T he legendary sports cars of Lamborghini have been produced in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy since 1963. That the Lamborghini’s history is set in Italy seems only appropriate, for Italian motor- sports is full of names revered not only in that country, but around the world. Fiat, Alfa-Romeo, and Maserati all enjoyed grand prix successes even before the ascension of Ferrari, and did their part to fan national pride. These campaigns proved no less important than matters of politics, religion, food and wine, and music; the days marking the running of the Mille Miglia or the Italian Grand Prix were national holidays. Up until the 1950s, the development of cars for competition and for more prosaic purposes had occurred along two separate, if not parallel, lines. Production automobiles were always subject to post-purchase modifications as their owners sought increased per- formance levels, but it was left to Enzo Ferrari to finally refine what were essentially racing machines with the addition of crea- ture comforts, and so the gran turismo, or GT car, was born, bringing racetrack technology to ordinary drivers on public roads. Built largely by hand and in limited numbers, GT cars could only be purchased by the wealthy, and were particularly popular among the new generation of industrialists who had begun to transform the aftermath of the Second World War into founda- tions for their personal success. As industrialists, they appreciat- ed what the production of such an automobile represented; as self- made individuals, their egos were reinforced by the glamour and performance that such cars promised.

The distinctive lines of the Miura still look modern today. Many fans of the marque still speculate how the car, with its spectacular performance, might have performed on a race course.


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