the man behind the luxurious lamborghini
Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Italy in 1916. He was fascinated with engines from an early age. During World War II he joined the army and was stationed on the island of Rhodes. Fortunately there was little going on there during the war. The island was essentially isolated from the rest of the world. Any cars, trucks or motorcycles that broke down had to be repaired on the spot with reused parts. Lamborghini became known as a wizard at mechanical improvisation and became very much in demand at fixing engines.
After the war he returned to his home near Modena in northern Italy and setup a small car and motorcycle repair shop. He soon realized that there was a desperate need for tractors in the agricultural area in which he lived. He found he could build about one tractor a month from derelict military vehicles. As Italy's economy grew demand for his high quality tractors started to grow. He began building his own tractor engines. His tractor business became very successful reaching a rate of over 400 a month in 1960. He soon looked at expanding the business and in 1960 began manufacturing heaters and air conditioning units for buildings as well as maintaining the tractor business. This too became very successful.
About this time Lamborghini started to get interested in developing a high performance car. He had owned Oscas, Maseratis and Ferraris but was always disappointed with them. Particularly their engines. There is a now famous story about how he was frustrated with problems he had with a clutch in a Ferrari (a Ferrari 250 GT), and went to visit Enzo Ferrari who's factory was nearby. Enzo had no time for a tractor manufacture and simply dismissed him. Lamborghini decided there was nothing Ferrari was doing he could not do better. He decided too build his own car with a V12 engine. For the design he found a very talented engineer named Giampaolo Dallara who had previously worked on a Ferrari V12 engine.
The new engine had 4 cams, a short stroke and 4 big bore valves per cylinder. It developed a surprising 350 HP. It was an all aluminum engine with a crankshaft supported by seven main bearings. These crankshafts were machined from SAE 9840 steel. The connecting rods (12) were of SAE 4340 steel. The pistons were of forged aluminum. Each pair of camshafts were driven by their own half engine speed sprocket and silent chain. This engine was really the prototype for all future Lamborghini engines. A body designed by Scaglione-Touring was used to house the engine.