coupé, two-seater spider convertible and a slightly lengthened and more luxurious version, the 125, launched in early 1967. The 124 had a new 4 cylinder, 1197cc, 60 bhp engine. Approximately 1,543,000 saloons and estates were built in Italy, before it was replaced in Italy in 1974 by the Fiat 131/132 4-door saloon, although production in other countries continued. Worldwide around 4 million Fiat 124s were produced. A factory at Togliattigrad in the erstwhile USSR at one time produced 2000 Fiat 124 cars per day, named Lada 124. Other cars revealed at the 1966 Geneva Show included the AC 428 fastback (fixed head), the Lamborghini Miura and the Alfa Romeo 1300 Spider, driven by Dustin Hoffman to the strain of Simon and Garfunkel in the film The Graduate.
Fiat 124Show Article
The Maserati Ghibli, a two-door, two-seater coupe debuted at the Turin Motor Show. The V8-powered Ghibli was the most popular Maserati vehicle since the automaker withdrew from racing in the 1950s, and it outsold its two biggest rivals, the Ferrari Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura. The Ghibli's steel body, renowned for its low, shark-shaped nose, was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro. Giugiaro, who today works for ItalDesign, worked at coachbuilder Ghia when he designed the Ghibli. The car was powered by a front-placed quad-cam 370hp V8 engine. It had a 0-60 mph acceleration time of 6.8 seconds, had a top speed of 154 mph and could be operated by either a five-speed manual or three-speed automatic transmission. Maserati fitted the car with two fuel tanks, which could be filled via flaps on either side of the roof pillars. The car also featured pop-up headlamps, leather sport seats and alloy wheels.
Maserati GhibliShow Article
Lotus Cars Ltd. introduced its new, ultra low, two-door mid-1498cc engine Lotus Europa, with a top speed of 121 mph. The Lotus Europa was unashamedly aimed at lucrative export markets, hence its name - and the choice of Renault drivetrains was taken because of its US compliance and widespread support in Europe. But lest we forget that it was actually one of the very first mid-engined cars you could actually buy for the road - hitting the market within months of the epochal Lamborghini Miura. The Europa used the front-wheel drive Renault 16's running gear, turned around, and placed behind the driver. And to prove the point about European markets, all S1s were exported. The earliest cars had their glassfibre body bonded to the steel chassis, which made repairs troublesome, but that was rectified with the 1969 S2 model. These cars were sold in the UK and came with more equipment including elecric windows. But despite its appealing mechanical layout, the Europa really could do with more power. Lotus answered this in 1971 when it intalled its twin-cam engine, initially in 105bhp form, but followed up by the 126bhp Special a year later. Both the Twin Cam and Special used the Renault 16 gearbox (with an improved gear linkage), though the Specials could also be had with a five-speed version from the 17TS. These twin-cam Europas were easily recognised by their cut-down rear buttresses.
Lotus EuropaShow Article
Launched at the Geneva Motor Show, the Lamborghini Islero 400 GT featured an aluminum, quad cam V12 engine; all wheel independent suspension and disc brakes; comprehensive cockpit fittings and luxury interiors. Described as a businessman's car, the Islero, although shorter, was roomier than the 400 GT 2+2, and had plenty of glass area.
Lamborghini Islero 400 GTShow Article
The first Lamborghini LP400 prototype and the Lamborghini Silhouette appeared at the Geneva Motor Show. Ford launched the Granada model, the successor of the 17/20 and 26 M. The range immediately included three versions, a coupé, saloon and estate powered by V4 and V6 engines, the coupé having the most powerful unit, a V6 3-litre engine, producing 138 bhp. With the exception of the coupe, which was similar to the Capri in style, the design was taut and clean, reflecting the spirit of the 1970s.
Lamborghini Countach LP400SShow Article
Having the body design executed by Bertone in an attempt to produce a "special" look, Lamborghini unveiled the Urraco P250 in Turin. It was described as having a genuine beauty and a rare blend of balance, delicacy, grace, innovation and passion that seemed ageless.
Lamborghini UrracoShow Article
The Audi 80, Ford Capri II, and Lamborghini Countach made their world premiers at the Geneva Motor Show.
Audi 80 brochure - 1973Show Article
The Lambourghini Countach LP400 production vehicle debuted at the Geneva Motor Show. The mid-engined, V12 sports car was produced from 1974 to 1990. Its design pioneered and popularized the wedge-shaped, sharply angled look popular in many high-performance sports cars. It also popularized the "cabin-forward" design concept, which pushes the passenger compartment forward to accommodate a larger engine. The doors, most often credited as a Lamborghini trademark, were a remarkable design feature for the Countach. They first appeared on the Alfa Romeo 33 'Carabo' concept car in 1968, an earlier design accomplishment, also by the talented Gandini. The doors have come to be known as scissor doors: hinged at the front with horizontal hinges, so that they lifted up and tilted forwards. The main reason is the car's tubular spaceframe chassis results in very high and wide door sills. It was also partly for style, and partly because the width of the car made conventional doors impossible to use in even slightly confined space. Care needed to be taken, though, in opening the doors with a low roof overhead. The car's poor rear visibility and wide sills led to drivers adopting a method of reversing the car for parking by opening the door, sitting on the sill, and reversing while looking over the back of the car from outside. In 2004, American car magazine Sports Car International named the car number three on the list of Top Sports Cars of the 1970s, and listed it number ten on their list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s.
Lambourghini Countach LP400Show Article
The Lamborghini Silhouette was introduced in Switzerland. It received favourable reviews due to its aggressive good looks, stunning performance and a practical day-to-day driving ability. It was based on the earlier Lamborghini Urraco, but was distinguished from the Urraco by more angular styling. The Silhouette was the first Lamborghini to employ a targa top roof. The Silhouette later evolved into the similar looking but more successful Lamborghini Jalpa. The car had a 3.0-litre all-aluminium alloy Lamborghini V8 internal-combustion engine mounted transversely behind the driver. Of the 54 units built (12 with right-hand drive), 31 are currently known to exist. Official performance figures indicate the Silhouette could complete the 0 to 100 kilometres per hour (0.0 to 62.1 mph) sprint in 6.5 seconds, 0 to 100 miles per hour (0 to 161 km/h) in 16.1 seconds, and could reach a top speed of 260 kilometres per hour (160 mph)
Lamborghini SilhouetteShow Article
The Lamborghini Cheetah – Lamborghini’s first attempt at an off-road vehicle that wasn’t a tractor was presented at the ’77 Geneva Motor Show. It was built on contract from Mobility Technology International (MTI), which in turn was contracted by the US military to design and build a new all-terrain vehicle. The basis of the design came from MTI, and was largely a copy of FMC's XR311 prototype developed for the military in 1970. This resulted in legal action from FMC against MTI and Lamborghini in 1977. The Cheetah was built in San Jose, California. After initial construction, the prototype was sent to Sant'Agata so Lamborghini could put on the finishing touches. They decided to go with a large, waterproofed 180 bhp 5.9L Chrysler engine, rear mounted, with a 3 speed automatic transmission. The body was fiberglass, and inside there was enough room for four fully equipped soldiers as well as the driver. The mounting of the engine in the rear gave the Cheetah very poor handling characteristics, and the engine choice was not powerful enough to be adequate for the heavy vehicle (2,042 kilograms (4,502 lb)), resulting in overall poor performance. The only finished prototype was never tested by the US military, only demonstrated to them by its designer, Rodney Pharis. It was later sold to Teledyne Continental Motors by MTI and is apparently still in the US. In the end, the military contract was awarded to AM General and their similar looking Humvee. The failure of the Cheetah project, along with Lamborghini financial problems, led to the cancellation of a contract from BMW to develop their M1 sports car.
Lamboughini CheetahShow Article
The financially stressed Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini was placed under the "controlled administration" of the Italian government official Alessandro Artese.Show Article
24 year old Patrick Mimran was named President of Nuova Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini SpA.Show Article
Not many Chicagoans had an opportunity to take a close look at an exotic Lamborghini Countach, except at the 1986 auto show. Built in Italy, the Countach had scissors-style doors and a sticker price that topped a whopping $100,000. The same year, marketers for the new Yugo tried in vain to equate the low-budget, Yugoslavian-built minicar with the legendary Volkswagen Beetle and Ford Model T. Although the Yugo's price was tempting, reliability problems cropped up quickly.
Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, the media reported that Chrysler had paid $25 million for Lamborghini, which at the time was experiencing financial difficulties. Lamborghini was established in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini (1916-1993), a wealthy Italian industrialist who made his fortune building tractors and air-conditioning systems, among other ventures. Lamborghini owned a variety of sports cars, including Ferraris. According to legend, after experiencing mechanical problems with his Ferraris, he tried to meet with Enzo Ferrari, the carmaker´s founder. When Enzo Ferrari turned him down, Ferruccio Lamborghini decided to build cars that would be even better than Ferrari´s. Lamborghini´s first car, the 350 GTV, a two-seat coupe with a V12 engine, launched in 1963. Chrysler eventually sold it to a Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V'Power Corporation in 1994. In 1998, Mycom Setdco and V'Power sold Lamborghini to the Volkswagen Group where it was placed under the control of the group's Audi division.
Lamborghini 400GT (1964)Show Article
The 200 mph, 492 bhp mid-engined Lamborghini Diablo was presented to the public at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo. The Diablo, carried on Lamborghini's tradition of naming its cars after breeds of fighting bull. The Diablo was named after a ferocious bull raised by the Duke of Veragua in the 19th century, famous for fighting an epic battle with 'El Chicorro' in Madrid in 1869. In the words of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, the Diablo was designed "solely to be the biggest head-turner in the world."
Lamborghini DiabloShow Article
Ferrucio Lamborghini, founder of the marque which bears his name, died aged 76. His mechanical know-how led him to enter tractor manufacturing in 1948, when he founded Lamborghini Trattori, which quickly became an important manufacturer of agricultural equipment in the midst of Italy's post-war economic reform. In late 50s and early 60s his company produced oil heaters and air conditioning units, before he created Automobili Lamborghini, a manufacturer of high-end sports cars, all named after famous bulls such as Muira, Islero, Urraco, Diablo etc.
Ferrucio LamborghiniShow Article
The Lamborghini Diablo VT, 4WD, was introduced to the press and the public during the Geneva Motor Show. Also introduced at the show was the Aston Martin DB7, powered by a 335 horsepower supercharged 3.2 litre in-line six cylinder engine, while the latest Vantage model of the DB7 was powered by Aston Martin's first ever 12 cylinder engine a 6.0 litre 420 horsepower V12 unit. Both models took full advantage of modern materials and technology and reflected the classic lines of previous DB models.
Lambourghini Diablo VT -1993Show Article
At the 1996 Geneva Motor Show the Lamborghini Diablo SV (Sport Veloce) was presented, a simplified and more sporty version of the Diablo, inspired by the legendary Miura SV. With an engine power of 525 bhp, reduced weight and a shorter final drive ratio the car reaches 100 km/h in less than 4 seconds. VW presented the new Beetle, Citroen launched the Saxo with all seven Saxo models, - VTS, SX, VSX, VTL and VTR on show and the Car of the Show accolade went to Jaguar Cars fastest production car ever - the ultra high performance, supercharged version of the XK8 - the first generation of a new XK series. The XK8 was available in coupé or convertible body styles and with the new 4.0-litre Jaguar AJ-V8 engine. In 1998 the XKR was introduced with a supercharged version of the engine. In 2003 the engines were replaced by the 4.2-litre AJ34 engines in both the normally aspirated and supercharged versions. The first-generation XK series shares its Jaguar XJS-derived platform with the Aston Martin DB7, both cars tracing their history back to an abandoned Jaguar development study in the mid-1980s known as XJ41/XJ42, which had been mooted to be known as the F-Type.
Jaguar XK8Show Article
The last Jaguar XJS, a blue 6-litre V12 coupe rolled off the line at Browns Lane. The ultimate incarnation of a run that lasted an amazing 115,413. The XJ-S was launched on 10 September 1975. The development of the car had begun in the late 1960s as project XJ27, with an initial shape set by Malcolm Sayer, but after his death in 1970 it was completed by the in-house Jaguar design team, headed by Doug Thorpe. Power came from the Jaguar V12 petrol engine with a choice of a manual or automatic transmission, but the manual was soon dropped as they were left over from V12 E Type production. V12 automobiles were unusual at the time, with notable others coming from Italian luxury sports car makers Lamborghini and Ferrari. The specifications of the XJ-S compared well with both Italian cars; it was able to accelerate to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.6 seconds (automatic) and had a top speed of 143 mph (230 km/h). The first series of XJ-S cars had a Borg-Warner Model 12 transmission with a cast-iron case and a bolt-on bell-housing. In 1977 GM Turbo-Hydramatic 400 transmissions were fitted. The TH400 transmission was an all-aluminium alloy case with an integrated non-detachable bell-housing. When leaving the factory the XJ-S originally fitted Dunlop SP Super E205/70VR tyres on 15 × 6K alloy wheels, though British police forces would upgrade from this factory standard and fit a higher performing 205/70VR15 Michelin XWX to the Jaguars in their fleet. Jaguar's timing was not good; the car was launched in the wake of a fuel crisis, and the market for a 5.3-litre V12 grand tourer was very small. The styling was also the subject of criticism, including the buttresses behind the windows. German authorities feared these would restrict rearward vision, and refused to give the model (along with Lancia's similarly adorned Montecarlo model) type approval: it was for a time necessary instead for German XJS buyers to obtain type approval for each individual car when registering it. Such fears were ill founded, since in reality the rear visibility was very reasonable, with only the frontmost top edges of the buttresses being visible, when looking rearward. Jaguar did seize promotional opportunities with the television series The New Avengers and Return of the Saint. The New Avengers featured Mike Gambit (Gareth Hunt) who drove an XJ-S. Return of the Saint saw Simon Templar (played by Ian Ogilvy) driving an early XJ-S with the number plate "ST 1". Miniature versions were made by Corgi and proved popular. A decade and a half before, Jaguar had turned down the producers of the earlier Saint series when approached about the E-type; the producers had instead used a Volvo P1800.
Jaguar XJSShow Article
An agreement between the shareholders of Lamborghini and Audi was signed in London for the complete take-over of the Company.Show Article
The Ford Motor Company was awarded Car of the Century (COTC) for its Ford Motor Company and creator of the Model T, was named Automotive Entrepreneur of the Century. The Car Designer of the Century award was given to Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro (Maserati Bora, BMW Z1, Ferrai GG50), whilst Austrian Ferdinand Piëch (Chairman of VW who influenced the development of numerous significant cars including the Audi Quattro, Volkswagen New Beetle, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo, Volkswagen Phaeton, and notably, the Bugatti Veyron) won the Car Executive of the Century award. The election process was overseen by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation.Show Article
Filming of a new motoring show hosted by Jeremy Clarkson was abandoned after a member of the production team crashed a £140,000 Lamborghini Diablo. The man lost control of the car after driving it out of an underground car park in Park Lane, in London's West End. It careered across two lanes of traffic before crashing, leaving its driver shaken but unhurt.Show Article
The Frankfurt Motor Show opened to international media, with a series of concept and production vehicle debuts kicking off in the early morning. First news of terrorist attacks in the US came in the early afternoon. Large display screens were switched over to news coverage, opening celebrations were cancelled, and the usual upbeat presentations were absent for the rest of the show. MG Rover Group unveiled its stunning new luxury high performance sports coupe - the MG X80. Styled by MG Rover's world renowned design director Peter Stevens, the £55,000 MG X80 had a high-technology super-formed aluminum body, mounted to a steel box section chassis. Skoda revealed its new model, the Superb. There was a large number of concept vehicles, including the Citroën C-Crosser, SEAT Tango, Renault Talisman, Jaguar R Coupe, Ford Fusion and Audi Avantissimo. Top production car debuts included the BMW 7 Series, Ford Fiesta, Citroën C3, Honda Jazz, Volkswagen Polo and Lamborghini Murcielago.
MG X80Show Article
A man wrecked a $300,000 sports car owned by hip-hop star Missy Elliott after losing control of the 550 hp vehicle and crashed into a traffic sign and a tree. Joseph Johnson had taken the Lamborghini Diablo away from the garage where it was stored without permission for a late night spin. He was later sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to pay $170,000 for the car and $1,975 for repairs at the site of the accident.Show Article
The Lamborghini Murciélago established three international speed records for a series production car: the greatest distance covered in one hour, and fastest times to complete 100 km and 100 miles. The testing took place at Italy’s Prototipo ring. The car passed the 100 km marker after just 18:44.9 minutes, and 100 miles after 30:09 minutes, completed at average speeds of 198.853 mph (320.023 km/h) and 198.996 mph (320.254 km/h), respectively.
Lamborghini MurciélagoShow Article
Automobili Lamborghini launched its new 520bhp Gallardo. at the Geneva Motor Show. Powered by a 5.0-litre V10 engine, with four-wheel-drive, 376 torques, it could accelerate from a 0-62mph in four seconds and had a top speed of 195mph. The Gallardo's a landmark Lamborghini: the first genuinely all-new car to be made by Sant'Agata under Audi ownership. It also marked a return for the firm to making a more affordable, usable super sports car than its legendary dynasty of V12s - something it hadn't done since the Jalpa went out of production in 1988. This was Sant’Agata’s first serious crack at the bottom end of the traditional supercar market and was conceived as a direct competitor for the 360 Modena and Porsche 911 Turbo. It went on sale to critical acclaim in 2003. In Lamborghini’s 50 years of existence, it has built around 30,000 cars. Of these 30,000 cars, nearly half of them - half - are Gallardos.
Lamborghini GallardoShow Article
Drunk driver Dr William Faenza from New York was clocked by police driving his Lamborghini Diablo at 182 mph in a 55 mph zone on State Road 443. He was sentenced to 48 hours in jail plus a year of probation and fined $1,375 plus court costs. In addition, Faenza lost his licence for a year and was required to undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation.Show Article
Traffic police patrolling motorways in southern Italy unveiled the force's first Lamborghini Gallardo in all its blue and white glory, topped with a blue flashing light and marked with the word "Polizia". With a top speed of 192 mph (309km/h), it had the edge in any chase on the Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway. Other traffic police forces which cannot boast a Lamborghini resort to devices of their own against speeders: in Russia, for example, officers have been known to shoot out the tyres of offenders with machine-guns.
Lamborghini Gallardo"Polizia"Show Article
A Lamborghini Miura concept car was presented at the Museum of Television & Radio alongside the Los Angeles Auto Show, though it was not present at the show itself. Instead, the Miura officially debuted at the North American International Auto Show two weeks later. It was the first design by new Lamborghini chief, Walter de'Silva, and commemorated the 1966 introduction of the original Miura in Geneva.
Lamborghini Miura concept car (2006)Show Article
Automobili Lamborghini presented the new Lamborghini Reventón, whose exterior styling was inspired by "the fastest airplanes". Its top speed was recorded in Dubai, UAE at 221 miles per hour (355.7 km/h). With just 20 produced, each costing 1 Million Euro (without taxes), the Lamborghini Reventón was a symbol of extreme exclusivity.
Lamborghini ReventónShow Article
Italian super sports car giant Lamborghini unveiled its new Gallardo Coupe LP560-4 and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars revealed its new Phantom Coupé at the 78th International Geneva Motor Show.
Rolls Royce Phantom CoupéShow Article
Luc Costermans of Belgium set a new world speed record for blind drivers with the speed of 192 mph. Costermans drove a borrowed Lamborghini Gallardo on a long, straight stretch of airstrip near Marseilles, France. Cosermans had a carload of sophisticated navigational equipment as well as a human co-pilot, who gave directions from the Lamborghini's passenger seat accompanying him during the event.Show Article
The 6.5 litre (650 bhp) Lamborghini Aventador, capable of 217 mph (0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds) was launched at the Geneva Motor Show, five months after its initial unveiling in Sant'Agata Bolognese. The vehicle, internally codenamed LB834, was designed to replace the ten-year-old Murciélago as the new flagship model.
Lamborghini AventadorShow Article
Justin Bieber was arrested after racing his yellow Lamborghini against another sports car on a Miami Beach street. Police said the singer did not co-operate when pulled over also charged him with resisting arrest without violence and having an expired driving licence. The 19-year-old singer was granted bail set at $2,500 (£1,500).Show Article