History Room feature promises to be popular



The Lamborghini Murcie lago LP640 Roadster.


Lamborghini. For automobile enthusiasts, the name is synonymous with speed, beauty and power, all wrapped in sensual Italian design.


Lamborghini cars are the featured marque in this year’s History Room, part of the Classic Concourse in the South Building at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It promises to be among the most popular of the many exhibits at this year’s AutoShow.

The popular story about how these cars came to be — that founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, unhappy with the quality of his own Ferrari and the attitude toward him by Enzo Ferrari, decided to build his own exotic sports cars — has been blown out of context over the years, says Alex Thompson of Lamborghini Canada in Toronto.

In fact, Lamborghini’s official website makes no mention of any falling out between Ferruccio and Enzo, noting instead Ferruccio “had done his homework” before committing to the production of his first model, the 350 GTV, in 1963.

“By the time he decided to build a factory for luxury sports cars, Ferruccio was already a very wealthy man. In the period following World War II, he founded his tractor factory.

“Other businesses followed and he amassed his fortune at the perfect time, before his 50th birthday.

“When he said he would build a super sports car to compete with Ferrari, many people thought he was mad. Constructing that kind of car was viewed as an unexplainable extravagance, a hazardous leap in the dark, and something that would squander his fortune without ever turning a profit.”

Right out of the gate, Lamborghini proved his critics wrong. The 350 GTV was a masterpiece, powered by a 360-hp, 3.5-litre V12 engine.

And the rest, as they say, is history. In the ensuing years, Lamborghini has built — always in small numbers — some of the most desirable and exclusive sports cars of all time.

The CIAS display is the most complete representation of Lamborghini anywhere, says Thompson, with examples of every production model ever produced.

So whether you can afford to buy these kind of vehicles with pocket change, or, like most of us, can only wish to one day own a Lambo, the History Room at this year’s AutoShow is the place to be for lovers of beautiful, high-performance automobiles.

Let the gushing begin.

Joe Knycha for Metro Toronto