One of the greatest automotive legends tells us that Ferruccio Lamborghini, a successful Italian manufacturer of farm tractors, built his first sports car
, the 1963 350GT, as a V-12-engined middle finger to Enzo Ferrari, after Enzo displayed little sympathy for the problems Ferruccio experienced with his Ferrari road car
. Thus one of the great automotive rivalries was born, and millions of Farrah Fawcett posters shared the walls of boys' bedrooms with pictures of scissor-winged Countaches as a result. This year, Automobili Lamborghini
is celebrating its 40th anniversary not only by launching production of the all-new, V-10-engined Gallardo--which is smaller and cheaper and has two fewer cylinders than the Murcielago, even if it looks basically like a 7/8th-scale version of the hard-edged, V-12 machine--but also by establishing the Registro Lamborghini, to recognize some of the better examples of the 10,000 Lamborghinis still on the road; by finishing a new Restoration Centre, which will assist owners of historic Lamborghini models in factory-specified restorations; and by opening the Centro Stile Lamborghini, a concept design studio that will be directed by Luc Donckerwolke, the 38-year-old Belgian designer who had a major hand in the styling of both the Murcielago and the new Gallardo
. Adjacent to the legendary factory in Sant'Agata Bolognese, near Modena, is the Lamborghini Museum, which opened two years ago to encapsulate and celebrate Lamborghini's history as the thorn in Ferrari's side. This two-story, glass-walled testament to the Company of the Bull displays in all their splendor rare Lamborghini models such as the very first and last Countaches ever built, a 1998 GT2 prototype race car, the last Diablo ever built, and a gold 1966-68 Miura.