Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Italy on April 28, 1916 to parents who were grape growers. While he ultimately would take an interest in the industry of his parents upon retirement, his destiny led him elsewhere first. With a gift for all things mechanical, Lamborghini tinkered with various forms of machinery in his young life. It was machinery that was his true calling, his destiny, for many years.
During World War II, Ferruccio Lamborghini demonstrated his skill at repairing engines as well as creating engines from assorted parts. His time spent in the Air Force mechanics corps would lead him to purchase surplus military equipment after the war ended, adapting that equipment to new uses. One of those uses was the tractor.
After the war ended, Ferruccio continued his tractor pursuits, making approximately one tractor per month from surplus parts. It soon became evident that the tractor business was profitable, thus he grew and expanded his business. By the 1950's, he had cemented his status as one of the biggest farm equipment manufacturers in Italy. That was not enough for this mechanically talented man, however, and he soon began to experiment with cars.
Ferruccio always had an appreciation for automobiles, owning several luxurious specimens of his own. One of those was a Ferrari 250GT. While many of us today would jump at the chance to own a Ferrari, Ferruccio was not impressed. There were problems with the car and things he disliked about it. In addition to the unsatisfactory ride and sound of the car, soon the clutch went out. Ferruccio Lamborghini made his way to Enzo Ferrari to inquire about a replacement, but the request did not go over well. Rumor has it that Enzo Ferrari laughed at Ferruccio Lamborghini and told him he knew nothing about cars and should return to tinkering with his tractors.
While the tractor business had always treated him well, Lamborghini took Ferrari's comments as both an insult and a challenge and decided to alter the course of his business. It was then that Automobili Lamborghini was founded and the Lamborghini 350GT was born.
It goes to show that the mechanics of machinery goes hand in hand across the board. Although machines may differ in appearance and function, the basics of operation remain the same. If the same clutch can work in both a farm tractor and a Ferrari, perhaps those items are not truly worlds apart after all. Lamborghini did not think so, and both the tractor and sports car sets have his ingenuity to thank for two very different yet much the same performance machines that are with us to this day.