Taking the bull by the horns

HUB CLASSICS

If Lamborghini’s story were a figurative art, it would be bronze sculpture of a fierce bull. Ferruccio Lamborghini was a bullfighting enthusiast and his cars bear the names of fighting bulls, but the history of the company is like an acrobatic vault over the legendary animal. That bull, for Lamborghini, was Enzo Ferrari, who challenged the «tractor driver» from Renazzo, and who went from manufacturing agricultural machinery to creating some of the most impressive supercars of all time.

Taking the bull by the horns
Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone

Taking the bull by the horns

Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone

Taking the bull by the horns

Taking the bull by the horns

Taking the bull by the horns

Taking the bull by the horns

Taking the bull by the horns

If Lamborghini’s story were a figurative art, it would be bronze sculpture of a fierce bull. Ferruccio Lamborghini was a bullfighting enthusiast and his cars bear the names of fighting bulls, but the history of the company is like an acrobatic vault over the legendary animal. That bull, for Lamborghini, was Enzo Ferrari, who challenged the «tractor driver» from Renazzo, and who went from manufacturing agricultural machinery to creating some of the most impressive supercars of all time. And it was always for the sake of purpose, or by overturning his intentions, that those which were supposed to be «perfect even if not particularly revolutionary cars» would become magnificent and imperfect radical reversals of the automotive tradition.

Taking the bull by the horns

Two of them, Miura and Countach, proved to be so charismatic that they are surprisingly as sought after now as they were then. This was recently confirmed at the Paris auction organized in February by RM Sotheby’s, where a 1971 Miura SV, chassis number #4840, fetched 2.6 million francs, the second highest price ever for a Lamborghini. Very close to the 2.8 million Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose, which in August 2020 set the record for the most expensive car ever sold online. An exception among the 150 Miura SVs produced, it was transformed into a «Jota type» and then restored to its original appearance. The more recent 1977 Countach LP 400, which belonged to Rod Stewart, was sold for 860 thousand francs.

Taking the bull by the horns

Both cars have been restored to their original beauty thanks to the restoration work carried out by the brand’s top experts worldwide and one of them, the Miura, has received official certification from the Polo Storico Lamborghini. But while everyone knows the name Lamborghini, only the enthusiasts understand the master that is Marcello Gandini, who brilliantly designed both automobiles. And if Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani mentioned, a few pages back, the Countach by Gandini was the inspiration for the Bulgari Finissimo, provoking and filled with tension in this case also we return to «a statue of a bull» and acrobatic leaps that overturned expectations. The Countach - presented on 11 March 1971 and thus celebrating its first 50 years - was originally intended to be fitted with Lamborghini’s 5-litre V12, but due to a series of technical and economic difficulties in its first production release, the LP 400 shown above was to be fitted with the same 3,929 cubic centimetre V12 as the Miura. Lastly, the name Countach does not derive from a breed of fighting bulls, as per Lamborghini’s custom, but from the Piedmontese expression translatable as «oh my goodness» which was exclaimed by Bertone’s profiler the first time he saw the car - «Countach», which literally means plague, contagion, and is used to express amazement and admiration.

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