Lamborghini is one of those iconic Italian automobile brands that everyone easily recognizes for its opulent styling and powerful design. The Lamborghini company, shortened from its longer name of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A, is an Italian auto manufacturer formed in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, an engine enthusiast from childhood who did repair work on trucks, motorcycles, and cars on the island where he was stationed during the first World War. He became well-known for his skills, and, after the war, he sent up a repair shop in Modena Italy. Ferruccio was smart, and he realized his area was in desperate need of new tractors, so he began building them from abandoned military vehicles and even his own engines. His success was amazing, and he also expanded into building air conditioning and heating units as well.
Ferruccio wasn't satisfied stopping there, however; what he really wanted was to build a high performance automobile. He had owned several different brands himself, but they always left him disappointed-especially their engines. Lamborghini decided he could do better than brands like Ferrari, so he built his own sporty vehicle containing a V12 350 horsepower, all-aluminum engine, with the help of engineer Giampaolo Dallara, who had previously worked with Ferrari himself. This engine would become the prototype for all Lamborghini models, and it was housed in a Scaglion-Touring body.
The first Lamborghini vehicle appeared at the 1963 Turin Auto Show and was named the 350 GTV prototype. The model garnered plenty of attention, and it was produced the next year under "350 GT." The GT was a tremendous success, and over one-hundred and thirty units were sold. The 350 was followed by the 400 GT and the 400 GT 2+2. These three vehicles brought success to Lamborghini on a global level, and led to the construction of the Lamborghini Miura- the car that gave the Lamborghini brand its place in history by shocking brands like Maserati and Ferrari which it was competing against. The 1966 sports coupe originated mid-engine design, and the future of the company looked bright. However, hard times were just around the corner. Lamborghini had major financial struggles in the 1970s and 80s and was rescued by the Chrysler Corporation in 1987. The company was later sold to Audi in 1998, which brought it great stability and record sales from 2007-2008. However, the current financial crisis is very negatively affecting the brand, which still produces cars in Sant-Agata Bolognesese.
Some models that did bring the Lamborghini brand the success it need to overcome competitors such as Ferrari, BMW, and Lotus include: the ground-breaking LP400 Countach (which is Lamborghini's most successful car to date, running in production from 1974 to 1988), the successful Diablo, and the exotic Murcielago. The Murcielago coupe was produced between 2001-2010, with a roadster version appearing in 2004. The Murcielago's successor, the Lamborghini Aventador, hit the Geneva Auto Show in February 2011, five months after appearing in Sant'Agata Bolognese. This car's sales began in the middle part of 2011, under a MSRP of $379,700 in the U.S 201,900 in the UK, and 255,000 in Europe.