There would be no Miura, Countach or Diablo if it wasn’t for a very different kind of Raging Bullby Khris Bharath, on
Now as gearheads, most of you probably already know about Automobili Lamborghini. But prior to producing sleek high-end land rockets, Ferruccio Lamborghini previously made something far more rudimentary, tractors, and he was really good at it. In fact, it was his immensely successful tractors business and that tête-à-tête with one signore Enzo, that gave him the means and led him to establish his automobile business.
However, my focus today will be on Lamborghini’s first successful business venture, Trattori Lamborghini, which by the way is still around. Yup, you heard that right. In fact, their current range is quite extensive. A Lambo tractor even made an appearance on Clarkson’s Farm that aired last year. Anyway, let’s dig a little deeper to uncover the brands history, this time for a very different kind of raging bull.
The Roots of Ferruccio Lamborghini
Ferruccio Lamborghini was born over a hundred years ago on April 28, 1916, in Renazzo, in the province of Ferrara. The first of five siblings, Ferruccio grew up on the family farm that grew grapes, where his father taught him everything about farming. However, Ferruccio was driven by something completely different: A passion for engines and machinery.
After finishing elementary school, he attended the professional training institute ’Fratelli Taddia,’ which was a breeding ground for fantastic talent. After obtaining his license, he made the decision to go and work as an apprentice at a local blacksmith, where he managed to learn the secrets of ironworking and welding.
He gained hands-on experience working at a well-known workshop commissioned to work on Army vehicles in Bologna. It was this period, that played a crucial role in developing Ferruccio’s expertise as he had the chance to work for hands and up close with these machines.
Soon, Ferruccio founded his own workshop in Renazzo at the age of 18. The year was 1935 and Ferruccio would buy used automobiles and motorcycles that he would tinker with. Ferruccio, however soon found himself pulled from his civilian life five years later as World War Two broke out.
Lamborghini Gained Some Critical Skills In World War II
He was soon dispatched to the Greek islands of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea, where he was posted to the 50th Autorepartoto Misto di Manovra the or the auto center for the Royal Italian Airforce, in charge of maintaining and repairing all military vehicles on the island.
Corporal Ferruccio Lamborghini soon realized that this was a fantastic opportunity for him to work on some of the most advanced and complex tools in both Italian and international mechanical industries. He obtained great knowledge with scrapping and repurposing machines while performing his job. Life on the island was marred by wartime tragedies until September 8, 1943, when the entire Autocentro personnel evacuated the city. After Italy surrendered in 1943, a German formation took over the fortress
Ferruccio was unable to keep away from these his beloved engines for long and returns to Rhodes. He decides to open a small workshop with the permission of the Germans who prefer to exploit his skills as a mechanic rather than imprison him. 1945 saw the end of the war and the arrival of the allies. They took everyone in the garrison prisoner, but after seeing what Ferruccio could do, they put him to work fixing their own vehicles for a year before sending him home to a war-torn Italy a year later in 1946.
Lamborghini Tractor History
When Ferruccio returned to Italy, he knew early on that in order for the country to recover from the war, Italy would need to improve agricultural productivity.
Ferruccio's expertise with both Allied and Axis vehicles provided him a significant advantage over most others.
The market was dominated at the time by FIAT, Landini, and Motomeccanica with their tractors, which were unfortunately not as frugal or affordable as was the need at the time. As a result, at the end of 1947, Ferruccio Lamborghini chose to build an inexpensive and powerful tractor for the farmers of the "Bassa" and their small farms.
As for the ingredients to build his affordable tractors, where better to find the machinery to do so than from the massive military-industrial complex? There were still stockpiles of surplus military equipment, that had been commissioned by the former Mussolini government.
First Model ‘Carioca’ - 1948
ARAR, is the government-owned firm in charge of selling all the axis military equipment. He purchased war materials, modified the engine and feeding system, and created a rather rudimentary chassis.
By adopting an old British Morris engine to run on inexpensive diesel instead of pricey gasoline.
Ferruccio invented a revolutionary low-cost tractor that he could sell all over the world. This was to be the first of his ’Carioca’ tractors, which were to be unveiled on February 3rd, 1948. Ferruccio receives multiple orders and chooses to expand production as a result of the farmers’ positive response.
L33 - 1951
After receiving a loan of 10,00,000 Lira from the Bank of Cento, he bought 1,000 Morris 6-cylinder 3.5 liter gas engines, hires more workers, and begins manufacturing the L33 tractor, an extension of the Carioca. In 1950, he had already reached a capacity of 200 units per year, his company hires approximately thirty people.
Thanks to the popularity of his Tractors, Ferruccio established Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A. Ferruccio purchases a ten thousand square meter plot of land in the ancient hippodrome region and establishes the first true production plant: Trattori Lamborghini is formed.
DL 30 - 1952
Now that the new venture was well underway, it saw the introduction of a new model. The DL 30. The Morris engines were running out, as there was a limited supply of them, to begin with. The DL 30 saw the introduction of the DW415 MWM Benz Diesel engines, a minor facelift over the L33. The front end was a lot more streamlined.
DL 25 C - 1955
Come 1955 and the first-ever Crawler tractor was added to Lamborghini’s portfolio. Dubbed the DL 25C, you had the option to choose between either an MWM diesel or one made by Lamborghini themselves, as Ferruccio had established a new contract with Motorenwerken Mannheim.
Lamborghinetta - 1958
The Trattori Lamborghini product lineup continued to grow. It was during this time that the commercial network for the brand was established. Ferruccio secures the key customers. To keep that momentum going, in comes a new tractor dubbed the Lamborgininetta. Under the hood was a two-cylinder Lamborghini engine that put out 22 horses.
2R DT - 1962
By the early 60s, the workforce had swollen to a staggering 400 people who put together anywhere between 25/30 units a day. The tractors that Lamborghini was making were regarded as world-class. The addition of a new model, the 2R DT saw the introduction of air-cooled engines and four-wheel drive. Do note that this was also the time same period when Lamborghini decided to venture into the sports car business.
R 230 - 1966
Introduced as a 1967 model, the R230 really was an evolution of the incredibly 1R model, although with better power and chunkier tires. It featured a 1.5-liter twin-cylinder diesel mill, that put out 30 horses. It had a six-speed manual gearbox with two reverse speeds and a locking diff.
R 480 - 1968
Two years later, in 1968, the more powerful R 480 hit the market. It was more evolution as Lamborghini added a two-tier grille along with a far edgier design. Subsequent years saw some troublesome years for the business owing to a myriad of factors. The early 70s saw the global oil crisis and several trade union strikes in Italy.
A major setback was Hugo Banzer’s 1971 coup in Bolivia resulting in the cancellation of an order for 5,000 tractors. His automobile business, thanks to the Miura and Countach seems like a far more profitable venture. As a consequence, Ferruccio sold the Tractor business to the SAME (Società Accomandita Motori Endotermici ) Group in 1973.
R 684 DR F - 1980
Under new ownership, the brand continued with its tried and tested formula of churning out robust and dependable machines through the 70s. The R 684 DR F was the ninth Lamborghini tractor model and featured a revised front end with a new grille and headlights located under it. This got a lot boxier. Remember this was the early 80s.
1306 DT - 1983
Lamborghini tractors from this era saw the introduction of highly innovative water-cooling technology for its engines. The 1306 DT had a considerably larger footprint as compared to its predecessor. You had new square headlights with the logo now taking center stage on the grill.
135 Formula - 1989
Electronic fuel injection adjustment and state-of-the-art ECUs were introduced by the late ’80s and early 90s. In keeping with the times, the design was more evolution than revolution. The cab was also taller and far roomier, compared to before.
Runner Series - 1993
The Runner range comprising predominantly of the RX 100 Mini-tractors, came into the picture as a need to address a growing demand for small-scale farming. Trattori Lamborghini’s range further evolved to introduce tractors across several categories.
RF Series - 2007
The early to mid-2000s saw several R Series models like the R6, R7 and R8 hit the market. 2007 saw the introduction of a new RF series, Lamborghinis. The RF series was sleeker by tractor standards and was designed for work in vineyards and orchards.
CF Series - 2010
2010 saw the revival of crawlers to Lamborghini’s portfolio, with the introduction of the CF series. These sturdy compact tractors are hard-working tools suited for working between crop rows and general tasks. These new crawlers also feature innovative styling and impressive performance, that can tackle your typical fit orchard with ease. A 4.0-liter turbocharged mill is a trusty workhorse.
Nitro Series - 2013
Last but certainly not least, we come to the modern age of Lamborghini tractors. The Nitro series introduced at the 2013 SIMA trade fair in Paris was a revelation. They’re quite literally the Lamborghini’s of tractors. It debuted the historical black and white colors of Trattori Lamborghini with a revolutionary new design language. The design was in fact so good that it won the 2014 RedDot design award. The Nitro 130 130 VRT won the ‘Golden Tractor For The Design’ in 2014.
How much does a Lamborghini tractor cost?
Well, the range today is quite extensive. Prices for a brand new entry-level MACH VRT start at just shy of $95,000. Models up the range could however see those prices climb to over 200 Grand. Now that’s more like Lambo prices, isn’t it? Used models like an old Sprint can be had for anywhere between 30 to $45,000 while older vintage models are even cheaper. According to Classic.com, the average price of one of the vintage examples is $24,173 with the lowest sale at $7016 and the highest sale at $46,200.
Lamborghini was the first tractor manufacturer in Italy to introduce synchromesh gears. Technologies like water-cooled engines, electronic fuel injection, electronic power shift transmissions, and some swankier designs in recent times have helped Lambo to retain its crown as one of the pioneers of the tractor world.
Well, there you have it. I’ve just about managed to scratch the surface of Trattori Lamborghini’s evolution over the past seven decades. The company today is owned by the SDF Group, headquartered in Trevigllio in Italy, and has been in the agriculture machinery industry since 1927.
Although the Tractor business has been overshadowed by the Automobile business, the company had some very cool technological breakthroughs and innovations over the years and are still at the top of their game in the tractor world.
Frequently Asked Questions
What engines do Lamborghini tractors use?
Lamborghini began selling tractors powered by modified petrol Morris engines that could run on diesel. Its very first in-house engine was produced in 1958. Over the years, technologies like air-cooled engines, fuel injection, kept Lamborghini at the top of their game. Modern Lamborghini Tractors like the Spark130 employ an advanced four-cylinder FARMotoin engine
Who owns the Lamborghini tractor?
Lamborghini Trattorri is currently owned by Same Deutz-Fahr, and is part of the SDF Group, based in Treviglio, Italy.
How fast does a Lamborghini tractor go?
A Lamborghini tractor once hit a whopping 87.2 mph. That is some staggering performance for a farm vehicle. However, it was modified and was powered by a 5.7 liter Chevy V-8. But for the most part, their most agile tractors can hit about 26 mph
Are Lamborghini tractors made by Lamborghini?
Trattori Lamborghini is different from Automobili Lamborghini. The Tractor business is part of the SDF Group in Italy, which has been in the business of manufacturing farm equipment since 1927.
Are Lamborghini tractors expensive?
The range for news models starts a touch under $95,000 with prices going up to as much as over $200,000. Used models are more affordable with prices ranging between $40,000 and $70,000. Vintage models meanwhile are more inexpensive. The average price for a Vintage Lamborghini tractor according to Classic.com was $24,173.
Are Lamborghini tractors any good?
Lamborghini Tractors have always been at the forefront with respect to the technological advancements made within the tractor space. They were the first manufacturer to use a synchromesh gearbox in a tractor in Italy, back in the 40s. Over the years, their tractors
How many Lamborghini tractors are there?
Lamborghini’s current product portfolio consists of 22 different models.
How much is a brand new Lamborghini tractor?
Prices for the revered Nitro series start at $94,600.
Does Lamborghini sell tractors in the US?
Trattorri Lamborghini does not sell tractors in the United States. However, vintage models from back in the day can be bought on various auction sites.
Does Lamborghini have tractors?
Trattorri Lamborghini sells a vast array of tractors to cater to various segments of the agricultural equipment and machinery market.