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36th Auto Retro Brugge (Bruges): dream cars from Lamborghini in the spotlight

During the last weekend of January 2016,  the 36th edition of AUTO RETRO BRUGGE goes on show in the Beurshalle, presenting a historical review of LAMBORGHINI dream cars. The iconic Italian car manufacturer has known quite a few survival problems in its half a century of existence, but can nevertheless present over a dozen of real supercars. As the next AUTO RETRO BRUGGE will probably be held in the actual Beurshalle for the last time, it is particularly the place to be for sales, exchanges and bargains on old timer and special cars, motorcycles and miniatures, accessories and car parts, literature, and all kinds of car related items (automobilia).

The most admirable cars are of Italian origins, and Lamborghini’s have always been part of that. It’s founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini (Renazzo, April 28th 1916 – Perugia, February 20th 1993) was a farmer’s son with technical interests, and with a degree in industrial design he started assembling small farm tractors at home in the barn after WW II. Three years later, in 1949, he builded his first farm tractor manufacturing plant at Cento. His zodiac sign being Taurus, Lamborghini then chose a turning bull as his manufacturers emblem. As the farm tractors have self-made diesel engines, the business is quite profitable. Later on, the Lamborghini range extends with heating and cooling systems. Part of the fortune Lamborghini gained with this is spent on exclusive and performing cars. However, according to Lamborghini’s complaints, all have defaults…Following a dispute with the twenty year older Enzo Ferrari, Lamborghini decides to build his own vehicles, so they will be better…A new factory is established at Sant’agatha Bolognese, close to Modena (and to arch-enemy Ferrari). The prototype of the 350 GTV is released in 1963, but without an engine. The first production model, the 350 GT has coachwork by Touring and an ultra-modern V-12 engine, developed by Bizzarinni and Dallara. 1966 sees an improved model with a bigger engine: the 400 GT 2+2, and Lamborghini becomes the new venue star on the car constellation…

The next models Islero and Islero S (1968 – 1970) are followed by Espada (1968 – 1970), born from the Marzal gull wing prototype), and by Jarama (1970) and Jarama S (1973). One of the most fascinating cars ever, is undoubtedly the Miura (P 400), with coachwork by Bertone and a transverse mid ship V-12 engine. From it’s first presentation in 1967 up to now, the Miura and its derivates S and SV have always attracted attention and are fiercely sought after vehicles by the most fortunate collectors world-wide.

Marcello Gandini designs an edged Countach for the 1971 Geneva Motor Show, it’s  a complete style rupture. And it takes Lamborghini another two years to start production. In the next 15 years, only 1347 copies of the model  will be available to the public (in several versions). As a counterpart to the Ferrari Dino and the Porsches, Lamborghini also launches a smaller V-8 engine that fits the Urraco (little bull) in 1972. The Silhouette (1976) and Jalpa (1982) are the last sports cars in Automobili Lamborghini’s first chapter. However, in particular for the Arabic Emirates and the United States, Lamborghini adds a cross-country model to the range in 1986. After the Cheetah and several other prototypes, the LM 002 with its Countach engine is a huge all-terrain vehicle with astonishing performances (and consumption) on both road and track.

Since Ferruccio’s sun Antonio shows no interest in succeeding his empire, being in financial troubles, Automobili Lamborghini slides little by little into Swiss supervision during the early seventies. From 1974 on, Ferruccio concentrates on a vineyard in Umbria, where gradually excellent Lamborghini wines are being cultivated. In 1980, Lamborghini is to go bankrupt, but restarts the year after owing to the additional development and construction of Formula-1 engines for Larousse and Lotus. Later on, these engines will be very successfully implemented in Lamborghini Formula-1 powerboats.

In 1990, Chrysler is the new owner of Lamborghini that can show the Diablo,  and Mega Tech  the one to release the new Diablo VT all-wheel drive in 1993. Audi acquires Lambo in 1998  and as a consequence, the Audi R8 receives the Lamborghini V-10 engine. Starting from 2000, the Murciélago, the Gallardo (2003), the Réventon and the Veneno become available in limited editions. The Aventador and Huracan, both as coupé and spyder, represent the current line, Lamborghini being part of the Volkswagen Group nowadays.

To conclude, AUTO RETRO BRUGGE will be presenting these highlights in the history of Lamborghini in the Beurshalle, Beursplein, Brugge (Bruges) on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st of January 2016, from 9.30 till 18.30 h.

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