Ferruccio Lamborghini Began Life as a Farm Boy

Lamborghini was born in a small house in Northern Italy on April 18, 1916. As a farm boy on his parents' land, life was not easy. Even though Lamborghini helped out on the farm through his early years, his main interest was machinery. His parents would often find him taking machines apart and putting them back together. He was so interested in how the machinery worked, he even built a metal casting shop in one of the barns on the farm. One day while casting his own parts for the farm equipment, the barn blew up and almost caused the family to lose everything they owned.

His parents, Antonio and Evelina Lamborghini, saw how much he loved working with machines, and probably to save the family farm, decided to send him off to a technical school in nearby Bologna. There his interest would develop into a desire to know how everything worked. After completing his studies, he would enter the Italian Air Force in World War II. There he would become the main mechanic for the military vehicles. He would get a name for being able to fix military vehicles with very little replacement parts and supplies.

After the war, Lamborghini would get married to his first wife. While on his honeymoon, he saw several surplus military vehicles that were being sold as scrap. “I cut my honeymoon short, bought a lot of the war surplus vehicles I saw and brought both my wife and materials back,” he would later say. He would immediately start a garage where he would rebuild these surplus military vehicles and make tractors out of them.

“I started by building a tractor for my parents farm out of old war surplus vehicles I brought home,” Lamborghini said. When the local farmers saw the tractor that Lamborghini had built for his parents, they came looking for the same design. This started his tractor business, but during his first two years of marriage, he lost his first wife during child birth. However, he did have a son, Tonino, named after his father.

Lamborghini found out that he could retrofit these old military vehicles and redesign them into farm tractors in about one month. By 1948, he had started his tractor business and after several sales was able to start buying his own material, instead of using old surplus military vehicles. “After selling several rebuilt tractors, I was able to start buying materials to build and design my own tractors,” he would say. Lamborghini would soon design and build his first farm tractor from scratch called the Carioca.

By mid-1950, Lamborghini had become a millionaire. “I liked to take things apart when I was younger,” he said in an interview. This is what made him the entrepreneur he became and begin a business life that would lead him to legendary status when it comes to luxury sports cars.

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