How a clunky clutch of a Ferrari led to the creation of arguably the most iconic supercar brand that we know today
Perhaps there is no greater representation of the products Lamborghini makes than its logo. Since its inception in 1963, the ‘Raging Bull Of Bologna‘ has set a standard for how a sports car should look—aggressive, fiery, mean, and of course, bold (a far cry from the more “tame” representation of the products other Italian marques were making at the time). But, how did it come to be? And why a bull on a gold and black shield?
Let’s rewind the clock to the early days of Ferruccio Lamborghini, the founder of the company. Ferruccio grew up in a small town in Northern Italy, where he served as a mechanic during WW2. Post-war, Ferruccio started two successful companies of his own, one dealing with the manufacturing of tractors while the other made air conditioners. In between all of this, he also developed an affinity for everything four-wheeled, leading him to buy a few Alfa Romeos, Maseratis, Mercedes, and Ferraris of his own.
But Ferruccio had a special affinity for Ferrari. He found them elegant but also noisy and rough. According to reports, he was rather disappointed with the lack of “road luxury” the prancing horses offered. In the early 1960s, dissatisfied with the clutch of his Ferrari, Ferruccio decided to convey his grievances to Enzo Ferrari himself. While there’s no definitive record of the conversation, legend states that Enzo didn’t take the criticism kindly and was rather dismissive of Ferruccio’s complaints. Now understandably miffed, the former mechanic turned wealthy businessman started his own brand with the aim to build a perfect sports car.
A couple of years later, Automobili Lamborghini SpA was founded in Sant’Agata Bolognese, not coincidentally just 30km from Ferrari’s factory. But things hadn’t quite fallen into place yet. The company needed a logo. Fortunately, Ferruccio had spent some time with Don Eduardo Miura, a breeder of Spanish fighting bulls in Sevilla, Spain. Fascinated by the sheer strength the animals presented, Ferruccio made the call to make the raging bull the representation of his new company.
Contrary to popular belief, the first-ever version of the Lamborghini logo was sans the iconic black and gold paint scheme, as we know it today. Instead, it featured a monochrome bull on a red shield, with the company name written in sans-serif lettering in silver. It wasn’t until 1972 that we see the early prototype of the brand’s current visual identity, with a black shield in the background and “Lamborghini” positioned on top of it, with bold gold lettering.
After a few more experiments, including a rather rare monochrome phase, the Lamborghini logo finally found its identity in 1998. The details this time were more significant and less subtle, accurately representing the cars it was building. Unlike the previous logos, the golden bull was now prominent and vivid, with a new gold outline around the black shield.
To this day, the raging bull has been the mainstay of Lamborghini’s identity. Most of its iconic cars were, in fact, named after famous fighting bulls of their time, like the Miura, Murcielago, and Aventador. Finally, almost sixty years after its foundation, the raging bull of Bologna is looked at in a similar regard as the iconic prancing horses, clearly fulfilling Ferruccio’s vision.
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