The Forgotten Models And Trouble Brewing
The early 70’s produced various Lamborghini models that stayed true to Mr. Lamborghini’s philosophy of road-worthy cruisers that did not reflect his customer base. As Lamborghini produced the Jarama, Urraco, and Espada, customer tastes were changing for sleeker designs and a need for speed.
Lamborghini produced various 2+2’s to accommodate but they weren’t as popular as the Ferrari 365 Daytona, the Porsche 911, or the Lancia Stratos.
The company was kept afloat with Miura sales and Ferruccio faced another blow when his tractor order heading to Bolivia was canceled thanks to a government change. Lamborghini tractors spent their budget on a factory to accommodate this large order and was forced to sell his tractor holdings in 1972.
1973 then brought the oil crisis, which impacted supercar sales globally. With new fuel economy laws coming into play and scarcity of petrol, V12 engines were no longer hot commodities. It was the final blow to Mr. Ferruccio Lamborghini, as he sold his remaining stake and retired to focus on winemaking.
A Phoenix Rises From The Ashes And Rollercoaster Ride
1974 brought some positive light into Lamborghini’s horizon: The LP 400 or widely known as the Countach. Made famous by Burt Reynolds movie Cannonball Run, the Countach became Lamborghini’s best selling car and an icon of the 1980’s.
The Countach had the same layout as the Miura but produced 370hp. The styling was definitely aggressive with sharp edges, large air scoops, sleek shape, and giant rear wings in later years.
This car was another reason why Lamborghini is popular to a certain enthusiast: it did not look like any other car on the road, and had the look as if it was conceived by a twelve-year-old who wanted to be a space cowboy with space thrusters and lasers coming out of the doors to save the world.
That kid who can buy a Countach today will probably realize how heavy the clutch is, the cabin was basically a greenhouse, how rear visibility was merely a guessing game or the fact that the windows didn’t roll down. He or she didn’t care because they fell in love with how looked and sounded. It was imaginative, it was unique, and it was utterly special.
Little did we know that this decade would be a turbulent one for Lamborghini. After the patriarch left, it went into financial trouble and changed ownership from: Swiss enthusiasts, Chrysler and then an Indonesian holding company
Out of all this chaos, the 90’s was then blessed with the Diablo, a monster with a 6.0L V12 engine producing 485hp and held the record of the fastest production car in the 1990s. A brief stint in Formula One was also explored, with the V12 engine being placed in F1 cars.
The late 90’s brought another financial crisis in our midst and the Volkswagen Automobile Group bought Lamborghini to enhance the brand portfolio and also share technologies that would benefit not only Lamborghini but also other brands in the VAG portfolio, like Audi. This joint venture proved to be a mutual benefit as Lamborghini produced stellar examples around this time such as the Murciélago, Gallardo, Reventon, Aventador and Huracan.
The partnership with VAG meant that Lamborghinis looked cool and had Audi interior components which worked flawlessly and wasn’t intermittent depending on what the weather was like outside, or if it was Tuesday. Audi was also beneficial to the partnership as Lamborghini technology and expertise helped build the R8 into their halo car, and a supercar legend.
The future looks brighter than ever for Lamborghini with positive sales figures year after year, with no signs of stopping growth. With an increasing presence in emerging markets such as Asia-Pacific, this small Italian factory from Bologna, created out of spite and determination, proved that never go one-on-one with an angry bull who has you in their crosshairs.