Great Rivalries: Ferrari vs. Lamborghini

Sam Smith
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Gus Gregory

Where Ferrari and Lamborghini are concerned, the rivalry is so perfect that, if it didn't exist, some Hollywood screenwriter would have to invent it.

On the one hand you have Ferrari, the legendary marque founded by a notoriously autocratic icon. The cars from Maranello have long been the exotics to love and drive, pedigreed pieces of rolling art and a testament to Enzo Ferrari's singular, glorious madness.

On the other hand you have Lamborghini, a company born of one man's dissatisfaction with his Ferrari. Unlike il Commendatore, Italian tractor magnate Ferruccio Lamborghini saw little value in racing, and he would not have gotten into the car business had his personal Ferrari not given him mechanical trouble. As legend has it, Lamborghini presented his concerns to Enzo, who told him to go soak his head, and Ferruccio stormed off, vowing to build a better car.

What resulted is a typically Italian brand of crazy: two tiny companies striving, over the course of five decades, to outdo each other in the field of supercar insanity. The results have been anything but predictable. Ferraris generally feel competition-bred, and as such, they've run the gamut from truckish, cartlike monsters to delicate, ethereal machines with gossamer steering and featherlight bodywork. Lamborghinis, by contrast, have almost always been engine-centric, street-focused drama bombs, more concerned with explosive potency than with competition pedigrees. Most people lean toward one of the two approaches, and to this day, representatives from each company grudgingly acknowledge that the other builds acceptable, albeit flawed, cars. Which, all things considered, is just the sort of attitude that keeps a forty-five-year feud going strong.

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